9.26.2005

personal space
airplane rides can really suck
especially for someone over 5'2"
the flights to and from Vegas were long
the flight back was not direct
the leg from Phoniex to DC I had the pleasure of sharing half my seat with some joker who had no respect for my personal space

getting on the plane the joker in the middle seat tried to play a human shell game
trying to place himself into the window seat that was reserved for me
the window seat that would allow me to daydream out the window as well as offer me someplace to lean my
once seated he had claimed the arm rests on both sides
once seated I told him that it would be fine for him to use the arm rest... but that I would perfer for him to stay out of my "air space"
we made slight pleasant conversation.... yet he failed to respect my space
his chubby arms were hanging over the armrest into my space at times pressed against my body

it was clear I was trying not to make contact with him
also trying not to have conflict with him

a little past halfway through the flight I took a walk to the bathroom
after returning to my seat and sitting down I took a comfortable seat
my arm rested in a natural position resting on the arm rest

it was awkward
comfort was only partial at this point
as I could never fully relax
now he was forced to retract his arm
he was forced to lean forward to the seat in front of him
he was forced to experience all of the discomfort that he had put me through
it seemed fair... I was not trying to teach lessons nor was I trying to punish him
I was not even trying to take what is rightfully mine
I was just trying to be comfortable for part of my flight

honestly...
had this been a woman with soft skin and a pleasant smell the contact would not have been such a bother
but imagine a short chubby mark mcguire... that was who I was sitting next to on this flight
he was wearing his work out gear.... body armor shirt and those balloon weight lifter pants that make driving an IROC-Z so much more cool
what makes his work out gear even more cool.... his body showed no sign of ever working out.... well... other than sweat and smell
he was moist
disgustingly moist
all of which was made worse as he was inconsiderate
inconsiderate of my right to space

there was never a point where he seemed like he was going to give me an inch
not even the inch that was rightfully mine
he was burly.... burly in a short fat sort of way
if he were not a victim of the obessity epidemic he would not have been taking up so much of my space
odd that he did not realize or care that I was nearly a foot taller with broader shoulders forced to take up less space because he was overflowing into my space
well
not until I claimed the armrest for myself
it was a guilty pleasure that offered little pleasure
I felt like a child
fearing if I raised my arm for a second he would take the armrest back
causing me to then whine and call out for the stewardess like a baby calling out to their mom to settle a dispute with an unfair older brother

eventually the guilt set in and I moved forward and offered him the arm rest
not sure what went through his head as he was without it
but I knew what went through mine when he dominated the comfort zone
so I gave it back
I had also ordered the last Phoniex Cheesesteak (pay meal)
his response was clear.... so I ordered something else
this was far prior to my taking the arm rest

don't get me wrong I usually reach for the larger slice of chocolate cake
contrary to my daily experiences I also like to avoid conflict
so I tried to be as understanding as possible
maybe on his next flight he will be less likely to be so prone to hogging the armrest
worse yet hanging over someone else's chair

so beyond no inflight meal being provided
beyond not having such a great view of the inflight movie
beyond my sasquach sized body being crammed into a seat built for an Ump Lumpa...
I had to rub elbows with some sweaty salesman

now I know how the person who sits next to me feels

No comments: