* Seatmate of the Year

* Full disclosure: I omitted the word “Worst” here.

Last time I told you about attending our son Eric’s Change of Command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Olympia, Washington. I mentioned we barely got there on time because the ceremony was moved 20 hours earlier than originally scheduled.

But I didn’t mention all the tiny disasters that plagued me through the whole air-travel experience…

It all started at the airport, where we got to go through the PreCheck line. Not having to remove shoes and jackets and computers? It’s great!

Until you set off alarms at the metal detector.

The black pumps I was wearing because I didn’t think I’d have time to change clothes and shoes, so I wore my dressy outfit on the plane? Turns out they have metal shanks, so I had to back up and put them on the conveyor thing to be x-rayed.

Fine. No big deal, not worth making a big drama out of it. Call it “The Shoeshank Redemption.”

Once safely on the plane, everything went well for the first couple of hours. I worked a couple of Sudoku puzzles and caught up on some reading.

Then Brent went to the restroom. While he was up, I might as well make the trip too. The man on the aisle cheerfully let us by, also making a restroom trip somewhere in there.

When I got back to our row, the patient gentleman got back up to let me sit down. So far, so good, right?

Settling in, I reached to brush my hair back off my neck.. and felt the hoop earring in my right ear come loose. It has a clasp, but its hold is pretty casual.

earring“Uh-oh, my earring came off!” A quick pat-down of the seat came up empty. I just knew the earring had fallen down inside my top. Since I had a layering cami underneath, I didn’t mind looking down inside, then frisking myself… until I realized how it must look.

Bending forward into the three inches of space between my seat and the one in front, I diverted my attention to the floor.

Aisle Guy got up again and pulled up his seat cushion to look down between the seats. Nothing.

Finally I said, “Well, I give up.” I’d just go to Eric’s ceremony looking like a pirate in a black skirt and pumps. There was always the chance we’d find the earring when we landed.

We all sat back down and I felt around for my seat belt, which seemed to be hiding. As I poked along the very back of my seat below my tailbone, my fingers brushed over a smooth metal object.

“Got it!” I held the earring up triumphantly. “I was sitting on it the whole time!”

Now, to fasten my seat belt… if only I could find it… I shimmied around, reaching between the seats again. Aisle Guy got up one more time. This time we both pulled up our seat cushions.

There, the buckle end of my seat belt had fallen underneath the seats in the midst of earring maneuvers, and become tangled in Aisle Guy’s headphone cord.

Aisle Guy looked me in the eye. “You’re a real pain in the neck,” he said.

Detecting what I hoped was a twinkle in his eye, I brightened. “Do I get the ‘Worst Seatmate of the Year’ Award?”

He grinned. We sat. He buckled up.

I slid my hands to the ends of both seat belt straps to connect them.

In each hand I held a buckle.
Identical buckles.
The flappy end.
No insert.

You’re losing it, Jan.

A quick glance at Aisle Guy… then I decided to turn to Brent. I mean, why push it?

“Is your seat belt fastened?” I asked, hoping not.


>Whew!< I fished some more on Brent's side of me, and there was the insert half of my belt.

You gotta know I buckled that baby up, before any more mysterious disappearances could occur.

Your turn! How does air travel go for you? Smooth sailing, no glitches… ever? Oh come on, you can confess in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

Thanks for reading!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
This entry was posted in I Remember When... (my OWN stories) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to * Seatmate of the Year

  1. Jeannine Johnson says:

    Love these stories, remind me not to set next to you on a plane.
    Love Mom


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