I realise I am making this longer than the blogs about the actual purpose of the trip but hey ho, It's my blog, what are you going to do?!
Anyway, a few hours after my broccoli pizza, there I was at my gate ready for the Belfast flight. I've talked about how much I love this flight when I lived in NC. I still do but not for the ah-listen-to-our-lilty-accents-oh-she's-got-GHDed-hair' reasons anymore. It gets you home quicker, plain and simple. And I definitely love it a bit less after this last trip.
While at the gate, I bumped into someone I knew. And of course it was a Methodist minister! Typical eh?! Anyways, we chatted a bit and then were among the last to board the plane. I am quite particular about where I sit in planes, especially on long flights. I hate feeling trapped and asking people to get out at the whim of my bladder, so I always try to get an aisle seat. This trip home it was lucky seat 15C*!
[* Please note all seat numbers have been changed to protect the identities of the innocent.]
As my Methodist bud and I walked down the aisle (him sitting all the way at the back) I could see that every aisle seat was taken. 'Hmm, is someone sitting in my seat?'. I got down to row 15 and sure enough there was a woman already there.
'Em, excuse me, I think I'm in that seat' I politely said.
'No, I'm here' she replied.
'No this is 15A' came the response.
Oh boy. I looked up to the little diagram for confirmation that I have not flown every flight of my life in the wrong seat.
'No, it goes A B C D E F' (gesturing with my hands to show window, middle, aisle, aisle, middle, window)
'No, it goes C B A D E F (gesturing with her hands to show window, middle, aisle, aisle, middle, window)
Seriously? People shouldn't be allowed a passport if they don't know their alphabet and can't understand a simple drawing of seats, windows and people.
Thankfully, my minister bud chipped in, as if an outsider, 'no she's right, that's 15C'. (Unfortunately he wasn't wearing his collar to add extra weight to his comment.)
'No, we asked for two seats together (pointing to her friend in 15D) and she couldn't give us that so she gave us two aisle seats', came the retort.
'Yeah, except that she didn't' I wanted to say.
At this point 15B man chirps up 'well if you want my seat, I'll sit in 15D and you two can sit in 15A and B'.
This seems mutually acceptable to all parties and the move began. Of course this holds up the line some more and I look like the idiot. This wasn't helped by 15A woman going on and on in an under her breath kind of way (except loud enough for 4 rows to hear her) about how it's only a seat and how I made such a big deal about it, which I really didn't. I didn't make a fuss, I didn't call the hostess over and I definitely didn't say she was too thick to travel (although that last one was a struggle).
It became so awkward that I had to get my iPod out while people were still getting themselves situated. I noticed a few people help me out by giving me 'what are you going to do' faces which was nice, but really not the sort of vocal support I needed against thicko 15A.
Anyway, as time went on at the gate, 15B said to me how they were tired and just wanted to get home. I replied with a few 'don't we all' comments and tried to explain how it really was better to have me in the aisle. She then explained to me that they were supposed to leave New York two days previously but, get this, the taxi driver has taken them to JFK rather than Newark so missed their flight. And you thought I was being unfair when I said about being too stupid to have a passport?!
Finally we taxied out to the runway. Just as we were about to take off, 15B grabbed my hand and 15A's in a show of solidarity. Are you joking me?! I cannot abide it when people applaud the plane landing or when they hold hands when it takes off. Yet here I was holding hands like the sisterhood of the travelling simpletons! Nevermind that they made the previous 20 minutes so unbearable I seriously thought about requesting a seat change to anywhere else on the plane!
So you can imagine I let go pretty quick, well as quickly as was polite and the flight progressed in much the normal way. The trolley came down with the meals, chicken or beef as usual. I chose the beef (it's not really important to the story, but I like to add the extra details). I noticed when I was getting the knife and fork out that I also had a spoon, but no dessert on my tray. Hmm, but I munched away on my salad, before starting into the lasagne. I then remembered (and convinced myself) that they come back down the aisle with ice cream. A bit later on I noticed a man (14D) eating Pepperidge Farm cookies and thought to myself, 'aww I love them, he must have brought them on with him. He doesn't know there's ice cream!'
A bit later on from that again I noticed 15D man also eating Pepperidge Farm cookies. 'Wait a minute!' I think to myself. I turned to 15B and sure enough she's just finished her packet of Pepperidge Farm cookies!
Taking out my head phones I say 'I didn't get a packet of those!'
'Uch did you not love?! They were lovely too! I got two packets!'
Seriously? You are frigging joking me, she ate my Pepperidge Farm cookies!
So that's why I have fallen a bit out of love with that flight. And I didn't even get to the bit about how they broke my head phones.