Let's play a little game of good news/bad news, shall we?
My plane flight home last night was long and late, scheduled to land at 1:30 a.m. after a four hour layover in Las Vegas: bad news.
I got one of the first boarding positions for the flight on Southwest: good news.
I chose the very front aisle seat with all that leg room, a boon for the long flight: good news!
It was a completely full flight: bad news.
After everyone got on, I still had the middle seat next to me empty: good news!
Then a standby guy got on: bad news.
He was a huge guy who had been sitting by the bathroom at the gate and I had mistaken him for a homeless man: bad news.
My judginess: also bad news.
He wedged himself in the seat between another woman and me and spread out his feet at 10 and 2 o'clock, with an astonishingly bad smell emanating from him: bad news.
He evidently (according to my olfactory) wore some kind of diaper that was already soiled: oh so bad news.
I wanted to get over it and be gracious; he couldn't really help it at this point and I kept having "inasmuch as you do it to the least of these" thoughts: good news.
But I really had a tough time doing that, what with the squishedness and eye-stinging stinkiness: bad news.
He fell asleep for much of the flight, ending any efforts he was making to stay contained: bad news.
Anyway, I found some helpful distractions along the way:
The Hour, a new series on BBC America that started this week. I downloaded it for the plane trip home and I'm hooked. It's centered around launching a news broadcast in the late 50s, with spy and conspiracy thriller elements thrown in there, too. Plus, you can't go wrong with Ben Winshaw (Bright Star) and BBC/Masterpiece Theatre darling Romola Garai (Emma and others). This clip is kind of weird but at least it gives you a taste:
2. Are you missing Downton Abbey? If so, Kate Morton's The House at Riverton is good for what ails you. A very Downton-esque family saga in early 19th century England and a fun read that I finished just before arriving at the blessed Manchester, NH, airport.
3. Burt's Bee's lip balm is so minty and delicious smelling. I reapplied several times. Maybe dozens.
4. Peppermint gum. Yes, please.
5. Commiserating glances with my seatmate on the opposite side, by the window. She got angry with the guy at the end of the flight, woke him up and said "I can't take it anymore! I can't breathe and you are too heavy leaning on me. Wake up and move!" He kind of nodded at her and dozed off again. So she did it two more times.
6. Knowing I would have a story to tell.
Oh, my, that was my worst flight experience ever, including the time when baby Lauren had some kind of reaction to dimetapp before a flight (bad mom move) and it wired her to 1000% capacity for the entire journey, kicking and laughing and whooping and bouncing across the country. Give me a squirmy baby anyday. At least I can change their diapers.
Oh, dear. To reiterate, my judginess and anemic compassion: bad news.