Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flying the Friendly Skies

You probably know by now that Jane's mom passed away last week and we spent Sunday night through Friday morning in Wichita. Our flight there last Sunday afternoon was not just uneventful, it was actually pleasant.  I wish I could say the same thing for the flight home on Friday.

I expected the small commuter plane from Wichita to Denver. It's a short flight and easily endured even in a small plane. What I didn't expect was the small plane on the 2 1/2 hour flight from Denver to Seattle. You know the plane. The kind with two seats on each side of the aisle and those seats are small. Thank you United Airlines.

To make matters worse, Jane, in an effort to cash in a $100 coupon that we had from United, had to book our seats separately. Don't ask. As a result our seats were not together. No problem on the flights TO Wichita. Both legs of that flight were in full size planes, designed for the Big and Tall man.

Not so in the little planes. They had no extra seats and no way we could change seats and be together. 

The trouble started in Denver. The gate/terminal was PACKED. People couldn't find a place to sit and hardly a place to stand. As a result, we were eager to get on the plane. I shouldn't have been.

Jane was in the seat directly behind my assigned seat and MY seat was 4A. That's right. A window seat in a little plane means that my head is pressed up against the wall/ceiling at all times. But that was to be just the beginning.

As I entered the plane I scoped out the landscape and spotted my luxurious leather Lazy Boy awaiting me. I wish. It was about 13 inches wide.  Now most of you also know that I'm not a small person. I know, I know. But I'm not. I'm big. I'm 6'2" and well north of 250....or 260. Okay, north of 270. I'm big. I'm tall and wide. But when I spotted my seat I noticed that the little lady in seat B was.....well, she was short and wide. I'm not making fun of her at all. I'm just trying to describe the situation. She was of Asian descent and I'd swear that her feet didn't touch the floor when she was sitting down.

She stood up to let me climb into the pit that would be my home for the next eternity. I sat down, found the seat belt and strapped myself in. She then proceeded to sit down and dig for her seat belt. We immediately became intimate friends. Somewhat embarrassed by where her hands had been she quickly pulled down the little arm between the seats. Lord knows we wouldn't want to touch. But we couldn't help it.

We made some small talk about the tight fit and soon the plane was speeding down the runway. Once airborne we sat there like a couple of Buddha's. Arms crossed to keep from touching each other and to stay out of each others space. But what about our hips?

As the trip wore on I found that part of the time my right cheek was in her lap and at other times her left cheek was on my lap. We read the same magazine. I'd swear that she was listening to tunes on my iPad from MY HEADPHONES and they were both on my head.

To illustrate how short she was, picture this. Her head hit my shoulder UNDER my arm pit. When I lifted my arm to adjust the air flow or the light....yep, her nose was right there.

After about an hour and a half she drifted off to sleep. I felt so cheap. I've never slept with a woman other than Jane. And with her right behind me I couldn't help but feel that I was somehow being unfaithful.

To make matters worse, she had one of those sleep disorders where every time she came close to waking up she'd jump. I thought she was having a seizure but it kept happening. I soon realized that it was a sleep issue but she continued to sleep and to jump and twitch the rest of the way.

When the plane finally landed and we were able to deplane, I felt like I should at least tell her my name. She wasn't interested. She was as eager to get off that plane and forget about the previous hours as I was.  God bless her wherever she is.

We're flying back to Denver tomorrow after church but we're not flying United. We're going Frontier. At least they have little televisions to keep you occupied. Oh, and we bought the tickets together so we can sit with each other. If you're as big as me you better marry a little woman. I did.

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