I would like to be a person who is filled with grace. I would. I would like to be a person who doesn't get angry or sarcastic, one who frequently sees the good in people rather than the annoying characteristics that get on my nerves.
I would LIKE to the that person. Sadly, I rarely manage it.
For example, I did not manage it on Wednesday, when I was on a plane with several screaming and or/whimpering children.
I did not manage it when the woman seated across the aisle from me began to complain about said children.
"Here we go," she said, and rolled her eyes. "Thank GAWD those kids are all the way in the back of the plane. I don't think people should fly if their kids are going to do that. I mean, REALLY."
I was instantly mad at her. INSTANTLY.
"I don't have children," I said to her. I was pleasant. I even smiled, despite the fact that I was seething at her ridiculous entitlement. "But I don't particularly care to fly either. It's uncomfortable. It's loud. It's confining. Wouldn't you say?"
"Yes, and it's made worse by the screaming," she said.
"At least you and I have the words to express that we're uncomfortable, right?"
"Right," she said.
"You do know that babies and toddlers have limited vocabularies, right? They don't know how to communicate that they are uncomfortable or scared or sad. So they cry. That's all they've got."
She said nothing. Which was unfortunate, because when I'm on a roll, you should probably try to stop me.
"And you know what else? Their parents KNOW that you're up here complaining. They know that people looking at them and rolling their eyes and cursing them for being on this plane. It's not fun for them either because now they have an unhappy child AND they're embarassed and uncomfortable. You know what would be awesome? If instead of complaining, you offered them some sympathy. Because if you were in their seats? You would want that, so you can focus on your stressed out baby rather than the ridiculousness that other adults are offering you."
She looked furious and picked up her magazine. I put my headphones on and tried to find my better self, the one who doesn't tell off complete strangers on JetBlue flights. She was probably in there somewhere.
At any rate, we landed and I walked to the baggage claim. As I stood, waiting, a man tapped me on the back. "Excuse me miss," he said.
"I heard what you said on the plane."
"Oh," I said. "I don't usually --"
"One of those little ones was my grandson," he said. "So, thanks."
Maybe there's a place in the world for the occasionally cranky, outspoken nut after all.