Rolo and I made it to Arkansas a couple of days ago. I’ve since had cheese dip! And shopped at Target! And driven down the road without worrying about ice! In fact, it’s quite warm here this year. I would normally hate that at Christmas, but I can’t say I mind a little break right about now. I’m not sure what Rolo has been up to since we got off the plane because she went home with Granny and Pa. I can say with confidence that she is having a fantastic time.
The flights went as well as could be hoped. The only problem was a manspreader on the longest flight. Are you familiar with this term? It’s people (men, usually) that sit all spread out on public transport, taking up more than their fair share of the seat.
I looked down before the plane even took off and realized that I had naturally crossed my legs, rested my elbows on my hip bones while holding a book right in front of my face, curled in on myself, and leaned my whole body toward Rolo’s chair.
Just naturally. I was taking up as little room as possible without thought.
Then I looked over and realized that the guy in the aisle seat was taking up over a quarter of my leg and arm space. It took me over half the five hour flight to realize that my chair and tv controls were under his arm.
I fumed myself to sleep thinking about how our society teaches men to feel entitled to space, and women have naturally learned to shrink down. I was also aggravated with myself for not being more assertive in getting my space back. I stayed aggravated for a while.
After a little sleep (such a necessary thing), I realized that this wasn’t actually a societal problem. I thought back over other flights. Sergio never uses a shared armrest. Never lets his body leave his little seat unless we are all flying together. The last time I flew alone with Rosalind we shared our row with a man that was easily 6’5. Sitting in those tiny United seats must have been so miserable for him. That giant man never once intruded on our space. He sat as curled in on himself as he could, carefully checking the aisle once in a while before carefully stretching his legs and then curling right back up.
So this last flight was not evidence of a societal problem. More of a humanity problem. There will just always be a few assholes in the mix, I guess.