Perhaps, Sir, It Is You Who Needs to Grow Up
I am still so mad about this that I have to rant or explode.
I flew home yesterday from a vacation and boarded the plane just behind a couple with three young boys. They had stopped right at the front of the coach section, and I gathered there was some kind of seating snafu.
The set-up was this: The family appeared to have seats for only three of them at the very front of the coach section--the seats with no other seats in front and hence more leg room. There was a man seated on the aisle seat, which is also often a more desirable seat because of the leg room. The family had two more seats at the back of the plane. The mother said that one of the boys was non-verbal, and they seemed to be trying to find a way to sit together.
A further point worthy of note is that the boy who had been described as non-verbal was, at most, six or seven years old.
After a short discussion with the attendant, where it was determined that they couldn't swap the two seats at the back of the plane, the mother and the father decided that she would take the youngest boy to the back of the plane, and he would stay up front with the other two boys. She moved on, and the father started getting his sons settled in. After all the fuss, the non-verbal boy was crying and obviously wanting to go with his mother.
As I stood there, the man who'd been sitting in the aisle seat all this time stood up, moved to the window, and said in a very snippy tone, "Fine, here. If it gets the seating moving along." Then he added snidely, "But you're still separated, aren't you?" I gathered from this that he had been asked to move to the window seat so the family could have consecutive seats, albeit separated by the aisle, refused, and now was capitulating with a lot of ill will.
Anyway, one of the older boys sat in the seat next to Asshole of the Year, and the father tried to get the non-verbal boy into the seat next to him. Not surprisingly, the kid was still freaking out and crying and didn't want to get in the seat. The father picked him up and put him in the seat, and that was when Asshole Extreme snapped, "Oh, grow up."
It should be noted that once the family had determined that they would be unable to sit together, and Asshole had moved, it took about thirty seconds for the father to get his very distressed son in his seat and out of the way.
I said, "I'm so sorry," to the father as I sidled by on my way to my seat, and he replied, "I'm just stunned."
"Yeah, me, too," I said.
TL;DR. I get that it can be an inconvenience to adults to travel on a plane where there are also children. And I also get that people pick out seats with extra leg room for a reason and therefore like to keep them. But when you're an asshole to a little boy who is non-verbal, and whose heinous crime was to cause you to move your entitled ass two feet over from an aisle to a window seat, I can't help but think that the person who needs to grow up is you.
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