a bad case of reflectionitis.
20 October 2005
  the window seat
Before I sit down, I like to make eye contact with the person sitting in front of me. I give them a grin, a brief hello, and sit down. Hoping they'll be like me, and sit economy class the way they were meant to: uncomfortably.

Yet, time and time again, I pay for the cheap seat. I sit on the cheap fabric of some woolen texture, and just as I thought it couldn't get any less comfortable, the fat ass in front of me decides he's sitting in first class. He's the master of the plane, the owner of his seat, and the dominator of my personal space. Leg room becomes non-existent, and when I bump my head on his seat to reach the book that I've stowed away under him, he has the nerve to huff. I wonder if there's a button above my head that could eject him from the plane. There isn't one. I settle for my favorite game. I knee his seat frequently to thank him for reclining all the way back. Every five minutes during the two hour flight.

The ones that don't budge are the ones that were meant to break every rule of plane etiquette. The ones who recline all the way. And order four bloody mary's. Their cologne is strong enough to fill the 757 hours after they've left their seat. And they have smoker's cough, or something worse. Like a chronic nose-blowing problem.

I don't like the idea of germ particles circulating in a small space.

People become so much more repulsive on airplanes. Their disease seems like an imminent threat to my health, their recline a compromise of my $186, and their stench an extinguisher of the short supply of air in the cabin.

I suppose I was raised knowing proper passenger etiquette. I bring a reasonably-sized item to stuff in the overhead compartment, avoid perfume by settling for a subtle body lotion, avoid the air conditioning above me by bringing a second layer, and I even let the person with the unfortunate middle seat use both arm rests. I keep to myself unless a conversation is initiated, and I order something light like a ginger ale. I never chew my ice.

And I never. Ever. Recline my seat.
 
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