"So you mean I moved from my seat in the last row that can't recline to this one and now you expect me to not recline it?" She was one of those women that looked too much like a man. One of those women that had a chip on their shoulder, so used to acting offended that it came naturally. All I did was ask if she could return her seat to the upright position. Please. Because I was seated behind her on United flight 474 departing LAX to Seattle.
"I'm just asking. I'm sorry."
"OK. I won't ask again." It's more important to me to keep the peace than to be comfortable. Never mind my laptop was opened like a skinny wedge, hemmed in behind Rude Obnoxious Lesbian.
"I just leaned it back one inch," huffed ROL to the space in front of her, although I was politely leaning forward, speaking to her through the crack between the airline seats.
*thinks, 'more like 3 inches, Crazy Rude Obnoxious Lesbian Woman'*
*I hold up my laptop for her to see. It's in a v-shape, 45 degree angle*
"This is how my laptop is with the seat leaning so far back, so I can't really used it."
I wait, thinking she'll feel guilty.
While I wait, I'm thinking about how I never recline so as not to inconvenience anyone. How I'm not reclining now, even though it would allow my screen to be at right angles to my keyboard and visible. About how that is supposed to be her seat behind me - the last row on the plane except she moved to the empty one in front of me - and I would never have subjected her to that.
And she doesn't adjust.
I want to kick the seat. I want to push against her back with my laptop. I stare at her stupid head and imagine how she is unloved since she has an attitude like this.
People think the quiet ones, the respectful ones, are weak. They should read my mind at that moment. While I write this in Notepad, in my tiny wedge of a laptop, 36,000' over northern California, a downloaded CSI is playing in my windows media player. Marg Helgenberger is recreating a murder, asking her team to whack the head of a cadaver repeatedly with a lead pipe. Blood spray is everywhere. The scenes effects are very LSD/surreal. It's horrible and fascinating all at once.
Thank whatever you believe in, seat 19A, that I'm a quiet girl.
[epilogue: I landed a few hours ago. ROL made it to baggage claim, declaring to the general public around her that she didn't know where to go and would follow the herd. I knew she wasn't original.]