Required Reading. Double-header today, y’all. Because I fly relatively frequently, I have a lot of thoughts on airports, airplanes, and the people who occupy them. One day I will sit down and write a piece (pieces?) about these thoughts, but for now, in the midst of a long trip out West, I will share with you thoughts on these subjects from Roxane Gay and Molly O’Brien.
Roxane Gay’s spot on recounting of the men one meets while travelling, “Men You Meet While Travelling By Airplane” is hilarious. My favourites:
The guy who opens his laptop the moment he sits on the plane because he has very important work to do and he is going to maximize his efficiency or something like that.
I get working on a flight. I do this. But why must people insist on pulling out their laptop the second they sit down EVEN WHEN THEY ARE AN AISLE SEAT AND THE OTHERS IN THE ROW ARE NOT YET SEATED? DO NOT GIVE ME THE SIDE EYE FOR MAKING YOU MOVE YOUR LAPTOP SO I CAN TAKE MY SEAT.
The guy who is in Zone 3 but stands at the front of the boarding line regardless, frothing with eagerness to board the plane even though it will not be his turn to board for another twenty minutes.
WHY do people do this? YOU WILL NOT GET ON FASTER. THE PLANE WILL NOT LEAVE WITHOUT YOU. YOU ARE IN EVERYONE’S WAY.
Molly O’Brien’s “9 Types of People You’ll Find in an Airport” is by no means exhaustive, but her descriptions are spot on. My favourites here:
The Time Wasters.
Phwoar. Making up about 60% of the security line, they’re the ones wearing triple strength Doc Marten lace-up boots that take 20 minutes to disassemble. They repeatedly forget the four million gadgets in their pockets and go through the security gates upwards of 12 times. Their carry-on bags have a Jack-In-The-Box effect when opening: possessions everywhere. You may or may not have previously fallen into this category but when The Time Waster isn’t you, he or she is your stress level’s worst nightmare.
These people are the worst. Security sucks enough already, so please just be aware of what is in your carry-on and dress appropriately. Have I been this person on occasion? Yes. Do I hate them with the power of a thousand suns anyway? Yes.
The Productive Member of Society.
This is the person who doesn’t use an excessive amount of plastic trays. The person who wears slip-on shoes and doesn’t complain how long the line is taking, who knows where her ID is and finished her water bottle in tandem with checking her suitcase. You can just tell she doesn’t have to pee. This is the person you want to be.
Be this person. That is all.
Despite your best efforts, this one cannot be placed. You saw him in the business class check in – is he secretly a billionaire? And if so, why is he wearing Converse? A tech start-up genius, maybe? Does he travel often? Is he 10 or 30? Why is he eating rice cakes?
WHO ARE YOU? Also, I kind of want to be this person to everyone else in the airport.