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Does Anybody Look at Anybody Anymore?

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.

  1. Avatar
    Susan Curnick

    My most memorable air travel conversation began during a thunderstorm on a flight between Chicago and Denver. The usual delays due to weather and equipment malfunctions only heightened the anxiety and stress levels of the waiting passengers. Once seated after a three hour delay I looked at my fellow passenger and saw an older man who was clearly anxious. So, in my best Mother Theresa persona I asked him where he was going? Duh! Denver of course. He was returning from the funeral of his only brother. This was only the second time he had ever been in a plane. I smiled and took out my needlepoint project which was a large canvas that was approximately 18″ by 24″ and proceeded to try to distract this man from his fear of flying, recent mourning and who knows what else. All was well until we hit terrific turbulence and then he and I were both scared! But, I knew my job was to keep him calm so I kept up with the needlework and chatted away. When we finally landed he thanked me and said he had never talked so much in his whole life. He also said he hoped I finished my needlework project. I looked down at the project which was now very nicely sewn to my skirt!

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