So there we are, me, my youngest son, and (for the sake of simplicity), my nephew. Son and nephew, at that time, were 17 and 15 respectively and we had just finished up a vacation visiting family in the great state of Colorado. We had boarded our plane in Denver, flown to Atlanta where we would make our connection to Grand Rapids. Despite our fatigue, it had been an amazing week acquiring memories, experiences, and photos. Man, but we were tired and on a certain level, tired of one another, as well. I had spent the past week driving miles upon miles of highway and canyons, on constant alert for rabbits, raccoons, possums, fox, white-tail deer, mule deer, bears, elk, street signs, and park entrances. I would be damned if I actually lived to REGRET declining the stupid rental car insurance...
The extra miles to Atlanta were welcome to both my brain and my FF account (which, TRUST ME, is not near FF enough). Once we boarded in Atlanta, I popped Dramamine (thanks perimenopause for the new onset of air-sickness) and settled in. The boys were sitting next to me, occupying the middle and window seats. They were discussing something amongst themselves, likely in relation to gaming strategy or something of the sort. I smiled as they jabbed at one another with sarcasm and made jokes about whatever things teenage boys think are funny. Silly boys.
Passengers continued to board and stow their carry-ons, the rising racket of pre-flight beginning to lull me into a comfy state. Snippets of conversation from those seated around us could be heard at random, you know, the typical stranger to stranger surface talk, "Hi! Oops, sorry! Lemme just squeeze by you there, (insert nervous ha ha's here)..." And then the typical comments insinuating that airlines couldn't pack people in any tighter, could they, blah, blah.., wonder when the last time these seats were cleaned, it's so cold in here, it's so hot in here, I can't believe how much they charge for checked bags, Oh, not with premium-platinum blah, blah?." And the infamous toddler, several rows up, bouncing and screeching while the clearly unconnected, unassociated young adult next to him sits with his eyes squeezed shut and headphones crammed into his ears.
...infamous toddler, several rows up, bouncing and screeching while the clearly unconnected, unassociated young adult next to him sits with his eyes squeezed shut and headphones crammed into his ears.
The boys have quieted now as well and appear to be settling in for some in-flight R & R. Behind us, a gentleman has just arrived and uprooted the middle and aisle seat passengers for his place by the window. Amongst bumps and thumbs, apologies, nervous laughs, and lame jokes, the three people behind us finally settle in and acquaint one another with their final destinations. I heard them all laugh about how they were all going to Grand Rapids to visit relatives or accomplish business. The middle and aisle seat ladies chirped and small-talked easily with window-seat guy. In those few moments of eves-dropping, I surmised that window-guy was in his mid-twenties, the middle-seat lady was likely near my age or older, and the aisle-seat lady likely close in age to the window-guy. I enjoyed their banter for the next few minutes, admiring the detail in which window-guy talked and how engaging aisle-seat lady was. I found the middle-seat lady to be somewhat attention-whorish and abrasive, which (I assumed) is what eventually prompted aisle-lady to plug-in with ear-buds and an in-flight movie (I had observed this during a bathroom break).
As the plane pushed away from the gate, window-guy asked what time-zone Atlanta was in. Middle-seat responded that Atlanta is in EST. Window-seat guy ahhh'd and ok'd to her response and then asked what time zone Grand Rapids was in. Middle-seat replied confidently, "Grand Rapids is in the Central Standard Time zone, so they are one hour behind Atlanta..."
Funny/peculiar how something so minuscule will pull a person out of a deep state of relaxation...
I turned slightly and looked through the space between mine and Nephew's seats to examine the middle-seat lady. As she continued to explain the world's time zones to window-guy, I observed that she was sharply dressed, tidy and professional looking. I remember thinking how educated and approachable she looked.
Sheesh. Looks are deceiving!
The boys were stirring as well and making comments to one another about how that woman was so wrong. They asked if I had heard, I laughed and said yes. The boys decided that they needed to correct the woman for the purpose of window-guy being misinformed. Nephew turned in his seat, peering over the top, he said, while presenting his phone with a map of the time zones, "I don't mean to interfere, but I overheard you say that Grand Rapids is in Central Standard Time. I just wanted to let you know that is incorrect; Grand Rapids is in the same time-zone as Atlanta, EST." Nephew smiled at window-guy and as he began to settle back into his seat, middle-seat lady snapped:
"Excuse me? We were not talking to you. Please do not mind our conversations any further. Michigan is central standard time, I should know, I used to live there..."
Window-guy chuckled and politely thanked Nephew, while middle-seat lady continued to hiss under her breath. Nephew acknowledged window guy with a nod and then said, "Well, I live in Michigan, so I should know, Grand Rapids is in EST." At that, he finished taking his seat while he, son, and myself giggled quietly. Behind us, you could hear middle-seat snipping on about privacy, blah, blah, trust me, Grand Rapids is CST, blah, blah.
I soon realized that the boys were in the planning stages of battle to elicit upon middle-seat lady.
I told them, NO. Not on a damn airplane.
Clearly, if an older woman is unstable enough to be offended by a teen boy's statement of facts, she'd be unstable enough to lose her shit and create a scene.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
So we arrive in Grand Rapids without further incident. As we land, the pilot makes his general welcoming speech over the intercom, informing us about wind speeds, temperatures, weather conditions, visibility, and the TIME ZONE of Grand Rapids (EST, of course). The boys laugh. I laugh.
I hear window-guy say, "It is EST."
Like, duh. I can't believe he didn't Google it.
Middle-seat lady didn't utter a word.