Airline weirdo-stalkers

January 1, 2008

I am on an airplane, sitting in my seat, buckling my belt. I smile at the person next to me, and then avoid eye contact by occupying myself with the SkyMall catalogue so the door for conversation remains obviously closed. I wish/hope/pray that the person next to me has the same outlook as myself in that they too want the next few hours to be peaceful and chatter-free. I wait for the flight attendant to announce that we can turn on our portable electronic devices with the exception of TVs and two-way radio transmitters, and I shove my iPod earbuds in and crank William Fitzsimmons.

I don’t know why I do this. I mean, I am always courteous and nice to the person sitting next to me. I avoid eye contact just enough to make it clear that I don’t want to chat it up for the 3.25 hour flight because there are lots of minutes in that time. That is with the exception of the time I was seated next to Cute Airline Pilot (1). That is one seat partner that I chatted with for the entire duration of my flight. We even completed the crossword puzzle together. Swoon.

Anyway, I don’t know if it is it that small talk can be strange and hard work and only worth it when you are at parties or might possibly come into contact with the person you’re talking to again. Or is it that I am afraid that the person is going to be a weirdo-stalker and somehow hunt me down and be creepy (2)? Or is it that I am ridiculously selfish and want those 3.25 hours to be devoted to me, my thoughts, and my random mix of music?

I don’t know. What I do know is that people usually have pretty good stories and occasionally have interesting things to say. The world is small and I might be sitting next to someone that owns a children’s bookstore or has traveled to Italy or has seen Jack Johnson play in Hawaii. And, people are generally not weirdo-stalkers and can probably possibly teach me something. Maybe what this means is that I need to restore my outward curiosity about others. Or, maybe this means that most people are just like me and want to quietly sit for 3.25 hours and have the time be their own.

XO, me

(1) After flexing my amazing Google muscles (I pretty much have a Black Belt in Google.), I found out that Cute Airline Pilot has a girlfriend who is a mere fetus. Unswoon.

(2) Do you think a person with a Black Belt in Google is a weirdo-stalker? …nah.

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