Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Window Seat (Or: Why Old People Should Not Be Allowed to Fly)

[This is a visual approximation of the old couple in question. Except mine weren't as attractive or pleasant looking.]

I’m a big fan of the window seat. When travelling alone, I pretty much require it. Everyone knows the middle seat sucks and I don’t like the aisle. I usually book my tickets online and aside from the convenience, online booking is great because you can pick your seats. I always choose the window because I like to sleep on planes, and it is easiest to do in the window seat, and also because when I’m not sleeping, I like to look out the window at the pretty clouds and shit.

Yesterday I board the plane from Portland towards Chicago and I see that there is an old couple sitting in my aisle, and the old lady is sitting in the windows seat. My seat. At this point I could choose one of three options: 1) say nothing and just sit in the available seat, which is the aisle; 2) inform the Biddy that she’s in my seat and demand that she sit in her assigned seat; or 3) point out to the couple that one of them is sitting in the wrong seat, but offer to take the aisle anyway.

In the spirit of educating the couple of their faux-pas so they don’t get into other potentially uncomfortable situations later (people aren’t generally as nice as I am* and next time they may get some belligerent jerk yelling at them), I choose option #3, even though I am tired and want to sleep and everyone knows that trying to sleep in the aisle seat is a losing proposition since you always get clipped by people walking by, and you always have to get out of the seat when the person at the window or middle seat has to use the washroom. Plus, we’ve all seen these situations before where someone is sitting in the wrong seat and the person that calls them on it ends up looking like a big jerk and I didn’t want to be that guy.

What I want to say is, “Excuse me, but this ain’t Southwest Airlines and you can’t just sit anywhere you want – I don’t care how old you are – but all is cool and I’ll take the aisle.” But instead the conversation goes like this:

Me: “Excuse me, I believe you may be sitting in my seat, but I’ll just take the aisle.”
The two of them just look at me and then Biddy says to her husband: “What?”
Me: “I think you are in my seat. But that’s OK – I will just take the aisle.”
One again the two of them look at each other (not me) and she once again asks her husband (again, not me as if I’m not really there): “What?”
Me (directly to the grandma, who has that deer-in-the-headlights look, disturbingly similar to the look
the woman who practically ran me over in her car**): “Is that your seat?”
Grandma: “B’idunno.”


In case you weren't aware, “B’idunno” is a substitute for the phrase “I don’t know” and is commonly used by indifferent teenagers. It is rarely spoken by anyone over the age of 22, let alone an old lady. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to get any other answers or response out of the old bird (frankly, I was expecting a “My goodness! I am sorry for sitting in your seat!”), I just settled into the aisle seat and no further words were exchanged.

And of course I tried to sleep during the flight but was continually woken by the banging of the snack cart, fat people walking down the aisle, and the icing on the cake - the old couple next to me having to evacuate their bowels not just once but TWICE during the 4 hour flight. Moving forward, I do believe that I will no longer be nice to old people (that I'm not related to) - they try to kill me or deprive me of much-needed sleep.

*
I suppose this point is debatable.
** Just be warned that as time goes on that whole biking incident story is going to get more dramatic – by next month I will be referring to this story as “the time I was almost killed.”

26 comments:

Mr. Shain said...

really? you're blogging about a deaf elder woman who took your window seat? is your life that boring?

i sat behind a nice elderly (near death) couple on my flight home. one of them soiled themselves during the flight. yes soiled. how do i know for sure? well because they talked about it. loudly.

add to your list of things i'm thankful for this year: continence.

ReckenRoll said...

I don't understand why you offered to take the aisle seat. You didn't want it. They were in the wrong seats. Who cares how old they are?

Ain't no shame in saying, "Sorry, I think you're in my seat."

But that's just me.

P.S. I also prefer the window. The window in a bulk head or emergency exit row is most preferred. Actually, bulk head preferred to exit row cause you get the leg room without fear of the exit 'accidentally opening' or at a minimum, the super cold door to lean on.

Ms. Laaw-yuhr said...

That is utter bullshit Cherry! I am so with you, except that I like to sit in the aisle 'cause I'm all legs and fit better and I have to pee all the time and don't want to annoy anyone and I don't really like to fly so I don't want to look out the window. And man am I *pissed* if someone takes my seat.

Here's to hoping you and I are seated next to one another on a flight where we can sit with mutual harmony and make fun of others.

5 of 9er said...

B’idunno.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Mr. Shain:: Really? You say this after your last post? B'idunno.

Recken:: I know, right? The best is bulkhead on one fo those huge 797s on a trans-pacific. You can practically lie down flat on the bulkhead.

Laaw-yuhr:: The poor person who has to sit between us.

classyandfancy said...

Wow, Corbis even makes old people look hot!

Mr. Shain said...

yeah, ok, true. but still.

Airam said...

"I like to look out the window at the pretty clouds and shit" is my new favourite line ever!

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Actually, it's good to sit next to old people on airplanes. In the event of an emergency, they're easier to trample over on the way to the exit.

RevRee said...

Cherry babe, old people can be the meanest of them all. Ever encounter an old person in a hoveround? Trust me, it's scary

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

I think you should have made a big fuss. I would have but I have to sit in the aisle b/c I get bad panic attacks and have to go in the bathroom to splash cold water on my face. It was great to see you this week! Now I need to get my ass back out to Chicago!

JUSTIN said...

What? The aisle seat is the shit! Who needs to look at all those pretty clouds and shit anyways? If you've seen one Grand Canyon, you've seen them all.

Mr. Shain said...

justin and ms. are right... it's all about the isle. quick exit in the event of an emergency, access to the lavatory, ability to mill about the cabin, and the opportunity to feel up every hot guy or gal that walks past. not that i've ever done that.

Rey a.k.a. "Mr. Secret" said...

I'm a window person too... but mainly so I can tilt my laptop towards the window and watch all my gay-ass movies without snickering from the parentheticals all around me.

Loaf said...

I must admit I'm more of an isle seat person myself, and usually try and go for the very back of the plane so I can recline right back without pissing anyone off.

Though good luck to anyone sat in the window seat and needing the toilet, as once I'm asleep it usually takes the plane falling from the sky to wake me!

KAZ said...

OK - I'm older than most of the visitors here - so I'd like to have my say...

*I think old people should be banned from Supermarkets as well!!*

Julie_Gong said...

my favorite are the old ones that don't stop talking. ever. about their collectible Coca-Cola garbage while you are hung over and not trying to throw up.

Alannah said...

I'm curious as to what magical phrase you entered into google image search to get that picture..."old people on airplanes?," "senior flyers?," "biddies in window seats?"

Flying sucks so hard these days. You might as well fight for the only thing that makes it semi-pleasant (sleeping in the window seat).

Michael5000 said...

Try requiring an affirmative response. Instead of:

“Excuse me, I believe you may be sitting in my seat, but I’ll just take the aisle.”

...go with...

“Excuse me, I believe you are sitting in my seat. Would you prefer that I take the aisle?”

That way, they can either cede you the seat without feeling defensive, or keep the seat but be in your debt.

Since you left Portland, the sunshine has gone. Everything is dark and grey again.

I speak literally, of course.

Chris said...

What is it about airports and airplanes that turns people into complete idiots? I mean, the instructions and procedures are all pretty basic, yet there always seems to be tons of confusion when it comes to, well, everything.

minijonb said...

personaly, i like the aisle.

however, if that happened to me, i would have called the captian of plane over and said that grandma treatened me with a bomb. then i'd be in the window seat for sure.

Kadonkadonk said...

I learned my lesson the hard when when a stupid fucking bitch and her bratty ass daughter REFUSED to move out of my window seat on a DC to ALASKA flight and instead of making a stink about it I sat in a damn aisle seat. And I am (obviously) still incredibly rancorous about the whole thing and if anything like that ever happens again, I will totally rat their ass out to a flight attendant and pitch a fucking fit!! Great, not my blood pressure it through the roof. Thanks a lot!

Dop said...

I gave that "being nice" thing a try once and it didn't work for me either. So, I'll just stay me. Personally, I would have made them move. I don't care how old they are, they are old enough to know where to sit.

Taylor said...

me, i am a frequent flier, premier executive (barely missing 1K this year) on united, and i do not play when it comes to my seat. i travel too much and want what i want.

board when you're supposed to, go through the correct security line, and don't move my shit around in the overhead bin!!!

Mr. Shain said...

me too taylor. i've got 26 segments this year. so close!

Catherinette Singleton said...

You should have made her get her old wrinkly ass out of your seat. F sitting in the aisle. That's just nonsense.