I caused a scene on an airplane once.
Not really though. Let me explain.
If you’re a fellow traveling westie then you’re probably familiar with how much sleep you don’t get at a comp weekend. Sweet sleep: The only thing any dancer really wants after a long weekend. With comps taking up most of the afternoons, social dancing till 6am, and (if you’re really hardcore) workshops starting at 9am the next morning, where does sleep even fit in? A nap, right? A common sense idea, but tragically, my body doesn’t know how to do that. Ten minute power naps? Yeah right. If I fall asleep midday, that’s a guaranteed, down for the count, 3 hours. Besides, I’ll wake up tired most times so there’s usually no point in trying. Meanwhile, my best friend will lie down, fall asleep in 10 seconds flat, then wake up ready to run a marathon just 20 minutes later.
Not fair, bro.
Atlanta Swing Classic 2015 was one of those weekends. Such fun and so much dancing was had, by Sunday afternoon I was pretty pooped. Near sleepwalking really. And since most of us had to be back at work bright and early Monday morning, we all had to fly back late Sunday night after awards.
On most of my past flights I wouldn’t get a seat assignment until I was at my gate. And, if I were flying with someone, the person at the desk would usually get us seats next to each other. On this particular flight home, however, we already had our seat assignments. Sarah, Sarah’s mom and I were on the same row at the back of the plane while Andy was across the aisle and one row ahead of us.
Now, I love Sarah, I do. But her shoulders are small and bony… (Sorry, beb) I knew there was no way I’d be able to get comfy enough for sleeping in an aisle seat with nothing to really lay my head on. I was determined to sit next to Andy. His height and broad shoulders would give me a much better chance at sleep.
The plane begins to board and Sarah and her mom take their seats. Andy slides into his window seat and I take the middle one. Asking someone if I could keep their seat was inevitable since the flight was sold out, so I just waited. Within minutes, a woman about my age gets to the back and looks at me questionably.
“Uhm.. I think that’s my seat..”
She wasn’t at all sassy about it, just pointing it out, giving me the benefit of the doubt, which I appreciated. As adamant as I was about not leaving that seat, I would’ve felt a bit like a jerk if she’d have gotten upset with me about it. But I couldn’t bear being restless on the plane for the hour and a half flight home.
“Do you mind if I keep it??”
Thankfully, she was very willing to let me stay and took up residence in the seat directly behind me. I sat back, buckled up and began to settle in, relieved. People continued to file in and fill the gaps left by the earlier boarders when another woman pauses upon reaching the back of the plane.
“Uhm… I think that’s my seat.” She says to the woman behind me.
“Oh, okay, uhm..” She shifts around, not sure what to do.
Andy turns to me with a “see what you caused?” look on his face. I gave him a “sorry not sorry” shoulder shrug. I’m awful, I know, #butsleep. He turns around.
“Hold on ladies, I can fix this.”
After he explained what happened they swapped seats and all was settled. All was right with the world and I could relax. Sadly I wasn’t able to actually fall sleep, but Andy’s fleece jacket balled up on his left shoulder was just what I needed to able to rest for the entirety of the flight. With a little help from coffee, work the next morning was a bit more tolerable.
Would I do it again?