Last week, I previewed my next book, The Etiquette of Things: Things You Didn’t Know Were Things, by writing about Playing Your Music in Public. This week I have another entry. On my flight back to Puerto Rico, I was seated in a window on the right side of the plane (see Window or Window: Side Does Matter). We were told that the flight was full so I expected someone to sit in the middle seat. When the door closed, it seemed that my seat mate and I were going to luck out because no one was seated in the aisle. I figured that the guy would move over one seat and we would both share the extra room. He didn’t move. I thought maybe he was wanted to make sure that there was no one coming to take the seat and would move over after takeoff. He did not. Instead, the guy sat in the middle seat for the duration of the 3 hour and 25 minute flight. He watched movies, he had snacks, and he carried on with his friend who was seated across the aisle, ironically with the middle seat open between him and his seat mate. Not once did I get the impression that he thought anything was awkward about this.
Technically speaking, he was assigned to the middle seat so I don’t think I had a right to speak up and ask him to move over one seat. At the same time, he was a big guy and maybe sitting in the middle with an extra seat to the left was more comfortable than an extra seat to the right. I was too mystified to broach the subject and chose to focus on finding new moves for my Kama Sutra of Airplane Sleep. I wonder what the flight attendants must have thought when they saw little TPOL squished in the corner and this other passenger acting as if this were normal.
As far as etiquette goes, I think I did the right thing. I also can’t say he did the wrong thing. What do you think?
TPOL’s TIP: If you enjoy my writing, be sure to pick up a copy of my first book, Everyone’s Advice Is Wrong . . . Including Mine.