The Exciting Conclusion of The Flight Blog, Or The Time I Got Yelled At By A Woman On A Plane

People. People, people, people. I just endured a horrifically awkward ninety minutes on an airplane, and admittedly it was really my own fault. I was live blogging my flight from Los Angeles to New York, and as I am wont to do, I fixated on random minutia in the cabin, particularly that which emanated from the woman next to me, who I had named Ginny. Well, after she nearly spilled a glass of water on me, I kind of went on a blogging rampage, mercilessly making fun of every small thing she did — which probbbbbbably (read: most definitely) wasn’t tremendously fair to her, but in my own meager defense, I can say that when I start writing these things, I’m not even writing about the person anymore. It’s like I’ve created a character and am just running with it. Anyway, that explanation doesn’t fly when the person you’ve been quietly mocking for about an hour happens to check out your laptop, read your remarks, and then call you out on it.
And that’s just what Ginny did. The whole awful saga after the jump…

Anyway, I was on the plane, making fun of Ginny on the Internet, and being the moron that I was, I didn’t really shield my laptop from view. I may have called her an idiot in jest several times, but who was the real idiot here? This moi. Well, just when I was having the most delightful time with my flight blog, Ginny turns to me and says, “By the way, this blazer is not candy cane.”
About a million different things ran through my mind at that moment, but the dominant thought I had was “Shit.”
I must admit that the next few seconds were kind of a blur. I don’t think I said anything, but I know that Ginny certainly grumbled in QUITE the annoyed (deservedly) tone, saying at one point, “What is with your generation anyway?” Apologies in advance to my generation for representing them so poorly. But seriously, what IS with us?
I think somewhere in there I did the only thing I knew to do: “I’m really sorry,” I said, and I really was, but I’m fairly confident the apology didn’t quite play well. In fact, I know it didn’t play well because she then called me a pig (!!) and announced she was getting up, but not to do some stress-relieving yoga (a reference to once of my online comments).
Ginny then stormed off, and I was left to sit in my own overwhelming, debilitating GUILT. Part of me wondered if she was asking to switch seats, and part of me wondered if she was going to complain to someone. I just sat there and tried to make sense of it all. How could I calm her down? I know! I could give her a suuuuper sincere apology. I’m really good at that, and when I apologize, it IS sincere. And my guilt was real. As fun as it is to do the flight blogs, no one deserves to feel like they’ve been relentlessly mocked when all they’re doing is dosing off and casually watching Bolt. Needless to say, I felt terrible.
Well, Ginny finally came back, and I said, “I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel that way. You don’t have to accept the apology, but I want you know that I’m very, very sorry.” I probably shouldn’t have said anything at all. And I probably shouldn’t have tried to semi-sell her on the blog, saying that it really was all in fun and really, it wasn’t HER but like a character and–
That’s about as far as I got before she and I both realized what an idiot I sounded like (see Ginny? I’M AN IDIOT TOO!!! Not really. I just sounded like one. Jackass – yes). Well, I pretty much shut up, and Ginny raised her voice and got all angry at me, telling me to grow up and go back to junior high (conflicting messages, but I understood her point). At that point, I just wanted this not to spiral out of control into a scene. I shut up. She settled down (with a few quiet mutterings of “geez”), and then I sat there in fear that a flight attendant might come up to Ginny and ask her what the problem was. I could already see it now: BANNED FROM AMERICAN AIRLINES! This was turning into a disaster. Me = shitting bricks.
I promptly shut my laptop as a sign of good faith that I wouldn’t be writing any more about her (she told me to stop writing about her and anyone else for that matter. “I will,” I said). With the laptop closed, I shut my eyes and pretended to nap. See? I’m just a benign guy napping on the plane. No need to be angry with me!!!!
I did open the laptop a few times to check email, but I didn’t go NEAR my website nor my blogging software. I also lingered a little on some wholesome Food Network recipes, if only to repair my image ever so slightly — I like to cook! I’m not thaaat bad!
But for the most part, I then spent the next hour, hour and a half pretty much paralyzed with awkwardness. How terrible. This woman next to me despised me, and honestly, she had every reason too. I’m not really gonna say she was wrong. And like I said in the blog, she actually seemed to be very nice. Poor Ginny. (For the record though, her blazer WAS candy cane. I never said that was a bad thing though. Grrrrowl!)
Anyway, as we approached JFK, Ginny got up to go to the bathroom, and I could breathe easy for about two minutes. I took that moment to grab my (non candy cane) blazer from the overhead compartment and put it on. I got back in my seatbelt and returned to my previously scheduled program of wishing I was off that plane RIGHT THAT INSTANT. Well, Ginny sat back down in her seat, went to buckle her seatbelt, and uh oh. Problem. When I had sat back down, I had accidentally buckled part of her her seatbelt into mine. GREAT. I hate being that person. And of all the people to do it to. GINNY.
I unbuckled the seatbelt and handed her half back, sheepishly saying “Sorry,” (which was met only with a cold sigh — gotta respect that. I LOVE the cold sigh). This was just getting worse.
Eventually, we landed, and usually, I’m on my feet, chomping at the bit to get the hell off the plane. This time I stayed planted in my seat, hoping that when the line started moving, Ginny would go out first, and I’d never have to see her again. But then I got scared. Remember my bag that I had to check? This meant I’d have to linger at baggage claim when all I wanted to do is crawl into a car and be gone. What if Ginny was at baggage claim? What if she had a burly husband? What if she confronted me again? And what if she did it in front of my parents? Oh that would be entirely too awkward. Plus, my parents would totally lecture me about not doing stupid things on airplanes. This was all going sour so quickly.
However, I checked my voicemail, and thank God, it was my mom saying she’d be about thirty minutes late. Minor crisis averted. But in the meantime, I still had another concern. Ginny was now standing in the aisle chatting to the flight attendants. They had asked her how everything was, and I was just waiting for her to point to me and accuse me of being a nosy, obnoxious, and awful passenger (points well taken). I was totally gonna get banned! Please Ginny, spare me! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!!!
But here’s one thing about Ginny: she was a class act. She praised the flight attendants for being great (which they were), and part of me wondered if she was quietly schooling me in the ways of being polite, friendly, and mature. Probably. I, of course, pretended like I was dosing off so I wouldn’t have to have eye contact (I’m a spineless coward, eh?).
Well, the line began to move, and Ginny headed on out. I waited until we had about a three person separation, and then I got up. I quietly stalked off the plane, and upon arriving at the gate, I immediately went to the bathroom and then loitered around just a tad — the better to avoid a luggage carousel interaction. At that point, my dad called to say he was at the baggage claim, and my anxiety resurfaced: would there be a dreaded Ginny moment in front of my dad? Based on her rolling carry-on luggage, I doubted she had any checked bags. But you never know…
Fear not. By the time I reached my Dad, Ginny was long gone. Disaster was averted. At last I could breathe a sigh of relief, and all seemed right with the world again. Oh, and as for my bag? Not at the front of the luggage pile. I suppose I deserved that.

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0 thoughts on “The Exciting Conclusion of The Flight Blog, Or The Time I Got Yelled At By A Woman On A Plane

  1. I would’ve told her to shut her trap and mind her own ugly blazer snotty business.
    Then, feign Turettes, and scream like a little girl for the steward.
    (In my mind, that’s what you did…)

  2. Yay!! You’re alive!. I’m sorry you had to go through that but that was one nosy candy cane!! I mean she read everything and waited to attack you at an unsuspecting moment and then proceeds to call you a pig? Oh my God that is GOLD!
    I love how you freaked out about getting banned, but B-side, what happened to the puppy eyes? This was IT, your moment to melt Ginny’s candy cane heart. That would have sold it.
    At least Ginny acted very Countess like at the end of everything.
    I hope this doesn’t put you off doing the live blogs.

  3. C’mon. You’re being too hard on yourself and too easy on her. She had no business reading whatever was on your screen. What you were typing could very well have been something very personal or whatnot, she should be ASHAMED. This candy cane wearin’ woman just couldn’t mind her own business.
    But still, awesome flog LOL. I can’t even imagine how you must have felt. I think you could have called her out on her nosiness, but I can understand wanting to make the entire ordeal just disappear.

  4. Dude! While I was reading this, I realized my mouth was actually hanging open. Seriously! I can not imagine how humiliated you must have felt (although, I’m sure Ginny felt equally humiliated).
    I guess there is a lesson here for everyone… don’t write about people when they are within peeking distance, and don’t read someones writings over their shoulder.
    This reminds me of when I read my friends diary in ninth grade and she had written something mean about me in it. I could never confront her about it, because then I would have had to admit that I read her diary. Rock and a hard place.
    And for the record, you handled this very well. She had A LOT of nerve telling you that she had read that.
    Thanks for the laugh! This was definitely one of my all time favorite B-Side adventures!

  5. I say if you flog on a plane, expect someone to read it. People get bored (and nosy) on planes. It’s why they flog (and read over other’s shoulders)! That being said, the nosy one should have a sense of humor. You have one B, she does not. When she called you a pig, you should have reminded her that at least you’re kosher!

  6. Ginny is a terrible person. She shouldn’t have looked over your shoulder. She should have watched Bolt and taken it like A MAN!! Crazy candy cane doofus.

  7. HA! Just read both parts and that was the funniest FLOG you’ve ever done. I guess in the situation it would be extremely embarrassing, but looking back you should’ve said, “Oh yeah? And what’s wrong with your generation? Do you always read other people’s private information? By the way, nice BLAZER.” Did she have red hair? Please say she had red hair…
    I hope this unfortunate experience doesn’t put you off future FLOGs. I would hate to have it end over a candy cane blazer.

  8. Oh, my God . . . I just checked in, haven’t even read the actual flog yet, and I swear I don’t mean to laugh at your humiliation, because that must have been horrible, but I’m laughing so hard I’m practically in tears. I think it was the seatbelt bit that finally did me in. I’m so sorry. And I mean that sincerely.

  9. I agree that you’re being too hard on yourself. I think a lot of good came out of this experience. For example, (i) you learned that you need to shield your monitor when you’re mocking people in close proximity, (ii) we all got a good chuckle and (iii) I bet Ginny never wears that awful candy cane blazer again. Everyone wins!

  10. Long time reader but have never posted before. I had to say I agree you are being too hard on yourself. But–if it makes you feel any better, there was a Zarin Fabrics and Home Furnishings sighting in Law and Order SVU last night. And yes I am still a faithful viewer of SVU.

  11. B-Side really isn’t a master at being discreet. If he were Tony Almeida, his flash would have went off while taking pictures of the bio-weapon.

  12. First it was Beth in the BB audience and now Ginny on the plane.
    There is a certain pattern here.

  13. haha, from my Dad:
    “I would have defended you and chastised her. Apparently, ‘Ginny’ missed her etiquette class on the day that the lesson was given about Respecting the Privacy of One’s Seat-mate by Not Reading the Material on Which He is Working.”

  14. Thank God I am reading this at home and not at work. I laughed until I started making PIG noises. We must credit Ginny for the perfect opening line, “This blazer is not candy cane!” A classic passive-aggressive strike.
    I think I will be laughing all day.

  15. People, people. I think we’re being too hard on Ginny. We all know if we were in her situation, we’d be craning our necks to see what the person next to us was typing about on his computer. I know I do that every time a computer is open on a flight near me.
    However, if I happened to read he was writing about me, I can’t say I’d go for the “uppity scolding” route. This was her perfect chance to see that she was doing things that annoyed you, and therefore up the annoyance level. If I was her, I would have said nothing, but then bumped into several more drink carts, perched at least three drinks on the edge of my tray, and done yoga in my seat rather than in the aisle. I also would pretend to drift off to sleep and then jerk awake while screaming.
    She really missed out on making her flight a lot more enjoyable for herself while ruining the rest of the trip for you.
    That said, this is the best flog of all time. Please don’t let Ginny stop you from doing more (on the return trip, hopefully).

  16. Poor Ginny. You gotta feel for her! I am imagining the nausea and anger rising in her stomach as she read your blog. I give her MAD props for popping off with the line, “By the way, this blazer is not candy cane.” Perfect!
    Welcome to my world, B. Humiliation at every turn when I try to be funny.

  17. These are some of the funniest comments ever.
    I’m starting to think Ginny may have been the best thing ever to happen to this blog…

  18. OMG, I laughed so hard when I read T-Bag’s devious response! Ginny definitely has no sense of humor!

  19. All I can say is that it’s a good thing that this whole uncomfortable breach of etiquette didn’t occur at the Cancer Society!

  20. Firecat’s first comment on this said it perfectly!
    Glad you’re alive and well. Thank you for “taking one for the team” as we’ve all loved reading these stories.
    Personally, I hope “Ginny” finds your blog and reads all of our comments about her and her Nosy Nelly self.
    P.S. You need a “privacy screen” on your laptop. 🙂

  21. btw, as for reading someone’s laptop, I would never do such a thing. I tend to completely keep to myself on any type of “public transportation” – I have issues.
    A few years ago I used to take the train home (it was a hellish 2 1/2 hour train ride) and one day while riding the train I was sitting in a seat with no one next to me, quietly reading my magazine and listening to my iPod. A couple of stops into the trip a woman got on and sat next to me. She had books and a notebook with her and upon first glance I thought she was working or doing homework or something. Anyway, after a little while I just get this feeling that she was staring at me (you all know that feeling). So I looked to my left and she looked at me, then looked at the pad of paper she was holding up towards me – she did this a couple of times and then I got the hint to look at her pad of paper. She had written: “Don’t make me kick your ass for turning the pages like that.”
    Seriously. That’s what she wrote. I was in utter shock and didn’t know how to respond. The bottom line is that I was stuck on the train with this woman and I had no idea how much longer she would be on there – for all I knew she could’ve been getting off at my stop (which was pretty much in the middle of nowhere) and she could’ve shanked me in the parking lot and no one would be the wiser.
    So, yeah, I keep to myself as much as humanly possible when traveling. 🙂

  22. First, I now have to admit that where B looks for celebrities on his plane, I always look for B to turn up on one of mine. I know that you don’t often frequent the Denver area but a girl can’t help herself.
    Second, Ginny should have known better. Sneak a peek to look at what movie they are watching but never read anything or lean in and try to watch with (SO annoying).
    T-Bag – that is some funny sh*t. I apologize up front if we are ever sitting next to each other and do something to piss you off.
    And yes…Best. Flog. Ever.

  23. B, this epic rivals anything in “I Love You Man” for sheer painful, awkward hilarity. I’m going to disagree with most commenters in that if you’re going to type on a laptop in public, whatever’s on your screen is fair game. Plus 99% of commenters, isn’t it a little hypocritical to say she was snooping on something private that was being liveblogged to possibly hundreds of people???
    All us smartassess occasionally get caught making fun of someone and feel bad about it. The eternal question is do we really feel bad about it or just feel embarrassed about getting caught?
    The good news is there is probably the makings of a brilliant sitcom script here. I could totally see Ted in “How I Met Your Mother” playing you here.

  24. Oh my god, this is the best/worst story ever! I know if I’d been in your place I would have absolutely died of mortification. DIED! I think T-bag has a good point here: Ginny definitely could have worked the situation, making an effort to annoy you on purpose. That’s probably what I would have done in her shoes. Also really, really hoping she decides to do some googling (only because then maybe she’ll see how hilarious the story is and be able to laugh about it).

  25. I wonder what she would have done had you started furiously dictating everything she said as she was saying it.

  26. Ok, harsh that I’m apparently the only one who noticed, but you totally spelled Miley’s name wrong on the flog hahaha.
    But on the bright side, this was hands down the best thing I’ve ever read in my life! Hahahahaha oh my. You and your vocabulary.