Anyone who has spent more than a few hours with me knows that I have a tendency to become really hangry. I don’t mean mildly unpleasant, I mean up-in-your-face bitchy. Some believe the Snickers commercials are based on me. Some might be right.
What most people don’t know that I am possibly worse when I’m tired. The recommendation is for grown-ups to sleep 7-8 hours each night, and I promise you, you won’t like me if I don’t get at least that! I don’t take naps during the day unless I have a fewer or a similar level of illness. If I tell people why I say I just never really did – at least not like since I was two – but the real reason is that I am very unpleasant when I get up after a nap. I didn’t nap in the army even. I know my limits very well.
As you might be able to imagine this can turn into a rather unpleasant situation when I travel across time zones, which it mostly isn’t for some reason. But when I get seated next to the Dutch family from hell on my flight from New York to Amsterdam it is more due to luck than anything else that they are all still breathing.
First of all, I have to defend myself because I really do try to not get so hungry that I bite the head of people (figuratively). I try to sleep for my abnormally high required amount of hours every night. Sometimes it is just out of my hands.
What I really want to tell you about is the most trying plane ride I have ever been on. First of all it took ages to get to the airport in NY because of Subway track work. Second I just don’t particularly enjoy spending time crammed together with strangers (strangers are always idiots), so when I realised that the 8 person family with two small kids was sitting right next to me, in front of me and behind me, I was far from pleased. I gave it a go though. Stupid. Naive. Not happening.
I sat next to a woman right around my own age – after she switched seats with her dad who apparently felt that sitting next to me was a bad idea – and I was temporarily in a good mood. Then it began. The 6-7 year old in the seat in front of me began to throw herself backwards into the seat. Yes. She actually did this. I watched my movie and tried my hardest to ignore her. The parents got up, sat down, got up, sat down, got up, sat down… and… so… on…
The worst part though – they would not stop talking. They yapped on about absolutely nothing of importance. When one of them shut up someone else found something to yap about. I was so over them.
I took matters into my own hands – no I didn’t yell at them – I got my iPod out and went to my happy place – ADELE! I shut my eyes and tried my absolute hardest to relax. The lights were out in the cabin and everything should be bliss, but for another few hours the bitch next to me continued to watch every available movie with her screen as bright as it could go. When she finally turned it off to relax a bit, her mother, who sat behind her, decided to have her reading light on and then stand up every 10-15 minutes – IN-HER-SEAT. She just stood there. Even with my eyes closed I could feel it. I could also see it as the reading light reflected into whatever she was holding in her hands and straight into my face.
So the seven hours from New York to Amsterdam felt pretty much like 17 and it was an eternal struggle to not get up and shout:
“Do you ever shut the fuck up?!”
But after all I have some concern for the passengers around me. That family just better cross their fingers they will never meet me again because I will not be as nice as I was a second time.
This was my trip. Because of this very annoying Dutch family I had not slept for 33 hours when I went to bed on Sunday. I now don’t have jetlag, I am just sleep deprived. I better not end up in Tulsa because I fall asleep during a meeting at work.