An airplane flight contains within it all the worst parts of dating/relationships without ANY of the perks.
In the last couple of days, I’ve been in the following situations – and no, these weren’t dates. With the luck I’ve been having lately, I can see how they’d sound awfully similar, but…no. Had they been, at the very least I could’ve escaped with my Early Dismissal Program. But as it was, I was stuck – enduring all the most disadvantageous pieces of monogamy with none of the sweet reward.
I sat next to one gentleman who apparently didn’t “believe” in deodorant and kept insisting on reaching up and over me to adjust his air vent. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, his breath smelled like a series of dry heaves, viciously invading my olfactory space. Yummy.
Then, there was the guy who “needed something from his pocket,” and as he fished around in a pair of pants inexplicably squeezed onto his portly shape, his fingers uncomfortably caressed and harassed my hip and thigh. Nice.
On the next flight was a girl who played her music annoyingly loudly, but her angry facial expressions, front neck tattoo and multiple facial piercings made me nervous to confront her about it. And I ended my aviation adventure with the man next to me snoring in my ear. Now, I’m not up on the etiquette in this situation, but if we were in a relationship, you can bet your sweet bippy I’d be (lovingly, of course) elbowing him in the ribs to roll over and hush.
When you fly, you’re forced into close quarters with all kinds of miserable humanity, and without so much as a possibility of a snuggle or a kiss. I’ve sat closer, smelled more Axe cologne and Walgreens hair gel, felt more skin-to-skin contact and heard more heavy breathing in my latest flying mates than I have in all of my most recent dates. So…why not parlay this inevitably awkward situation into an opportunity? Here’s what I’d like to see happen:
Speed Dating flights.
Yup. If I have to suffer the travails of proximity to these lower life forms, then I say we turn it on its head and make it work FOR me. And other singles. But, mostly me.
It’s a perfect set-up. You already have the environment to cultivate relationship building and getting to know each other. All that would need to happen is someone to come in and organize the existing chaos. I’m happy to be that girl. So, be sure your seat backs are in their upright position and any pessimism is stowed away… Here’s how it’ll work:
You’d pay a small extra fee to be put on a Speed Dating Flight. Of course, flights would be segregated by ages – 20-somethings, 30-somethings and so on. We’ll use planes with the two seats on either side of the aisle layout and put the women in the window seats. Men will sit on the aisle and every 5 minutes, your friendly airline host will come over the loud speaker and instruct the men to move. Every man will move back ONE row and sit in the seat behind where he just was. And the two guys in the back will come to the front row.
This is everything you want in speed dating AND air travel. Think about it:
- No crying babies or annoying preteens.
- No having to guess if that cute guy you’ve been tracking stalking ’noticing’ since gate E5 is, in fact, on the market or not. So WHAT if he got a whole wheat bagel and a yogurt/fruit parfait at “Taste of Atlanta,” he’s sporting a dreamy MacPro in a weathered leather satchel, and you definitely heard hand-washing after he used the restroom…he COULD still be taken.
- There’s already a bartender/server coming around bringing you drinks and snacks. It may not be wine flights from Crü, but a CranApple/Diet Sprite combo, served in a tiny cup filled mostly with ice, can really help take the edge off.
- You get to devote time to dating that doesn’t take away from your life. You’re multi-tasking with a necessary domestic trip, so you have nothing to lose. If none of the guys work out, you’ve at least passed the time in an entertaining way, en route to PowerPoint presentations and stale Chai lattes.
- You already have a seat-back tray table to use for jotting down notes.
- You have built in conversational material as you ask each other about where you’re flying and why. If that runs stale in the first minute, you’ve got in-flight Sudoku puzzles and SkyMall to peruse together. You can even feel free to use the Crossword at the back of the airline magazine to determine his intelligence level. “No, I’m sorry ‘Tate,’ but 3-down’s four-letter “therefore” is not “Eggo.” Thanks for stopping by.
- If you ARE seated next to a loser, don’t despair! He’s moving in less than 5 minutes!
Ultimately, we’re just killing two birds with one mechanical bird. You’ve got to fly to Newark for business ANYWAY… so why not rack up a few dates and digits as you soar to your destination?
And you know the airlines would have a heyday with this idea. Maybe they’ll even offer incentive programs where, for every name/number you request, you earn valuable frequent flyer reward points! I’m just spitballing here, but this idea has got some teeth. I can hear the flight attendants now…(and please – for the love of all that is literarily snarky – please read the following in a subtle, yet noticeably nasal and personally detached internal voice):
“Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome aboard flight 5683, with service to engaging banter, and continued service to true love. Be certain you have stowed all sensitive topics under the seat in front of you. Heavier conversations about exes and lists of dealbreakers should be placed in the overhead bin, and please do not delve into them as emotions may shift in flight. All narcissistic, self-absorbed discussion should now be turned off as it may interfere with your partner’s internal relational navigation systems.
If you are seated in a speed-dating seat, you must be able to demonstrate a modicum of cleverness and charm, without causing harm to yourself or others. Men acting like teenage boys may not sit in a dating seat. If you are seated in a dating seat and do not meet these requirements, please notify a flight attendant at this time.
Cellular phones and other approved electronic devices may only be used to settle playful bets or show photos of your adorable dog/cat/child/ferret/prize-winning okra. Smoking is not allowed on any flight or in any situation where you think you MAY give/receive a smooch.
To fasten your image in your current partner’s mind, place the most witty banter firmly into her memory, using interesting stories and clever jokes/entendres. To release, simply use crude boy humor. For your safety, we require that you not use words like “booyah” or “boobies.” Federal regulations require you to never discuss body part sizes or try out cheesy come-on lines.
We appreciate your business. We know you have options for your airline dating needs, so we thank you for choosing Affection Airlines.”