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How Not To Be Creepy on an Airplane

02/28/2012

I really am trying to be a more enlightened human being, at least most of the time and especially while sober, and the part of me who wants that feels wrong about what I am about to do, which is to post about how not to be creepy.  This decreases my chances of being an A List Blogger or write a guest post on Daily Brainstorm, but I’m okay with that. When I wrote this post title I began to think I could create a whole How Not to Be Creepy series. How Not to Be Creepy at the Store, at the Mall, at the Movie Theater. This could potentially develop into my website, hownottobecreepy.com. So I googled my name to see if it’s taken. And guess what? Here it is: http://dontbecreepy.com/

Anyway, here goes. Maybe I’ll guest post over there at dontbecreepy instead.  

How Not to Be Creepy on a Plane 

1. Don’t ask a mom if you can sit in the empty seat next to her and her small child using this line: “Can I sit here, I like children…”  Especially if you are a middle-aged man smiling too exuberantly for airlplane travel and carrying nothing to read. This to me is a bad sign. A person sits next to you carrying nothing, plugged into nothing, and they are not sleeping: this means they want to TALK. Sometimes that is good. In creepy guy’s case, that is not so good. 

2. Okay, fine, if you must, introduce yourself to my kid. But don’t ask if you can name his new, unnamed stuffed panda. That’s just weird. I don’t ask if I can name your dog or your boat or your car because I DON’T KNOW YOU, STRANGER. Kids don’t know what to do with that kind of request, and later their paranoid mom will cite you as an example of how the-type-of-strangers-who-make-you-feel-weird-and-should-be-avoided-and-perhaps-kicked-in-the-ding-ding-on-the-way-out  act and warn their child to stay away from dudes like you. Is that what you want? 

3. When making small talk, it’s okay to say, “Are you going home or visiting someone?” Perfectly acceptable. Where you made your mistake, when I told you I was heading home after visiting my brother, was to ask “Do you like your sister-in-law better than you like your brother?” Now you are back in creepy land. When I say “No…” don’t push, don’t say, “Oh come on, you know you do, it’s always like that, don’t tell me you r family has no dysfunction.” Tip: most normal people don’t discuss family dysfunction with their creepy seatmate on an hour and fifteen minute flight. They save it to discuss with their siblings over wine (yay!), or they tell their therapist, or they create cryptic blog posts that may or may not reveal too much family drama. 

4.   When the 6-year old plugs into his ipod, that means he doesn’t want to talk to you about how much he misses his teacher and school (and are you crazy by the way? Do you remember being a kid at all?). Take that as a tip. You have been shut out by someone whose creep-o-meter is brand new and less jaded and cynical than average. Just saying. 

5. When the person you are talking to suddenly opens a book and starts reading it, don’t say, “Is that a good book? Who is that, Steinbeck? You like Steinbeck?”  See, what I’m doing, by picking up the book and beginning to read, is non-verbally communicating to you that all the hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end and I am wondering if I hit the call button a flight attendant might move you next to some dude who won’t be creeped out by your strangeness. But subtle cues are not your forte I’d say.

 Perhaps for you, creepy dude, just forgo the small talk and read the in-flight magazine. If you can’t do that, don’t be so anxious to chat it up with the kid. Moms don’t like that very much. There is a line, and you crossed it. Plus, you are violating the mom’s space every time you lean over to ask about her kid about the zoo or whatever. And a few more tips: don’t complain that your daughter only reads crappy sci fi novels, that you have to work too much, that technology is ruining us but you sure do have hope for the future of America. It’s too much, it’s all too much man. Take note. Because I get the feeling you fly a lot.

 It’s fun:  http://www.behyped.com/

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Gayla permalink
    02/28/2012 6:50 am

    From a straight sista sounds like Creepy Guy probably thought you were hot…just sayin’

  2. 02/28/2012 6:58 am

    Ugh…gives me the creeps just reading it.

  3. 02/28/2012 12:56 pm

    I am totally creeped out! Glad you are home safely. Tell me next time you are flying and I’ll send some angels along to keep you safe and happy.

  4. 03/02/2012 1:42 pm

    hysterical….just sayin’
    fav lines
    “creep-o-meter” and all things that went along with it, especially “tuned out by a kid whose creep-o-meter is brand new” Perfection.

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