Anyone who flies even infrequently on business knows that air travel is just not what it used to be when it comes to service, roominess, baggage, and the like. Well, actually, anyone who reads the news knows this. But has anyone noticed what’s really happening out there? Here it is: WE THE TRAVELERS have changed. And here’s how: a typical flight will steer us among lots of PEOPLE – waiting, standing and sitting people – at check-in, at the gate, on the plane aisle in and out, in the taxi line, in a restaurant, at the crowded bar, in a small store. In all these settings surrounded by other human beings we rarely look at anybody anymore. Most travelers are eyes down in smart phones, I-Pads, computers, Kindles, Nooks, and now and then the rare paperback or paper newspaper. It is impossible to strike up a conversation unless it’s something like, “What operating system is your phone?” or “Can you get WI-FI here?” Opening lines and icebreakers are forever stilted when you can’t get someone to look up. All in all, this is a depressing development and will damage the already challenged interpersonal skills of today. But I’m taking this all differently. I see this growing inability to look at others as a great opportunity to save money and time because I am going to
-stop putting on make-up
-avoid all clothing trends
-wear only the cheapest suit jackets
-never get my nails done
-stop going to the dentist
-change my hairstylist to the jiffy cut down the street
-refrain from brushing my dog’s hair off my pants before I leave
-no longer worry regarding matching shoes and clothing.
I’ll look forward to a very stress-free, humanity-free, and sadly interest-free trip.