“Good Luck at Life”

I have been getting hounded lately about not having any recent blog posts, and I hope you realize that represents the authenticity of my stories.  As I have said in many of my blogs, “you can’t make this stuff up.” It’s true, you can’t and I don’t.  While I have been traveling frequently, I simply haven’t had any bloggable moments.  That or my tolerance for goofballs and knuckleheads has increased dramatically.

All had been going well recently until my flight to Denver on Monday evening. I know that when I travel after 6:00 pm, there is always an increased risk for alcohol-induced blog moments. Thank you Sky Club!

This Monday did not disappoint. I am notorious for being the last one to board the plane.  So much so that there is no one left in the boarding area when the gate agent announces “Foster, Meredith Foster” on the microphone.  I was hustling in heels down the concourse when I heard it this time and thought to myself “yep, my timing is perfect!”  I just don’t see a reason to sit longer than I must on a plane, especially when there is chardonnay that needs to be consumed.  Not every airport bar lets me leave with a roadie!

That evening, right before I heard my name called over the microphone, I saw a gal racing to our gate. She wasn’t the over exaggerating frantic, dramatic, late passenger type. You know the one who is taking unnecessarily loud breaths, talking loudly on the phone, telling the poor soul on the other end that they are going to miss their flight but make it by 1 minute (let’s be honest, they made it by 17 minutes), while wiping the sweat off their forehead?  This gal wasn’t that girl.  She wasn’t a drama queen.  Her sense of urgency to get on the plane was pure.  I heard her tell the gate agent she was racing to get to our flight because she had the chance to get home in time to kiss her daughters goodnight.  That’s a journey I know all too well.  +10 points to the running, in high heels and dresses, working moms out there.  For what it’s worth, I think it matters to our kiddos.

I let her scoot ahead of me to make sure she could get on, and then I waited for my second personal microphone invite to board the plane.  It was just my luck that I was sitting next to her on the flight.  I quickly realized that we had a lot in common.  She was coming off a 20 hour cross country turn-around meeting, wearing (and running in) awesome heels and a dynamic dress.  We both ordered a chardonnay and the exact same in-flight meal.  We spoke a little but not too much.  We both had had a long day.  She was the perfect seatmate.  Y’all know how much a good seatmate can make or break your evening.  This was going to be a good flight.

As I looked around for my next bloggable moment, I noticed another woman on the other side of the aisle that was yet another Cool Running Working Mom like my seatmate and me.  All three of us were all Airpods in and laptops up!  It was refreshing to see three women in First Class. To the left of (we’ll call her) “Unfortunate Seatmate Businesswoman” was the main character in this story who we will call “Dude Man.”

As we settled in, I overheard the flight attendant talking to the last two passengers (later than me in-fact) to board. They were young siblings maybe middle school aged who looked a little scared and uncomfortable as they boarded the plane.  It was obvious this was their first time flying.  They were seated in the row behind Dude Man and Unfortunate Seatmate Businesswoman.  They were lovely.  They had excellent manners, said “please” and “thank you” to the flight attendant, and otherwise sat quietly and watched movies.  As a mother, I was proud of them.  I wish I knew their mother so I could tell her how pleasant they were.  Us mothers ALWAYS worry about how our kids behave when we’re not around.

As the flight attendant came through the aisle to offer another pre-flight drink, a few people partook, and a few didn’t.  Dude Man tried to order another cocktail.  The flight attendant politely encouraged him to wait a while as it was apparent the drink he just slugged down wasn’t his first or even his 5th cocktail of the evening.  Surprisingly, Dude Man handled this pretty well but he was certainly anxious to get to 10,000 feet for another pour because he needed that like I need another dress in my closet.

The flight itself was surprisingly anticlimactic. The kids were well mannered and quiet and the businesswomen, me included, pounded on our keyboards, occasionally looking up at the documentaries we weren’t really watching, while Dude Man did nothing but guzzle down Jack and Cokes.

The fun began when we landed, and I mean the very second we landed, on the ground, 9:05 MST to be exact. I am sure I have mentioned this in previous posts, but I absolutely hate it when people talk loudly on the phone in airplanes or in Sky Clubs. Don’t people realize that 95% of the people traveling are likely in the same exact boat as you?  We all have flown enough to get us the seat we didn’t pay for, we are all likely on a conference call and we are all pushing some kind of business.  Civility says we just shouldn’t make our business other people’s business.  You are not that cool or special or important that you have to speak so loudly on the phone that the people 15 rows back can hear your conversation.  In fact, the most “important” people have other people that talk on the phone for them.  No one cares and no one is impressed by your conversation.

As soon as the wheels were on the ground Dude Man is on the phone speaking obnoxiously loud.  First off, we are still bouncing on the runway so I think the “important” work call can wait 5 minutes.  The flight attendant hasn’t even picked up the handset to say “You may now use your cell phones!”  C’mon people, follow the rules.  I’m a pretty big rule follower.  I like rules, they create order.  As the plane makes more noise making its way to the gate he just talks louder.  Then he starts dropping f-bombs over and over and over again!  I handled the first three as well as I could but as they continued, I politely asked him to take it down a notch.  He was so deep into his swearing festival that he ignored me. Unfortunate Seatmate Businesswoman couldn’t possibly lean any further away from him.  As the bell rang to unbuckle, she committed the deplaning cardinal sin of jumping in front of the people in the rows in front of her. We all knew she had every right to do so, and we opened the area to encourage her.  This left Dude Man and me side to side. He stood up in the aisle first, of course, as he was the type who is trying to singlehandedly make sure chivalry is dead, and I noticed he was wearing swim trunks and neon yellow flip flops.  Man, this guy was obviously “important.”

He disconnected from the loud business call that couldn’t wait to take place even though it was after 7pm in all of the time zones in the US, and he started a new call. This one sounded to be one of his “bros” (yep, he literally called the guy “bro”) and he became louder and an even more frequent cusser.  He was yapping about the plane taking forever to open the door…blah blah blah.  Mind you, the On-Time Machine was 10 minutes early.  My patience with him wore thin.  He dropped several GDs (big time no-no in my book), and the number of f-bombs were beyond ridiculous, starting to rival the number of Jack and Cokes he had.  It was all I could handle, so this is where I became my own blog post character. Let’s call me Ms. Have Some Dang Respect for Others.

Since Dude Man didn’t listen earlier, I decided I need to make sure he did this time. I softly tapped his arm and he looked down at me and took off one of his headphones.

“Yo, wuz up?” he slurred.

I condescendingly said “I know you feel your call is extra important, but would you mind laying off the cuss words? There are kids behind you.”

He snickered at me and said, “Who the f@$k cares?  They are like 13.  When I was 13, I had heard all of the cuss words.  Sh#t, I had even seen crack at their age!”  This was extra loud because he still had one of his headphones in.

For those who know my facial expressions when exposed to idiocy, I made that exact face.  I looked him right in the eyes and said, “With all due respect, I don’t think that one of their parents’ goals of raising them is to raise them like you.” He really didn’t like me now and I was perfectly fine with it.  He put his headphone back in and said loudly “Bro, you won’t believe this bro’… this girl just told me to stop cussing in front of these kids behind me, and they ain’t even her f@$king kids.”

I’d had it!

Before committing to not engage with him anymore I gave him one more tap, more of a strong mom poke in the sensitive part of the side of the shoulder, and I said “Hey bro they are someone’s kids.  In fact, my hope is that you would consider not reproducing.”  Let’s blame the second glass of chardonnay for the second half of that comment but it did get a good laugh and an audible “truth” from someone in our vicinity.

He continued to go on and on and on, and I stood quietly biting my tongue.  “Bite your tongue ‘lil one” I could hear my sweet Southern mother whispering in my ear.  I still have a small scar on my tongue.  Between the 73 Jack and Cokes and his overall attitude, there was zero point zero chance of any behavior adjustment by this clown.  As we deplaned, he took off his headphones, flicked me off and said “Good luck at life Bi*@h.”  I laughed and said “Thank you.”

I apologized, on Dude Man’s behalf, to the lovely children and commended their behavior.  Others in the cabin thanked me for setting a good example and defending the children and being classy while doing so.

Well, except for this one guy behind me who said “Hey, nice job handling the bullsh!t from that guy!” Mouth agape, I replied “Dude!  The kids are still here!”  Insert a shaking head emoji here.

Until next time, I’ll be busy trying to embrace my good luck at life and keep on keeping on!

Remember Always clean your tray tables!