How I Almost Destroyed Love

Upon boarding my flight back to LA yesterday, I contently plopped down in my window seat, stuck my earbuds in and prepared for a lovely return home. To my dismay, a lady and a dude approached me from the aisle. The woman nervously asked, “excuse me, I’m so sorry to ask this, but do you mind switching seats with my fiancé so we can sit together? He’s 2 rows up in an aisle seat.”

Come ON. Not only do I hate the aisle, I also hate spontaneity. I’m a creature of habit, and I need plenty of mental prep before my plans are altered. I can’t help but laugh when people tell me to “go with the flow.” I’ll go with the flow once I have the exact location of the flow, the time at which I’ll be going to and returning from the flow, and the names of each and every other person who will also be attending the flow.

But anyways, this plane had two seats per side rather than three, so my switching with her fiancé was the only way they would be able to sit together. Cool.

Before answering, I instantly crafted two scenarios in my mind. You may find them below:

 

If I say no:

I potentially destroy a relationship. I mean who knows? This could have been a last-attempt 1-on-1 romantic excursion meant to save the relationship, but they ignored that elephant in the room for the whole trip and this flight home is their final opportunity to dive into the issues. Do I want to be responsible for breaking off this engagement? Do I want both of these heart breaks on my conscience forever?

And when they inevitably tell this story in the future to their friends and family, will they dismiss all other factors leading up to the end and instead lay the heap of blame on me, the heartless bitch who wouldn’t trade seats?

Or, perhaps, this story will be told to their respective lasting partners and my role will be symbolic of fate: solidifying the fact that they should not be together. I single-handedly (a.k.a. indirectly and solely due to many, many external forces) led each of them to the true loves of their lives.

But, for the purpose of drama (the only purpose that matters), let’s assume my saying no ultimately leads to their downfall as a couple. Aside from future implications of my decision to not switch seats, the immediate result is much worse. Because, awkward. Just, how incredibly awkward.

I would be sitting, in silence, next to a woman who is not only upset about the state of her relationship, but is now also annoyed and offended that she can’t even talk to him about it. And I’m the reason. Because I booked my flight first. Has “finders keepers” lost all significance in the world of transportation? I wanted a window seat. I got myself a window seat. That’s how you get shit done in this world.

If Hollywood has taught me anything, it’s that you have to wholeheartedly, boundlessly go for what you want. Now, I haven’t yet accomplished that in Hollywood, but I sure as hell did that when booking this flight. I knew what I wanted and I wholeheartedly, boundlessly clicked “window seat.” And I probably did it before these dysfunctional lovers even turned on their computer.

And now I’m being punished with hushed anger and cold, pointed judgment from all the other passengers who were watching the situation unfold.

Well, fine. FINE. Go ahead and hate me. Hate me for proceeding with my business as I planned. See if I care. You can be angry all you want, but that won’t stop me from getting up and crawling over you to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes. Even if I don’t have to go. Especially if I don’t have to go. You want to pick a battle? You’ve got yourself a war, lady.

 

 

If I say yes:

I would kindly agree to let him sit in my window seat. I gather my things, smiling all the while, and relocate to his aisle seat. I sit down, turn to my left, and lock eyes with the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. We instantly begin chatting, connecting on every level. By the end of the flight, there’s no doubt in our minds that we were destined to be seatmates on this flight. As soon as we land, Harry (the man is Prince Harry if that hadn’t been clear before) drops to his knees and proposes. I shout “YES” over and over as the passengers and crew applaud, overwhelmed with emotion. We become best friends with the couple whose relationship I just saved (they name their first child after me), and the four of us live happily ever after in Harry’s beachside palace.

 

What really happened:

I said yes because it was a little awkward and I’m a relatively nice person, moved over to his aisle seat and promptly fell asleep until we landed. Least eventful flight I’ve ever had.

Flyin’ High

I love traveling, I really do. New places, new people, new food, bring it on. The one thing I hate about traveling, however, is traveling.

Let me preface by assuring you that I appreciate the incredible invention that is the airplane. Planes make vacations possible. I do not take air travel for granted. And now that that’s out of the way, let me spend a few minutes ranting about why planes are the worst and why I hate everything about them.

I received an email informing me that security lines would be long this summer, as they are every season, and to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before my flight. While it was very thoughtful to send me this suggestion, my flight was at 7 am. So I arrived at 4:45 am because I often pretend to be responsible. The security line didn’t open until 5:30.

To pass the time, I purchased a diamond-encrusted bottle of water (it wasn’t diamond-encrusted, but it may as well have been based on the amount of money they demanded in exchange). You may be thinking, Katie why would you buy an entire bottle of water before security? You’re just going to have to throw it away. In response, here’s some context: it was 4:45 am. I do not make good decisions before the sun rises.

Security is fun because neither the passengers nor the employees are happy to be there. I also think I’ve set a record for the number of times I’ve been randomly selected for a full-body pat-down which is not as romantic as it sounds. Naturally I’ll try to make a joke to make myself feel less awkward. I’ll say something insanely clever like “wowza buy me a drink first” and, without fail, no one really acknowledges it and I continue to feel awkward. One of these times I will elicit a laugh from a TSA employee; mark my words.

After throwing away my unopened water and making no friends in the security line, I needed coffee. So I bought some questionable scrambled eggs and coffee that must cure cancer because altogether it came out to about $107, give or take.

Finally the time came to board. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a fan of finding my spot in the boarding line. The sections are broken down into 5-person areas, so I usually just find the general area in which I am supposed to stand, and chill there without bothering anyone ahead of or behind me. But some people treat these positions as crucial and unwavering identities. You would have thought the woman assigned to A37 would rather burn her earthly possessions than deign to board behind me, lowly, scum-of-the-earth A38. Like, calm down. You’re not Rachel Green from season 10, you’ll get on the plane.

Now that I’m on the plane: aisle, middle or window? Most people I know prefer the aisle – more legroom, easier access to the bathroom, generally associated with less claustrophobia – but I go for the window. While I do enjoy the views, the real reason I snag the window is so that I can angle my computer away from everyone and hide what I’m watching on iTunes so that strangers will not make fun of my guilty pleasure plane movies like the incredibly underrated Bring It On: All or Nothing. It’s worth the uncomfortable “do you mind if I go to the bathroom?”‘s followed by those irritated eyerolls and reluctant movement. But I think we can all agree that the middle is the worst.

I’m a fairly outgoing person, but man do I dread airplane chitchat. I usually pop my ear buds in as soon as I sit down so that some extrovert who sits next to me doesn’t get any bright ideas. I feel the same about elevator chitchat. I guess I’m not a true Texan because I don’t really care where you’re from or where you’re headed since I’m never going to see you again after this plane lands and chances are I’m really tired, hangry and bitter about the fact that we’ve figured out how to fly drones around the sky but Southwest still doesn’t have plug outlets on their planes.

As much as I complain about airports, I intend to keep flying. Where else can I sit alone at a bar at 1:30 pm and listen to a podcast without* judgment? So, until I purchase a private jet (date TBD), I suppose I will suck it up and appreciate plane ol’ air travel.

 

*without that much judgment