For a little travel humor, I share a story that I secretly typed as it happened. It felt like the longest three-and-a-half-hour flight ever, because my seatmate talked this entire time. This is my story.
The most ridiculous flight ever.
I got to LAX early. It was one of those times that you leave work on time or even a little early and you get to the airport super fast, but you know that if you had left at normal time you would have missed your flight, of course. So I had about an hour and a half to burn before we boarded.
I proceeded to bust out my laptop and get to work. I was actually super productive and feeling good. With about 15 minutes until boarding, after the family that was sitting by me departed, Chatty sat down. She lets out a huge sigh and a laugh all while looking at me. Almost expecting me to start a full-fledged conversation. I let out a chuckle, a knowing look, a few words, and tried to finish up my last task before we had to board.
Soon, we are boarding. Chatty is…well… chatting with everyone in the boarding area. She is just all over the place. It was at that moment that I said a silent prayer to the Lord that she not be sitting by me on the plane. An earnest and sincere, but quick little prayer.
God has a sense of humor.
From the moment she took the middle seat right by me, she was chatting. Trying to chat with me, chatting with people two rows up. Just chatting. I am a person who sleeps on planes, and I just couldn’t handle it. So I got back into the aisle, held the whole plane up, and grabbed headphones out of my carryon. I was going to need them.
But then, a blessing and a curse came my way. Chatty found her soulmate, in the aisle seat of our row. Chatty now had Little Chatty sitting on the other side of her. Super, I was off the hook. I called my dad to recount the events, and he laughed. Hard.
Chatty and Little were fast friends. They started talking about luxury goods. Hermes and Chanel and Louis, oh my. Chatty is showing Little her Chanel wallet. And another piece she had in the oversized bag at her feet. They are discussing Little’s Hermes bracelet. Fun times.
I had put in my headphones with no sound long ago. But I could still hear them talking away. So I turned on some music. At some point, I fell asleep. Not a deep sleep. Like a sleep where you can hear people chatting in the background. Yep, that’s right, I could hear Chatty and Little Chatty over the music and in my sleep.
Juice time, yay. Now Chatty Squared are talking about their phones and how Chatty loves her Samsung and how Little is nervous about the iPhone 6S. Little Chatty reveals that her mom pays her cell phone. To be clear, she has a Hermes bracelet, Chanel wallets and bag, and mommy is paying AT&T.
I didn’t get much sleep from there on out. I pretended to sleep while catching random bits and pieces from the conversation beside me. The Pope, property in London, travels to Africa, places they used to live, cell phones, how to get the interactive map to work. It was actually a feat of nature just to try to keep up with their truly amazing stream of consciousness.
The Turning Point
As we enter hour four of conversation, it starts to get messy. Down to the last 45 minutes of the flight.
Chatty starts talking about her divorce. Chatty chats.
Then Chatty breaks down…
Man down! Man down! Chatty is sobbing. Like hands over her face, trying to hold back tears and collecting herself. And I am trying to act like I don’t notice. Little is trying to console her.
But Chatty pulls through with a (through tears), “No, no, I’m over it, it’s just so hard…” And keeps going on about 17 other subjects for the last 45 minutes. And I was dumbfounded, wondering, “Wait…what just happened???”
Now mind you, it is rare that I am at a loss of words. I can be very talkative. But I am having a serious internal conversation with myself at this point. “How can one person talk so much?” “Isn’t her mouth tired?” “How has she not lost her voice?” “Does her brain hurt?” “This is remarkable.”
They ended the flight on the subject of Taco Bell, and the amazingness of their advertising and the wretched quality of their food but how they eat it anyway. I am trying not to laugh because I’m not supposed to be listening. Little Chatty imparts some words of wisdom about loving food in LA. “I feel bad eating food in LA! Like I feel judged. But if you cut out gluten and dairy, then what is there to live for? You have no joy!” Little dropped some real-talk truth on us as I turned towards the window and covered my mouth to hide my laughter (again, because I wasn’t listening).
I am typing this on the plane. I don’t even know what else to say. But I can say that I have never—NEVER—seen two people literally talk for three and a half hours straight until this moment. And I hope to never have to endure it again.