Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Traveler's Tale


I forgot to check in online before leaving for the airport last Friday, and by the time I arrived - more than two hours prior to departure - there were only about eight seats left on the plane, each in the center of three. So you can imagine my relief when I discovered I was seated in between a husband and wife.

"I'll be happy to trade seats with one of you; I'm sure you would like to sit together," I volunteered, assuming it was a done deal.

"Oh, no," the woman replied. "I prefer sitting next to the window and he prefers the aisle."

"Gulp," I said.

"Don't worry; I'm sure you'll be able to move after everyone has finished boarding," the man assured me. "There are always lots of empty seats."

So I stuffed my laptop bag and my purse under the seat in front of me, buckled up, and hoped he was right.

Turned out that plane was FULL. There was absolutely nowhere else to go. So I spent the five and a half hour flight to Seattle wedged between these two people, who kept their elbows on the arm rests, shared newspapers and smelly sandwiches, and talked over my head. They did express gratitude that I was neither excessively tall nor excessively wide.

We also played several games of leap frog. Every time one of us had to use the restroom.

This was her second marriage and his first; in their early sixties, they have been married close to twenty years. They were headed to the Seattle cruise port and looking forward to a ten-day Alaska cruise. They seemed happy enough, bantering and bickering and finishing each other's sentences.

Still, is it just me or was this situation weird? Because let me tell you something: I prefer a window seat, but if I am ever lucky enough to fall in love again, I will sacrifice it in a heartbeat in order to sit next to my sweetheart.

Then again, I guess if I am REALLY lucky, he will sacrifice his aisle seat in order to sit next to me.

12 comments:

Julee J. Adams said...

Yes, ma'am. I agree totally. I had to sit in the middle seat to and from Hawaii and both times to and from Vegas and...but Chris offered. That was the important thing.
Glad you're home safe and you have many stories, pictures and memories. Thanks for sharing.

Pam Asberry said...

Yikes. But I wouldn't mind sitting in the middle - provided I was sitting next to at least ONE person I knew!

Will Welsh said...

That has to be one of the odder decisions a couple could ever make. Yup.

Pam Asberry said...

So it's NOT just me! Thank you, Will!

S.M. Carrière said...

Oh, I don't know. It's not like they were on opposite sides of the plane. They could still chat, and obviously kept each other company while each happily got to sit where they liked.

It seems a good arrangement to me.

Melissa Marsh said...

Gotta admit, I wouldn't like to have a stranger in between me and my hubby. That is very strange.

I always had being in the middle seat during those flights. You can't ever get comfortable.

Pam Asberry said...

Yes, S.M., these two people were perfectly comfortable with the arrangement. What wasn't so great was being stuck in between them, being right in the middle of all their exchanges - conversation, food, and reading material. I hope I never find myself in that situation again!

Pam Asberry said...

True, Melissa; it's uncomfortable enough being stuck in the middle seat when the people on either side of you are strangers. This situation took uncomfortable to a whole new level - LOL!

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful how you (PAM PAM) can take a situation that normally would be annoying and puff your magic light into it, making it seem like precious moments.

Pam Asberry said...

I'm a writer, Anonymous. It's what we do! :-)

Claudia Lefeve said...

I just got back from vacation and I ALWAYS take the middle seat...my hubby prefers the aisle :) And we are always thankful whenever we have a flight that only has two seats!

Pam Asberry said...

Your arrangement makes perfect sense to me, Claudia! I am flying again tomorrow and have already checked in online; I will be sitting next to the window, woot!