The Grand Encore | TEXAS

Seat 18E was a black hole on this gigantic airplane. The only reason I didn't break through a window, is because I knew I'd never get back home unless I conquered this thing.
I pass through first class. Somehow I always feel like a lowly nobody walking past those comfy seats with leg room and personal arm rests.
Soon I reach the alleyway of cramped seats, low ceilings and crabby travelers.
Follow the signs, follow the signs....
15. . .
16. . .
17. . .
Wait as someone fumbles with the overheard compartment.
I crane my neck to find seat 18E. . .and there it is!
Right. smack. dab. in the middle of these two guys.

Let me rewind:
I spent the night getting 0% of sleep and watching every single Lamesa sheriff and his second cousin pull into my Grandmama's driveway. Seriously, people? We aren't running a local parking garage. Way to scare the innocent inhabitants.

Although I did get a TSA pass in Midland (even if they confiscated my backpack) and my first flight wasn't delayed, I spent the whole flight to Dallas fretting about my connecting flight. See, I'd never used one of those airport tram things until then.
Yep. I have a lot to learn in life.
I was that ignorant passenger who practically fell over once the tram lights began flashing and the overheard suggested hanging on to something. Everyone kinda snickered as I groped around for a handhold (em, excuse me sir...you're like...taking up two handles and...I kinda need one...em...yeah...okay, that's my hand you're leaning on...)

Things just got worse.
I resorted to spreading out on two seats for the three hours until my next flight. Naturally, out of all the open seats in the airport, someone asked me to move. And they didn't even use the seat.
I slammed my backpack into a bathroom door on accident. And everyone kept trying to walk in on me.
The airport was freezing.
Someone yelled at me because I "broke" checked baggage rules or something.

But this. THIS was the icing on the cake.
Inwardly moaning, I approached the two strangers. I was so brave.
"Excuse me, I think that's my seat. . ."

Oh they're polite. Really nice. They let me through, offer to help me with my bag ("thanks, no, I'm sticking it under the seat.") I cram in the middle seat, all the while bemoaning my fate, tucking my hands and broken wrist in my extra-large sweatshirt sleeves (I was FREEZING!) and cradling my backpack between my feet.
Just two more hours. . .

And that's when gentleman #1 fell asleep and gentleman #2  began to talk about how airplane aisles should be organized.
he talks
and talks.
and talks.

I politely answer and try to make up coherent sentences and proper acknowledgements for who-knows-what-we're-actually-talking-about.
I'm thirsty. The 1/4 cup of free water makes me thirstier.
Living on 6 hours for sleep for two days is hard. I hoped he would get the idea that I was utterly exhausted, after I yawned for the trillionth time.
he didn't.
So, I did the most unBethanylike thing ever.
I pulled out my wrist brace and slipped it on. That stopped him talking for a moment.
I just closed my eyes between conversation topic #1,587 & #1,588 and paid him no mind.
And the gentle rocking of the plane. . .the weariness of airports and airplanes. . .the sound of the air conditioning whirring ahead. . .I'm getting sleepy . .everything is zoning out. . .

"excuse me."
"I need to get out. Can you wake up the gentleman next to you and ask him to move?"
What I actually heard was:
I'm so confused. So tired.
"I'm sorry....what did you say?"

I just wake up random strangers all the time.

Okay. Whatever.
I awkwardly turn to gentleman #1 and try to talk to him.
He's fast asleep.
Great. now what?
I finally resort to poking him on the arm (AGH!!!!!! I HATE MY LIFE!!!!) and end up startling him half to death.
We both groggily stumble out of the aisle and let the other guy out. I think gent #1 secretly hated this impertinent girl for waking him up, and I was mortified because. . .oh. just because.

I sat down and checked the time. pleeeeeaaaaase be in Wisconsin.
And people.
An hour hadn't even passed.
I sighed, pulled out the American Airlines magazine, and irritably listened as gent #2 began to talk about the Progressive Era in America. . .


  1. Oh wow. Sounds like a crazy flight! It didn't help that you were dead tired I'm sure. But yeah. Some people don't know how to NOT talk. Sorry girl. :/

  2. L-O-l!!! Sounds so much like me!!!!

  3. Haha Bethany your blog is always fun to look at, you could write book with the way you write.

  4. Oops, that comment was mine. Elisabeth Michael

  5. Bahahahahaha!!!! This is the most ridiculous thing EVER. :D

    I'm amazed the kind of person you become when you're tired. ;)

  6. Sounds almost life threating Bethany!!!

  7. Ahaaaaa! So sorry for your awful airport experiences....but that made one of the best stories I've heard yet! Good job on turning lemons into lemonade.

  8. Sounds like an exciting trip home!! Glad you survived; can't wait to see you again =)
    Hannah Piotraschke


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Maira Gall