I did not want to taint my retreat story with this observation so I decided to wait until tonight to post it.
When I flew home Sunday, I was the first in my row to board the plane. Unfortunately I had a center seat which is never my favorite. I was just getting settled when a young woman turned into the row and said “I am sitting here and you need to move, you are overflowing into my seat.”
Coming from a very relaxed and zen state of mind, this threw me off. It seems the corner of my unzipped jacket was touching her seat as I put my overnight case under the seat in front of me. I moved my jacket as she slammed down the armrest perhaps to serve as a barrier.
Within a few minutes, a woman somewhat older than I stopped and indicated she was seated in the window seat. We stood to let her take her seat. She was similarly brusk.
The flight was completely booked so space in the overhead compartment was limited. Two people tried to rearrange the small backpacks these women had in the overhead bin to which both these women became very irate about not touching their bags. Voices were raised, the young woman telling people to shut up and the older woman also raising her voice to anyone who touched her bag.
I will not go into the detail of the verbal exchange, but the behavior was uncalled for on both their accounts. I donned my noise cancelling headphones and watched Netflix for the duration of the flight as the passengers around us rolled their eyes in disbelief.
I find this type of behavior unnerving. After returning from a retreat where women dig deep to get to know each other and go out of their way to help each other, seeing two women behave in such a way was certainly disconcerting.
Why must people be so rude? What is the cause of the chip they wear on their shoulder. I think they could use a retreat, but I do not think either could lower their defenses long enough to make any progress.
All I kept thinking is that the young woman on my left would most likely grow into the older woman on my right. What a miserable way to go through life.