It was 9am, the first day of the new year. Fresh start, open to every possibility and opportunity, I had a clean slate and could set the tone for 2014. Apparently, 2014 is going to be the year that I behave like a loudmouthed busybody. (I know what you are thinking: "Which is different from other years how, exactly?" And to that I say "Screw you".)
AS I WAS SAYING. I was flying back to my beloved island home, excited about all of the plans I had made for the coming year.
And then, as I wrestled my way down the aisle with a small suitcase, a backpack, and Lucy's new guitar, gently directing her to the correct seat as she walked hesitantly ahead of me, I looked up and watched 2 young men, on their way to the back row of the section, stop and unload their enormous, not possibly within the size limitations carry-on bags into
This is a pet peeve of mine. Overhead space is a precious commodity on an overseas flight, and having someone commandeer the already minimal storage space reserved for the seats I had purchased, well, no.
"Hey guys, this is my row. We have reserved ALL of those seats, and we have kids, and our 4 carry ons to put up there. I hope there's enough space at your own seats, because I need the space above mine."
The entire section went quiet, whether in solidarity or disgust I have no idea. And frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. I glared, and they looked sheepish - but after glancing up at the bin they had just stuffed their baggage into, they quickly continued down the aisle, one of them muttering "The overhead bins aren't assigned, they're for everyone, right?"
Sam and Max, looking bewildered at my outburst, made their way through the row to the other side of the plane with a few suitcases, and stowed them over there, then took their seats silently, avoiding eye contact. I wrestled the bags into the remaining overhead space, carefully sliding Lucy's new guitar in on top before I snapped the lid shut and gave those two jokers a pointed look over my shoulder as I took my seat.
And there I sat as the warm shame of embarrassment stretched up from my tense shoulders, across my jaw and ended with my ears burning red as I buckled up and reached for a magazine. Eventually I was going to have to stand up and go to the bathroom, and there was a good chance I was going to make eye contact with them. Or worse, get stuck outside the bathroom together. I shuddered, feeling instantly regretful. This was going to be an awesome 6 hours, I could tell.
in retrospect, perhaps scolding people should be saved for the arrivals area - and I have no idea what came over me in that moment. But it happened so easily, with not even a moment of consideration, that I do believe it is a sign of things to come. And for that, I apologize in advance. It will no doubt be one of the very few apologies I hand out this year, so savor it.
And do fasten your seatbelt.