The following were my plane-mates and the reason why I rarely fly ...
1. The Cougher. On an airplane, there is nothing worse than a person who is sure to pass on a highly contagious disease. How is it that my eight-ounce container of conditioner wasn't allowed on the plane, but the old lady coughing up a lung was?
2. The Weirdo With the Germ Mask. As much as I resent The Cougher, the sketchy guy who’s going all Michael Jackson freaks me out just as much. What does he know that I don't?
3. The Stinker. Two words: Soap and deodorant. For the love of God, use them. And please don't sit next to me.
4. The Kids. I know, I have kids, I really ought to have oodles of sympathy and understanding for the parents accompanying them. But, really, all I do is cross my fingers that they are seated far, far away from me. I have kids, after all. I know what nightmares they are.
5. The Flirt. Lipstick and heels to fly? Wine and high-pitched laughter? The mile-high club ended with 9/11. Relax.
6. The Eater. I wish airports would put more thought into which restaurants are allowed to offer carryout. A turkey sandwich is pretty non-offensive, but the guy eating the loaded chili-dog a few rows ahead of me deserved to be shot. I did notice that he spent quite some time in the lavatory shortly after finishing, which brought me smug relief. Until I had to pee, that is.
7. The Talker. Sometimes, I don’t mind talking on airplanes and sometimes I do. Unfortunately, The Talker never seems to care what her neighbor is in the mood for at all.
8. The Asshole. You know the one, the guy who reclines his seat all the way back the moment he is able to. The one who steals the armrest and is rude to flight attendants and huffs and puffs if you need to use the restroom. The one who you accidentally let your luggage fall on top of.
9. The Sleeper. This is my husband. He is miraculously able to sit down on an airplane, shut his eyes, and stay that way for the duration of the flight. It drives me crazy because I am ...
10. The Nervous Wreck. That person who thinks every tiny bump means that the plane is going down. The one who tries to befriend the flight attendants so that in case of an emergency, they feel special pity for her. The one who sits hyperventilating the whole time and bolts the second the flight lands. The one who makes flying miserable for everyone around her.
What kind of flyer are you?
Image via The National Archives