Friday, March 18, 2005

Let's talk about Compassion

Have you ever noticed how people are unnecessarily mean to eachother? Last night my flight home was completely full so Joe and I got stuck next to this super drunk really gross-looking-smelling-sounding man. (Luckily, I was in the window seat and the drunk guy was in the aisle seat. I put my headphones on first thing and left Joe to fend for himself.) To put into perspective how disgusting this guy was, within moments of sitting down he made a comment about someone jerking off and used the F-word 12 times. Also, his person was an absolutely frightening and effective illustration of poor hygeine. His redeeming quality was only using the S-word twice.

On a sidenote, I realize you are all thinking I should not be one to point fingers at others for using the F-word. This is true. I use it frequently myself and actually happen to find it absolutely appropriate in most situations. However, he refused to clear his throat which was highly annoying.

Anyway, getting to the point, it took 3 months for everyone to board the plane and find a seat. So by the time we took off, I really needed to use the restroom. I glanced at the aisle and drunk guy looked seriously close to passing out, which was a problem because I'd have to wake him up if I didn't go soon. Also, just looking at him made me realize I didn't want to use the restroom AFTER him. So, obviously going to the bathroom was a serious emergency.

By this time we'd been in the air 15 minutes or so, which I figured was enough time to get through the rough air and the occupied light for the front bathroom was off. Joe stood on his seat but drunk guy turned to the side, which meant I brushed up against him as I got out of my seat. (Another reason to need a toilet.)

When I got to the bathroom, there were two stewardists sitting in the jump seats. As an indirect way of telling me to sit my ass the hell back down, they looked at me and said, "The seat belt sign is still on." So I said, "Well, I really need to use the restroom." They retorted, "Well the rules are that you can't use the bathroom as long as the seat belt sign is on."

AARGHHHH!!! I hate it when people act like that. Rules are necessary, but you should be able to differentiate between situations when they're important and when they're not. In my case:

1.) I'm already up here and I have to walk back to seat either way, so you
might as well let me go.
2.) Will it hurt anyone if you let me use the bathroom? (No.)
3.) If I am not able to use the restroom now, I will have to touch the drunk
man an unnecessary TWO more times.

Anyway, it was pointless and stupid. Also, completely ineffective because I went to the bathroom in the rear of the plane instead.

Finally, I feel compelled to say that subsequent to the annoying bathroom experience, I realized what a complete bitch I really am. The drunk man had been really cranky because his flights were all messed up. He was complaining and swearing about it to Joe (who was quitely reading a prayer book.) Despite the fact Joe generally doesn't swear or drink, he was really friendly to drunk guy and drunk guy eventually calmed down. Drunk guy even offered to buy me a drink after Joe bought him a drink and Joe wouldn't let him return the favor.

By the end of the flight, drunk guy was almost giddy with excitement to be in Austin (even though his luggage was in Houston and there was no connecting flight and he was supposed to be in Corpus Christi.) I really admired Joe for being so considerate. I wouldn't have given drunk man the time of day. Both the stewardists and I could really learn something about compassion from him.

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