It’s My Space

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Flying back from San Diego was pretty good. I had a direct flight and that is always nice. The problem was, once again, the person sitting beside me couldn’t stay in their space.

I sat at the back of the plane and there was an empty middle seat right until the last minute, when a group of Muslim Clerics (like I know how to spot a Muslim Cleric) came on board. There were about 8 of them, mostly pretty big. I got super lucky when a very small fellow pointed to the empty seat beside me.

I was sitting at the window and right after the isle guy moved, this guy plops down in the middle seat and immediately, nearly aggressively, take over both of the arm rests. That kind of bugged me, but I was planning on sleeping the whole flight and was going to be leaning against the window, so that was fine. I was hoping to support my bad arm on the armrest some, but didn’t really worry much about it at the time.

But, nearly as soon as we took off, this guy’s arm keep getting further and further into my space. Pretty soon it was like 4 inches over. I was already crunched over pretty well, but it was nearly impossible not to touch. So, I decided to just move a few times slightly, just brushing up against the guy’s arm, hoping that he would realize he was in “my area”. Nope. Didn’t work. I tried it a couple more times with a little more pressure, but he didn’t budge.

The flight is a little over 3 hours and about 1/2 way my shoulder started hurting from being cramped up in the corner of my seat. There wasn’t a position that I could get into to relieve the pain. I’m not sure why I just didn’t ask the guy to try to keep all his body parts in his seat. I wouldn’t have worded it that way, but that is what I wanted. I think the reason was because it was so obvious that he was in my area and that it would be rude, after such a long time, to ask him to self contain.

Maybe it was a guy thing and the little guy wanted to show he was the alpha male or something. I’m not sure. And maybe I was more riled up because it was a man. If it would have been a woman, or let’s take it to the extreme, a fashion model, I maybe wouldn’t have be so pissed that she was in my area. I still would have been uncomfortable, but I don’t think I would have felt like my personal area had been so invaded.

It is sort of weird that there is only one armrest for two people to share. This guy wasn’t much of a sharer. It seems like there should be two armrests for each seat. It is probably just a space deal. It seems like that they are jamming more seats into each plane every time I fly.

Now that it’s over, it doesn’t matter much. It gave me a bunch to ponder over and really there was no harm done. Human interactions always entertain me. I don’t necessarily have to be in the situation, to find it interesting, but when I am, and don’t react as I think I might, it is interesting, entertaining, and somewhat amusing too.

This is how it started and it keep getting further and further over on my side.

This is how it started and it keep getting further and further over on my side.

All these guys were dressed the same.  Any ideas about what the deal is?

All these guys were dressed the same. Any ideas about what the deal is?

18 thoughts on “It’s My Space

  1. jim sully

    Sikhs wear these style turbans…
    In a fkd up way, ya almost got off lucky…Many times there can be a lack of deodorant associated w certain cultures….

  2. Steve Wathke

    Did you check under that turbin to see if he was packing? You say he was the smaller guy but he stil looks kinda big to me. I love how you snapped a photo of him. How do you get away with that without getting caught. You should’ve just done the school bus trick and put your legs across his seat before he sat down and said it was taken. 🙂 Must be southwest.

  3. Blaine

    I’ll bet if he had been on a bicycle and he had stuck his arm in your space you would have persuaded him to do otherwise?

  4. Brad Thompson

    Father Time- its pretty much the unspoken rule that the guy who gets ‘stuck’ in the middle get the armrests. It’s bad form on his part to creep but most cats named Singh are like honey badgers.

  5. Wildcat

    Next time tell him, “Excuse me sir, but I have a contagous skin disease and need full use of the arm rest or I will suffer a severe breakout – thank you!”.

  6. Scott

    They are Sikhs and are from either India or Pakistan originally. Several Sikhs were shot last year in Northern California because someone thought they were the same as Muslims, not that there is anything wrong with being Muslim. Sikhs are generally very kind and peaceful, although it appears to be a very common cultural thing with Indians and Pakistanis that they invade personal space without much concern. Working in engineering I run across quite a wide range of cultures and you find pretty quick certain cultural issues that can be rather annoying, especially when it comes to personal space and hygiene. Wish the airlines would quit making seats smaller and smaller, even when you are a normal size person it is pretty cramped.

  7. K

    Wow, passive aggressive much? Just say you have an injured shoulder and you need to support it a little. People are pretty understanding if you give them a chance.

  8. seis_pendejos

    K, if people are so understanding, why can’t they figure out how not to be intrusive in the first place? It’s not like this is an anomaly.

  9. KevinK

    That is why I travel with a laptop. Prop it up lengthwise between you and the armrest Creates a barrier at the edge of the armrest. You lose 3/4 inch of seat, but it keeps the seatmate from coming over any further than the armrest.

    That would have driven me CRAZY. I hate touching other people on a plane.

  10. DB

    I learned the same as Scott, that Sikh are a generally kind and peaceful people, unfortunately when their was a mass shooting at a Sikh temple here in Wisconsin last summer. I also learned that Sikh is accurately pronounced “sick” not the more commonly heard “seek”.

    That said, when on a plane I’ll generally put the armrest up until the person next to me gets to their seat then put it down after they are seated and establish an equitable amount of space.

  11. Bill K

    Shoulda kinda rubbed his arm to get his attention, and then asked him “Do you like movies about Gladiators , Huh”?………Ever been in a Turkish Prison?

    You’d get your space back, real quick…….(unless he did like movies about Gladiators)

  12. mike crum

    sounds like you’re a pushover.. this happened a few times already on your flights. instead of typing 10 paragraphs on your blog about it, just man up and ask the guy to please share the space.. not hard at all..

  13. Mike Rodose

    This swarthy lumberjack keeps a towel nearby at all times. Smart move. I imagine his lumberjacking duties are incredibly sweaty and tiring. Probably just finished a long week in the woods. This aging Paul Bunyan should get both armrests, especially in middle seat.


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