If I were in charge of the world, I would get rid of advanced high school math classes and instead force teenagers to take classes on how to balance a check book; how to compound interest for mortgages, Domino’s deliveries, and credit card purchases on jcrew.com; and how to navigate an airport in a considerate fashion.

The airport or plane may be practically empty.  You may have six hours until your connecting flight.  You may have been whacked with the “slow walker” gene or a torn ACL.  You may have any number of justifications for the following actions: after landing, you rise from your horrid little airplane seat, stretch, leisurely retrieve your overstuffed carryon from the overhead bins (careful, items may shift during flight), amble down the aisle and onto the jetway, where you and your oversized carryon take up the entire jetway, and then stop dead in your tracks as you enter the terminal, blocking the door, gaping at something I can’t see as I run into you from behind.  You may not be in a hurry, my friend, but I assure you, that I am in a hurry, and that I think that your reasons are selfish and do not further the world’s collective peace, and that I don’t want to be rude or hateful to you.  But.

Flying to and from Montana, regardless of destination or origin, means catching at least two flights, usually three, occasionally four, and my next flight is always three concourses and one train away from my arrival gate.  If you and your oversized carryon, meandering on the left like you’re a British tourist on an acid flashback who thinks she’s driving a car (a putt putt, at that), get in my way when I am trying to catch a flight, you are not going to be on the receiving end of my generally gushy Southern manners.  Unlike most people I’ve had a thirty second encounter with, I am not going ask about your mother, invite you to Hillstock, and tell you where the key to my house is.  While I generally won’t counter rudeness with rudeness, I know I am not the only traveler who is frustrated by this airport phenomena, so today I am using my blog as a public service announcement, a plea for civility and efficiency in the airport.

People.  Please.  For the love of everything holy and unholy, be considerate of your fellow travelers.  If you’re not in a hurry, wait to deplane.  Buy a carryon that will fit in the smallest of the overhead bins.  If you are traveling with a herd, cluster together on the right, and keep moving, one foot in front of the other, until you reach your destination.  And when I smile at you as I try to politely navigate around you, though I am yelling my excuse-me-s and running hell-for-leather in hopes of catching my flight and seeing my husband for the second time in four months, smile back at me as you step kindly to the right.  I’m sure you’re quite lovely.  You’re just in my way.

Thank you.  Serenity now.

April 17, 2010 – Sunset at Duck Lake

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