Christina Mead

Don’t Sit So Close to Me

One of the things I hate about flying is the discomfort and awkwardness of sitting very close to a stranger for 4 or more hours (the typical length of one of my flights).

I'm an introvert, but I'm not anti-social. I like talking, but I hate small talk … which is what plane conversations often are. (For me, at least)

It's my luck to always get stuck next to: the creepy, flirty man; the smoker or perfume over-doser who gives me a headache; chatty Cathy who ignores the book in my lap; and many others who have left me with the opinion that I'd rather sit alone.

I often fly on a certain airline where you can pick your own seat. So in order to avoid people picking the seat next to me, I came up with a list.

My hope is that if I do one of these things, it results in me sitting next to big, fat, nobody!

  • Read a large newspaper
  • “Accidentally” spill coffee on the seat next to me
  • Cry
  • Sneeze repetitively and blow my nose
  • Bring a child
  • Gain a large amount of weight
  • Look angry
  • Vomit
  • Paint my nails
  • Eat potent food (like Chinese or fish)
  • Creatively combine any of the above mentioned

This may seem extreme, but so is my discomfort.

I had to have a serious talk with myself yesterday after I came up with this list. How am I supposed to be Christ's hands and feet in this world, to show His love, and spread joy, if I'm too busy keeping strangers away from me! I mean, gosh, all my best friends were strangers at one point.

So . . . I hear-by promise (as tempting as it is) to not angrily eat Chinese and spill nail polish on the airplane seat. I will smile, make small talk, and act with love.

Some people are able to strike up a conversation with their flight neighbor. I've known people who can even evangelize successfully on a plane. That's not my battle though. Mine is simply to let Christ love on the world through my smile, kindness, and invitation to 'go ahead, sit here if you'd like.'

Christina Mead

About the Author

I'm just striving for sainthood through lots of imperfect ways. I daydream about heaven, where I want to be the patron saint of lifeguards. I think I might paint my nails just so I can pick it off. I wrote a book about Mary and what she taught us about being a Catholic girl. It's called "That One Girl" and I think you'd like it! You can email me at [email protected], or follow me on Twitter @LT_Christina.