The aisle is emptying, passengers’ carry-ons are being stowed, and this plane is slowly nearing takeoff. I glance down at my ticket, look up at my row, and then I see you. You see me as well, and I see that you see that I see you. We make eye contact and share a look, acknowledging the situation that fate has placed us in today.
As I finish stuffing my oversized but practical gym bag into the overhead compartment, I ponder how the next few hours will play out. I know there’s no easy way to break it to you, but it’s something I need to make clear. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want to talk to you.
I’ll say this: it has nothing to do with you personally. How could it? I don’t know you, and I’ve only been sitting here with you for five minutes. And quite frankly, I’m a pretty nice guy. I hold doors for guys and girls alike. I say “bless you” when a stranger sneezes around me. And I overuse “please” and “thank you” to the point that I’ve even seen it noticeably irritate a restaurant staff. All of that being said, I still don’t want to talk to you on our flight.
I realize that if you’re going to be sitting in a flying piece of pipe for hours on end, it might be in your best interest to at least familiarize yourself with your surroundings. That’s why I’m not gonna be a total dick, and I’ll probably toss you a casual “How’s it going?” while taking my seat. But that’s where we need to draw the line. As great of a conversation as I’m sure it could be if I gave it a chance, the fact is it’s still not a chance I’m willing to take. The chance that you are socially and conversationally awkward, that is, or just that any exchange we have is a total bust. I’m sure your niece’s wedding was a blast and a half, and I bet you’re really looking forward to taking that cruise with your wife next month. But instead of talking about it, let’s just not and say we did. If we were to start chopping it up with each other before lift-off, you’d probably think I’m an okay dude and that continuing a casual conversation the whole duration of the trip would be a good idea. But it’s just not a good idea.
In a few short hours (the fewer, the better), we’re both going to go about our separate lives and never see or hear from each other again. We will have successfully made it from point A to point B, and isn’t that the reason we even got on the plane in the first place? And if we are truly to never cross paths again in this world or the next, then wouldn’t our few precious hours on this bird be better spent trying to get some sleep or catching up on our favorite podcasts?
Like I said earlier, it’s nothing personal. But we gotta look at the situation realistically and do what is in our collective best interest. You seem like a nice person, and I hope you find everything you’re looking for when we get off this plane and go our separate ways. I just don’t feel like talking to you. Thanks for being so understanding. .