I met an interesting man on my last flight home last week.
This was a Southwest flight- on Southwest flights, you get a boarding plane number and you board in order based on your number. This is all due to when you check in. A bit of anxiety 24 hours prior but if you end up with a good number, you can sit wherever.
Fast forward to the story, it was finally my time to board so I got on looking for the perfect seat…or a mediocre, not too shabby, seat.
He was sitting in the aisle seat, I took the window seat. As soon as I grabbed that seat I was confused on how the exit row, window seat was still open, I was about to find out.
He started chatting me up, telling me his past airplane stories. He told me how it’s tough in some seats for him since he’s tall and has wide shoulders. And how the armrest in front could hit his knee, so he’s paid people to push it down. For that matter, he’s paid people and bought drinks for them to switch seats or to move their seat.
He then puts his phone and headphones on the middle seat and comes closer, “pretend someone is sitting there, that way we end up with the middle seat clear.” I laugh. He’s serious. We talk for a bit, and I try not to laugh at how hard he is trying to make it seem that someone is sitting there, and all the people that glance at the seat and keep walking back. Again, this is the middle seat of the aisle row, one of the best middle seats of the whole plane.
Two larger people walk up the aisle, he gets scared and says, “they better not sit here.” One of the guys looks like he really is going to. The man starts sneezing! His eyes peek out from his shoulder to look at me. He holds the pose. The larger guy starts hesitating. It felt like 5 minutes. Finally, the guy walks to the back.
Did that just happen?
The man is happy with himself. I’m exhausted and can’t wait to sleep. Too much social interaction.
It was a full flight so we end up getting the last guy. He’s somewhat tall with wide shoulders. The man tells me, “I should have paid you to take the middle seat.” I’m thinking, “duh, I’ve been thinking that since I met you and sat down.”
He tells me, “I’ll give you $20 bucks.”
I said, “No.”
And I had a great flight by that window 🙂