Not Charming

I forgot to tell you about this blonde girl dressed in pink on the plane on the way home from Denver. We were in row 19 — so, close to the back of the plane. Generally when a flight is deboarding, people are civilized and file out in an orderly way row by row front to back.

I got ready to exit my row during my turn and the little brat, maybe 4 years old, barrels through from the back, elbows my leg out of her way, bellows, “Excuse us,” and takes off down the aisle.

Me, finding this not even a tiny bit charming, did my best sarcastic, “Yeah, well I guess so.” And here comes Mom behind her and I figured she’d give me one of those embarrassed smiles and possibly even a muttered apology but no, she’s barreling past me out of turn as well. Then comes bratty slightly older son given the responsibility of carrying some sort of seat-contraption which he transported by kicking it down the aisle with his feet. Neat-o.

The next person, who might have been Dad was kind enough to stop and let me edge in but I had to endure kick-the-seat kid who made slow progress through the plane.

Hey people: not everyone is as patient as you are with the kids and, never too early to teach them some manners.

And slightly related: if you haven’t tried this yet, I highly recommend earplugs for public travel. This is a new discovery and it’s been fabulous. I’m thinking I’ll start wearing them when I take the train to work as well.

There was an article in the NY Times recently talking about commuters and iPods and how the iPod isolates people from each other. Yeah, right. Because public transportation has always been the hotspot for casual conversation with random strangers. You could argue that I’m also isolating myself by sticking my nose in a book the moment I get on the train. 25 minutes twice a day I could be building communities but instead I’m consuming media.

I also sometimes bring the iPod, mainly to drown out the people who use the train ride for inane chatty cellphone time.

Today it was high strung passive-aggressive woman: “Have you thought about my refrigerator? … Do you know when you’ll be thinking about it? … No, no hurry. … What? … I don’t know. … How much would you be willing to pay? … I don’t know. … What do you think?”

Earplugs. iPod. The choice is yours.

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