Thursday, August 26, 2004

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Europe

by Sassy Esquire

The woman standing in the aisle says, "What other option is there? I'm not going to leave my child with that monster." The 'monster' was previously described as mean. The child in question, unseen. But she does have her seat cranked back into my lap on this flight to England.

The husband/father makes the call on the airplane's in-seat phone. Maybe the kid won't have to stay with the mean monster after all. The wife/mother scrutinizes him as he talks. Is he doing it right? Saying the right things to the unwitting listener at the end of the dollar-a-minute call? Is he being firm enough? She looks dissatisfied with his performance and I suspect that's par for the course within that union.

The airplane's captain screws the whole scene up (and saves husband/father via the intercom) by ordering everyone back to their seats. Apparently, there's some turbulence ahead. Husband/father probably thinks to himself, "You got that right, cap'n."

The woman standing in the aisle obeys the captain and returns to her seat.

Husband/father puts the headphones on my unseen lap sitter. How come Mom didn't sit with the little girl? Interesting. Daddy seems to coddle the little girl. I think she is at least old enough to talk. Conversations seem to be taking place between her and daddy. But if she is old enough to talk....Hmmmm, that means the "I'm not leaving my child with that monster" speech previously delivered by mom seems a tad imprudent. Or very prudent. Women can be manipulative bitches like that (yours truly included).

I have to go pee.

During my pee break (lady sitting next to me was not thrilled with my bladder's timing), I finally observed the child. I saw small, brown, and lemon plaid-clad legs sticking off the edge of her seat. I didn't see her face but I imagine it's largely composed of big brown, long-lashed eyes.

Dad is back on the in-seat phone. Ut oh. Does militant, mean-person-hating mom know about this?? She's not here to monitor the script! Yikes! Dad is running with scissors here! Phew! In a wise move, he stands up and calls militant mom up from her back seat. She is Monday morning quarterbacking now: "Did you tell them we.....? And did you mention the....?" She seems placated, but shakes her head. You know how some people are never happy?

By the way, militant mom has orange stains on her white v-neck t-shirt. Doritos, the CSI team in my head suggests. How do you get stains on your boobies if you aren't sitting with your babies?

"Umm...folks...the seat belt sign is on for your safety.'re advised to return to your seat." Did he say seat? As in the singular? This directive is clearly aimed at aisle-squatting militant mom. Again, she complies with the captain, and heads back down the aisle. I think she is one of "those women" -- you know the type, they obey every man, 'cept their fool husbands.

I think her hubby is a good guy.

We land. I squeeze out of my seat and stand, curious to finally see the face of my little friend. I feel like we should shake hands or something seeing as how she was practically laying in my lap the entire flight. I turn and see her. She is about 3 years old, standing on her seat, holding a doll, and staring right at me. Yep, their big and brown and have long lashes.

"Hey," I mumble. "What's up? I like your Dora The Explorer doll."


"So what brings you here?" I ask, desperate to make conversation with the child who won't stop staring at me.

Daddy smiles at me and then I sense mommy's eyes boring into my back. I turn and realize that she does not appreciate me making nice with her man and her child (and her daughter). I turn back to Dora The Explorer.

"Did you enjoy the flight? Did the turbulence bother you?" Why won't she speak to me?

Then she announces, "I'm gonna put on my payamas and take my medicine and go to bed."

Fair enough. Me too.

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