The window seat

Life, Thoughts and Opinions

I was boarding the plane from Spokane to Portland on Monday morning and in a bad mood. The news about Osama Bin-Laden broke the night before and the partying-in-the-streets reaction to it had me feeling bummed out. Not to mention, I was tired from not getting any sleep at my mom’s house and sore from running Bloomsday. However, these are no excuses for what I did.

I was flying Southwest Airlines and was in the C boarding group which means I had crap choices for seats. As I was walking down the aisle I noticed that there was a window seat open toward the end. When I finally made my way to the back I asked the woman sitting in the row if I could sit there. She replied, “I’m actually saving the seat, but you can sit in the aisle seat, that’s open.” So I plopped myself down in the aisle seat. I was annoyed. And as I thought about it I kind of got mad. I thought, “well. that’s not fair, saving seats for people. I could’ve had someone in an earlier boarding group save ME a window seat!”

That’s the thought I stewed on for the next few seconds until a gentleman politely asked if the window seat was taken. The woman said, “Yes it is.” and I added “she’s saving it for someone.”

Of course the woman got angry at me for my surly response. Of course. I would get angry with me. But did I care? no I did not. The whole thing wasn’t fair. And I told her. I said, “I didn’t think you could save seats for people on this airline.” (now, to my credit, I don’t think you can. But, honestly, that’s beside the point and really doesn’t matter.)

Now this back and forth was done in a very passive aggressive, polite way. If that makes sense. Neither of us were yelling at each other or anything like that. We were just being kind of bitchy with each other. In a polite way.

After a few moments of quiet she offered, “you know what? Do you want the window seat? I would be glad to offer it to  you.”

“wow,” I thought. “What a nice gesture.” So I took her up on her offer and changed seats with her.

That was a very. bad. idea.

Her husband returned (the one she was saving the seat for) and sat down. As soon as he sat down she started talking to him about me, about how horrible I was. Really loudly and not discreetly at all. I kind of couldn’t believe it. I looked at her and thanked her for offering me the seat and I told her that I appreciated it, very much.

But she kept at it. Just kept right on talking about what an awful person I was. I finally had to tell her to stop.  I really didn’t want to hear about how awful I was all the way back to Portland.

Honestly, I’m not sure if she did because as soon as the plane took off and we were in the air the engine drowned out all other noise and I coudn’t hear their conversation.

But as I sat there I really thought about the situation and what  happened. Frankly, I was miserable. I had gotten what I desired and I was fucking miserable. I was stuck in the window seat. Unable to  move at all. And I had these very hostile people sitting right next to me.

I was tempted to just be pissed off at this woman. I mean she offered me the fucking seat! And then she decides she is going to complain and bitch about it the whole way? But, instead, I decided to step back and see what kind of lesson I could learn from the situation.

In the end, I think this is a good lesson in the whole idea of desire and how it can lead to problems. I wanted that window seat (dammit) and because of it I got angry when I couldn’t have it. And when I got angry I acted on it and look what happened. cause and effect. Karma. I totally deserved what I got.

The photo for today’s Photography Friday was taken this past weekend at Arbor Crest Winery. I hung out with some of my photographer friends and we took pictures for about an hour, and then we got rained out. It was fun, though!