Friday, August 17, 2012

Rant: Bitches Be Crazy

I just got back from a quick trip to Las Vegas to spend time with my sisters. I had a lot of fun and got to take a nice break from school AND work at the same time (a rare thing these days). There were awesome people, awesome meals, and awesome sites, but one thing that sucked was the flight home.

K and S dropped me off near security and I headed on in. Thankfully, I didn't have to do the full body scanner, just a good old metal detector.  Phew! I grabbed some snackage and a Coke and found a nice spot to chill for awhile.

I had paid an extra $10 to board early (instead of being in Zone 5 or whatever, I got to board with Zones 1 and 2, even though I was in 24F). I met a nice guy who saw I was reading A Game Of Thrones and suggested some other books for me, and then I settled into my nice window seat. 

The couple who sat next to me were among the last to get on the plane. The gentleman (24D) on the aisle was (by my estimates) probably around 50 years old. He looked and sounded smart and polite, and seemed pretty laid back. The woman in the middle seat (24E) looked younger (maybe mid-thirties?), but she pretty much fell asleep (cuddling with the man; I assume they're married or at least dating) as soon as we took off, so I didn't think anything of her. I just kept reading.

I got a Coke on the first round of drinks, but 24E missed it because she had been sleeping. She got something on the second round, and while trying to set it down, sloshed some liquid and ice on to the tray. She almost dropped it completely, but 24D was able to help her out a bit. Some liquid hit me, and the most I heard was a mumbled half-apology that I think was aimed at the attendant (who was trying to help clean it up) but I decided that hey, shit happens. I let it go.

When the flight attendants came back through for garbage, 24E asked if she could get another drink because she had missed the first round. She ordered a vodka and tonic, and the attendant told her to hit the call button if she forgot to bring it.  About 5 minutes passed, and 24E hit the call button. Along came the vodka and tonic. Another 5 minutes or so and the drink was gone. 

At some point here, she went looking for a pen in her purse and couldn't find one. She turned and asked me if I had a pen in my purse, to which I replied, "I don't, I'm sorry." (It wasn't even for her; her friend across the aisle wanted to do a crossword puzzle.) Shortly after, she hit her call button again. Since nothing happened (she gave it probably a whole 3 minutes or so), she hit the button again to turn it off, and AGAIN to turn it back on. What did she need so badly? Another vodka and tonic. ("Not that I need one!" she told told the attendant, as she sloshed some more liquid onto her tray.)

Quick break to let you know that during the flight, I had a headache. I alternated between reading and laying back with my eyes closed to fight off the pain, and I kept my window shade down so I didn't have sun in my eyes. OK. Back to the story.

We had about an hour left in our 3 hour flight, and 24E sloshed her drink again. This time, a decent amount hit me right on the leg and it was icy cold. Still no apology, so at this point, I'm a bit annoyed, but whatever. Back to my book.

And that's when it all went downhill.

24E turned to 24D and said (loudly), "Next time, I want a window seat. Whenever we fly, one of us should have the window seat!" I hear that. That's why I request a window seat; I like to be on the inside so I can lean on the plane and control the window shade. Understood.

For the last 45 minutes or so of the flight, that's all she talked about. Loudly. She complained to 24D (who told her, "it's not that simple" to which she replied, "oh yes it is!") several times. She shifted around to look out the window of 25F behind me, stating that she couldn't see out her window. She kept asking the row behind us about how close we were to the ground, and asking what they could see, since she couldn't see anything. It was pretty damn obvious that she wanted me to open my shade, but she never actually addressed me (aside from the pen inquiry).

I was about ready to just open the damn thing so I didn't have to hear her complain anymore until this happened.

24E: "Next time I want a window seat! One of us has to have the window seat. I can't see anything!"
24D: "OK, but I can't do anything about it. Stop yelling at me."
24E (twisting around to try to look out 25F's window again): "I know, I'm not yelling at you. I'm indirectly yelling at someone else!"

So, in case you haven't realized, I'm the someone else she was indirectly yelling at. Once again, she never addressed me directly. She never once said, "Excuse me, I'd really like to see out the window. Could you open your shade?" or "Can I check the view?" or even "Hey! Open the shade!" It was all a bunch of passive-aggressive statements said to others around me. That's when I decided there was no way I was opening that shade.

I read until we landed. While we were waiting to get off the plane, 24E started getting all sorts of belligerent. "Oh my God! The people up front had like twenty fucking minutes to get their shit out from overhead! Come on! We're from Wisconsin, we're not that stupid!" Um, really? Because as best I could tell, people got up to grab their stuff as soon as the seat belt sign went off, which is the earliest you're really allowed to do so. Twenty minutes? Not so much. She kept yelling things like that. Even on the way out of the plane. ("We're back in Wisconsin! Fuck you, Las Vegas!")

I was proud of myself for being the bigger person and not saying anything on the plane. I also felt like I had done the right thing by not opening my shade. I had selected the window seat on purpose and no one ever asked me to open it. What's done was done.

Until I was walking through the terminal to get to baggage, and from behind me I hear, "...and I couldn't see anything 'cause she wouldn't open the fucking window!" 


I whipped around and yelled, "You never actually asked me to open it!" She pointed and yelled, "It was you!" as I turned back around.  "Yep. It was me."

To my back she said, "You heard me say it like 5 times!" So I turned back again.

"Yes, but you never asked me to open it. Had you asked me to open it, I probably would have, but you never asked me to." She had the decency to at least look a bit taken aback or (could it be?) a little ashamed. I turned back around and hauled ass to Baggage. 

Thank god Hubby was there right away. On the way to the car, I told him about the experience, almost crying because I was so frustrated and upset. I've never sat next to someone so rude and obviously passive-aggressive as this woman was. I had been able to bite my tongue through the flight. Never mind that I got spilled on. Twice. Never mind that she was CLEARLY trying to goad me into opening my shade for her. I let it all go. But bitching about it in the airport after all was said and done? That was the last straw.

Hubby says I did the right thing and not to dwell on it. I'm not dwelling, but I am reflecting and I agree. I did nothing wrong. I don't work for her or take orders from her. I don't have to open my window shade because she wants to see how far up we are (which, btw, is almost impossible from the middle seat anyway, because I sure as hell wasn't going to let her lean over me; I was reading!). I was never addressed, so I never acted. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

So, if you're out there, 24E, I'm sorry you couldn't see out the window. But next time, either get a damn window seat, or think about asking someone directly if you can see out their window (just because you're in a row, it doesn't make it your window), rather than being a passive-aggressive tuna* who thinks the world revolves around her every desire. You're old enough to know better, bitch.

*My alternative for the 'C' word.