When reading other people’s blogs I have often thought of them as self indulgent and arrogant. I don’t know that mine will be different. I started thinking what do I have to offer people that would be of any interest. Besides my upcoming travels to Amsterdam what is it that would make people be interested in what I have to say? What is it about me that is different? Uhh, the obvious thing is, as Bob Goen said over and over again on Entertainment Tonight about me, “…and she weighs over 300 pounds!!” Yes, I do. It isn’t that miraculous actually. Honestly, I have lived a pretty charmed life. Sure I am big but it really hasn’t stopped me…except when it has. There are things that smaller people never consider and if they do they don’t consider the magnitude of how it would affect someone larger. For example, airplane bathrooms are very small. Most people find them to be uncomfortable and cramped. For me, it is like I am the last sardine in the can, so-to-speak. Other common considerations in life are restaurant booths, armed chairs, the dentist chair, movie theatre seats, life jackets, roller coasters and my favorite – seat belts. (Remind me and I will tell the story of the Torrance police officer who pulled me over for not wearing my seat belt years ago…)
While I am excited about this trip to Amsterdam, to see my sister and my BIL, there is for me a level of apprehension and fear (more than the plane falling out of the sky but I have drugs for that.) You know that feeling when you are all settled in your seat on the airplane and you see the fat girl squeezing down the aisle trying not to hip check any of the passengers she is walking by and you cringe knowing she is going to try and climb over you and squeeze into the seat next to you undoubtedly ooozing some of her copious flesh onto your seat, or leg, or arm? Well, I’m her. Believe me, I certainly don’t want to disturb your travels or make your flight any more uncomfortable than it is. I have in the past bought two seats so as to not disturb anyone. When I fly with my husband, he doesn’t care that I need a bit of his seat. But for a stranger it is uncomfortable. Believe me, I know.
With the airplane seat issue it raises the question of whether or not I am buying a seat to my destination or am I purchasing passage. There have been a lot of ugly fights in the media about this issue. People have found themselves at a midway point in their trip when suddenly a gate agent decides they must purchase an additional seat to finish the last leg of their trip. The rules are rather discretionary. So, a big guy flying from LAX to JFK with a stop in Chicago may have no problem getting on the first leg of his flights. He asks for a seatbelt extender and luckily there is an empty middle seat next to him so no one says a word to him. He flies in comfort to Chicago. He gets off the plane in Chicago and races to his next gate. When he arrives and attempts to check in for the 2nd leg of his trip to JFK, the gate agent informs him he must buy a second seat on the plane because the flight is full. If he doesn’t he can’t carry on to his destination. But you see, this is an error in logic. If the flight is full there shouldn’t be an additional seat to purchase. Ostensibly, he should be stuck in Chicago until there is a flight that has empty seats. Should he then be forced to purchase an additional seat on a flight with empty seats? I know when I have purchased two tickets to a destination I was told that if the flight had empty seats they would refund my money for the additional seat purchased. I don’t know the answer to these questions. Bigger seats all around? Bigger seats for larger people? What about seats with legroom for taller people? What about a sound proof area for those flying with small children? Obviously, the airline is a business. They have the right to run their business as they choose. I also understand an average sized person who already feels cramped in their seat doesn’t want to feel infringed upon by someone else using up what little personal space they have. It’s a conundrum. One that I am going to face over the next couple of days and then again in two weeks. While I doubt I will come up with a solution for this situation that affects all travellers in one way or another it will definitely be an interesting time. I will keep you all posted.