Some version of this happens whenever we travel…
She hurled her carry-on into the overhead, plopped down in the aisle seat, and made an announcement:
“I should warn you. I smell like vodka.” Leaning even closer, “I had two martinis. I’m scared of flying.”
Turning her boozy breath from my face, she waved across the aisle at her similarly schnockered sister sitting in the opposing window seat.
“That’s my sister. Hey, hey… hey,” she poked her aisle-mate, “That’s my sister. Could we trade seats?”
The aisle-mate, who was not a poke-able sort of fellow, insisted everyone keep her assigned seats until take off. The flight attendant agreed. Boozy Lady did not.
“They’re all so mean,” she stage-whispered. “SO MEAN. Oh my God, I’m bleeding. Why am I bleeding?”
Boozy Lady’s inexpert bag stowing had taken a small chunk out of her pinkie finger. The anticoagulant effect of cocktail hour plus her inability to locate the source of her wound was a messy combination. I pulled out my purse, located a Band-Aid and offered to wrap up the offending digit.
“You must be a mom. Who has Band-Aids? You’re a mom!”
Bernie slid the window shade down and feigned sleep a little harder. But flight-averse Boozy Lady wanted it open.
“Hey,” she poked her aisle mate again, “Can I move over next to my sister so I can see out her window?”
“Ma’am, we’re pushing back. No one is moving right now.”
Boozy Lady elbowed me conspiratorially and lamented loudly that she couldn’t see out of the window. With one eye open, Bernie slid the panel up again.
“He hates me now, right?” her vodka-infused whispers continued.
“No, it’s fine,” I answered with rather dramatic not-looking-up-from-my-book body language.
“Hey. Um… do you know him?” she nudged. “Because he’s eating your pretzels.”