Planes are very confining. And germ filled. How many times have you gotten on a plane and people around you are coughing and the air is re-circulated and two days later you have a cold? Once a woman next to me, who I found out was a flight attendant, wiped down the seat, arm rest, seat belt buckle and TV with an anti-bacterial wipe. I will admit that I am somewhat of a germaphobe but even I looked at her like she was a bit crazy. Her response was “do you have any idea how many people sit in these seats and what they do here?” “No” – I said and thought that I surprisingly, being me, really hadn’t ever pondered that. She retorted “these rarely, if ever get cleaned, and believe me I see some disgusting things.” I didn’t even want to know. Ever since then I usually do wipe down the seat, arm rests, buckle and TV. The reason for this practice was reinforced after my flight today.
I have been lucky to have traveled a great deal throughout my life having gone to school in the South, in Europe and lived out West (I grew up in the northeast). Often, I have made and maintained friendships created during cross-country flights. Sometimes I have gotten dates out of a three-hour flight and a few times I felt like I had an entire relationship in 6-7 hours. Complete with break-up.
On overnight flights, I like to introduce myself to my companion of the evening before the flight begins. My opener is “as we will essentially be sleeping together tonight let’s get to know each other a bit.” I find it’s a good ice breaker.
That said, when the person sitting next to you, or luckily in the present case two seats away with an empty seat between us, is fidgety and continuously, seemingly endlessly, picks his nose throughout a five-hour flight I find it incredibly disgusting. He looked normal– whatever that means – and clean cut at first glance but I have never really seen anything quite like this before. I kept looking over (insert glaring look here) and he stopped momentarily and then started again as soon as I turn to read or write. Yes I wrote most of this on the plane and now am revising at 1:55AM PT. Almost 5AM ET. Good God. Anyway, I thought about offering him a tissue for about an hour but realized he clearly has no manners or social conscience so why bother. How about going to the bathroom?! Now there’s a concept.
I have never been able to comprehend the public nose picker. Now, let’s be honest, we all have had to do it at some point but most of us do so in private. But, some, feel it’s acceptable to prod, poke and pick just happily out in the open. This is one of those situations. His inability to sit still definitely intensified since he had a Cabernet. Thank God he only had one. Then his shoes came off, the laughing out loud increased and the incessant touching of his crotch began. Why do some people on planes act like they are at home alone on their living room couch? I am imagining this probably medicated due to ADD or ADHD late twenty-something year old, New York native on his couch picking, twitching his head with his hand down his pants. Ok I am officially making myself nauseas.
This is exactly the reason that I think it’s an incredibly bad idea to allow people to talk on cell phones while flying. That’s what’s coming and I must mention that I really don’t want to hear other people’s conversations, work, problems, life issues, wife issues, accents etc when I am barely a few inches away!
The flight got in an hour early thankfully and there was no way I was letting the picker get my suitcase down from the overhead compartment! The germaphobe in me couldn’t wait to get off that plane! Not surprisingly he didn’t even offer to help…whew!
The good news is that I woke up to this view…..