Late on Monday night, my flight landed at SFO. I was returning from a short trip to Washington, DC, to visit friends and family, and at what felt like 1 a.m. to my Eastern Standard Time-oriented body, I just wanted to get home.
The flight hadn't been an easy one. There was a large high school girls sports team seated around me (at least, that's what I was pretty sure they were), and the girls talked loudly and jumped up and down to visit each other during the flight, pulling on my chair every time.
When I started to get annoyed, I reminded myself they were just acting like high school kids do, and they weren't doing anything mean-spirited or explicitly rude.
I was seated next to a family with small boys who wiggled around, poked me and kicked the seat in front of them energetically.
When I started to get annoyed, I reminded myself that they were bored and tired, they were just acting like kids and their parents were doing a pretty good job of keeping their behavior in line. I also reminded myself that I'll soon have a screaming infant who will likely bother every other passenger on his first flight.
There was a lot of turbulence, and when the plane bumped up and down and the captain repeatedly had the flight attendants return to their seats, the high school girls threw their arms in the air, called to each other and made crazy faces.
I reminded myself that we were just going over "road bumps in the sky" and there was no need for me to hold my breath and clutch the armrest because we were perfectly safe.
It was when we landed and were waiting to leave the plane that grumpiness seemed to take over—not me, but another passenger.
I was seated on the aisle seat in the third to last row, blocking in half of the young family, the father and one of his sons. Even though we'd landed ahead of schedule, the father was concerned about making a connecting flight and insisted that I stand up in the aisle rather than wait in my seat as I usually do until the rows before me have cleared.
As I stood there—not moving, of course, while we waited for the passengers ahead of us to begin to exit—the girls were talking loudly around us. I wasn't paying attention to their conversation so I don't know what was said, but the father suddenly seemed to lose his cool.
"Can you watch your mouth?" he said. "Do you ever think about anybody else or only yourself?"
As I say, I didn't hear what the girls said, but for the purposes of argument, let's assume that they were cursing. Was the father right to ask them to watch their language? Could he have done it more courteously or was he appropriately direct with them?
I have my own opinion, but I'd like to hear yours first before I share it. Let me know what you think in the comments, and after a few come in, I'll let you know what I think.
For the record, one of the girls apologized briefly, and everyone stood in awkward silence until we could get off the plane.
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