Trapped in a Tin Can

I am not an experienced traveller. The one and only time I have been on an airplane, I was five years old. It was a kindergarten fieldtrip. I have no recollection of the flight other than watching my mother turn green and being able to eat her apple turnover.

I was a little nervous about flying to see my husband. I didn't want to make an ass of myself.

Turns out, I should have been born with wings. I LOVE flying. Ninety-nine percent of the experience thrilled me.

Except for my seat mates.

On the flight towards my darling Boo, I was seated next to a man. He smelled pleasant enough. He looked clean. But he had gas. Turns out he just had mexican food for lunch and it wasn't sitting well with him. I knew I was in for a bumpy ride when he turned to me, apologized and asked if I had any Bean-o.

Flatulence at it's finest. (I only wish I was making this up.)

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Other than the odd odour emanating from the man next to me, the flight was intoxicating. I loved it. I loved being able to look down at the world and marvel at how truly small we are on this planet. It really gives a girl perspective when she sees just how insignificant we are on this planet.

I was excited for my return flight home. I already knew the Gas Man from the day before would not be on my plane (yes, my nose hairs required that I ask), so I was pumped for flight. I figured my chances for getting a normal seat mate next to me were pretty fair after the previous experience the day before.

(Go ahead. Mock me now. I know I asked for it.)

Turns out, I really am the most naive person on the face of this planet. I watched in horror as this middle-aged, hoity-toity woman who treated everyone around her like dirt eyeballed the seat beside me. I prayed fervently that she was just looking at my wallet resting on the empty seat.

I knew I was doomed when she stopped at my seat and demanded that I get up and help her load her carry-on luggage into the overhead compartment. Being the complacent and polite fool I am, I over-looked her barking orders at me like a servant and did my best to help this short, over-perfumed, fur-wearing J-Lo wannabe woman load her carry on.

She took the seat next to me with out proffering a simple thank you and turned to me and upon noticing my neck tattoo said "Back in my day, the only girls who had tattoos where the crack addicts and whores."

Uh, thanks, I think. Does this mean I don't resemble a crack addict or a whore? I must not be trying hard enough.

I simply smiled at her while trying not to stare in amazement at the the amount of jewellery she had ladled on. I didn't want to seem like a redneck hick who had never flown before.

I leaned back in my seat, closed my eyes and tried to relive the night of wild, passionate monkey sex with my husband from the night before. (Apparently loud monkey sex, as he was later informed by the guys at work who stay in adjoining hotel rooms. Ooops. Glad I didn't have to make eye contact with any of them.)

I could feel her eyes burning holes into me as I tried to block her out and remember the evening past.

Thankfully, it was a short flight and she kept her mouth shut for most of it. When we landed I helped the J-Lo imposter retrieve her luggage and I left the airplane with out a thought to the bitchy lady who thought the world owed her something; eager to get home to show the kids and my friends the fancy new bling my darling husband surprised ME with when I arrived.

As I was admiring the blinding glare off the huge ass rock my hand now sported, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and it was the J-Lo imposter.

"I just wanted to let you know that I think you are a pretty girl. You could be a lot prettier and go a lot further in life if you would consider removing your tattoos and getting rid of that ridiculous hoop in your nose. People won't take you serious looking the way you do." And then she waddled off, draped in her gold chains and fur coat, a waft of perfume left in her wake.

Another woman who was on the same flight as me, overheard J-Lo's comments and just shook her head sympathetically as she walked past me and my gaping wide mouth while muttering "Some people."

The bright side to spending a small fortune for the pleasure of being shuttled through the heavens in a ridiculously loud and flimsy airplane, was I loved it. And apparently I went from resembling a crack-addicted whore to a pretty girl no one wants to take serious. I learned so much about myself on this trip.

I gotta get me another tattoo. And an eyebrow piercing. When I fly to Chicago this summer, I'm wearing my hair in a mohawk. Maybe if I scare the shit out of the people next to me, I'll be able to enjoy the thrill of the sailing through the skies in a rickety tin can without any comments from the peanut gallery.

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Wasn't I adorable in stripes at five years old? Gotta love the 70's.