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
- Sneeze repetitively and blow my nose
- Bring a child
- Gain a large amount of weight
- Look angry
- 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.'