Monday, July 4, 2011

Nuisance Nurturing

As soon as my plane taxied away from the gate a few mornings ago, I started to hear a sucking, smacking noise every 15-20 seconds. I assumed something was wrong with the plane. I had just spent several minutes trying to get the fan above my seat to stop spewing bits of water crystals onto my head - who knew what other halfhearted health and safety inspections this Express Jet had recently sailed its way through? I turned around expecting to see the bathroom door about to fall off its hinges, only to discover that the racket was created by the passenger sitting behind me who was kissing her infant lap child’s head.

She’s the first to have taught me that nonsexual kissing can be this loud and last for so long - in public and in close quarters. Would the baby – who slept through most of the flight - have felt less unconditionally loved if the kisses coming at him several times a minute were a decibel level lower? Most of the other passengers around us were fast asleep too. I was completely on my own and still uncaffeinated.

The third time I turned around, the eye contact we made was so meaningful that I thought an understanding had been wordlessly brokered. But the moment I turned back to face forward, the kisses became louder and more frequent.

All the noise she was making eventually woke the baby up. The sound of his scream-crying was far preferable to the sound of the scream-kissing, and I finally had some peace.


  1. Heehee! I, in the past, now, and forever refuse to LOL, but this one had me visualizing your "look" at the ever-loving mom and it's pretty darn funny! My only airline passenger story that I can hold up against this one is the elderly woman in the window seat right in front of me who sang "How Great Thou Art" as she fingered her rosaries and stared out the window through the entire three hour flight. Important was my first ever flight and I was excited but nervous, but she had the effect of making me feel that I really had my stuff together.

  2. You are so ever funny. I can totally picture you and the lady meeting each others' eyes. Baby screaming...never thought that would make you calm. But it works for you. Whatever works. Enjoyed your flying experience.

  3. I especially liked the part about how the explosive kisses woke up the baby! Now the foolish mom got to suffer--with a baby's screams straight to the eardrums! There's some sort of poetic justice there.