And people say kids have no respect…
It was my flight from Dallas to Philadelphia last Friday. I was tired. There had been several delays already. I was finally boarding the plane. I was ready for a comfortable bed and a good night sleep. I had so many text messages from American Airlines. Your departure time has changed to 3:30 pm from gate A19 in terminal A. Then, your departure has changed to gate C22 in terminal C. Then, your departure changed to gate C26 in Terminal C. Then, your departure time has changed to 4 pm. Then, your flight departure has changed to gate A11 out of Terminal A. Then, your departure time has changed to 4:20 p.m. Yeah, I was ready to be done.
I made my way to my seat. I picked my seats when I made my reservation and this was a window seat. I couldn’t wait to lean my head against the side of the plane and sleep. The plane was full. I was in row 15, seat F, the window seat. There was a lady seated in the aisle seat and an older gentleman seated in the center. I said excuse me, that’s me at the window, meaning can you please get up so I can make my way to my seat. The man asked if I wanted the window seat. I said that was my seat. He then said they could just scoot over. I thought when he said, “they,” he meant the lady and him. I said okay. He then said he wasn’t very mobile anyway and scooted to the window. But, the lady said she had the aisle seat. I was stuck in the middle. I told her I thought they were together.
I tried to sleep. I did a little. Out of the corner of my eye, I studied the old man. He was probably in his 70s. He was small. He was wearing all black. A black sweatshirt and black sweat pants and Nike tennis shoes. He had a dangly silver cross earring and a silver post earring in his left ear. He had a bandaid on this left hand between his thumb and first finger. It looked like it had still been bleeding. He did look a little frail. He also looked a little asshole-ish.
I tried to sleep some more. It was time for drinks and snacks. I politely declined. He ordered the hummus and it was $9.75. Wow, that’s some expensive hummus. I thought it was strange he ordered hummus. I’m not sure why, I just did. He unzipped his fanny pack and whipped out his credit card. He also ordered Ginger Ale to drink. At least when he was eating his hummus, with the cucumbers and carrots it came with, he didn’t crunch or smack. If he had, I’m not sure what I would have done. Ask for ear plugs possibly. I don’t think he had any carry-on or any luggage for that matter. Nothing was under his seat. He just looked straight ahead most of the time. I’m sure he could sense me studying him. We usually can sense when someone is starting holes into our heads.
Because the flight was so late taking off, the crew asked that anyone not connecting to please stay on the plane so the other people could deplane quickly to make the connecting flights. When the plane was coming to a complete stop, I asked him if he had a connection to make. He said, “Yes ma’am.” So I let him go in front of me. He sure was mobile enough to practically jump over me to get out into the aisle, I thought. I waited until most of the connecting flight people got off the plane and then I proceeded to grab my backpack and then found my carry on suitcase and left the plane.
As I exited the plane and got to that spot where people usually have to wait to get their carry on bags if they put one of those airline tags on them, I saw him. We locked eyes and then he looked down. He didn’t have a connection. He lied. He was just standing there. He wasn’t in a hurry at all. He was just an asshole.