Last weekend I took a quick trip to Salt Lake City to see the familia. My time home included a little pasta salad and a lot of baby and all is right in this wonderful thing we call life.
Monday morning I headed back to LA on the same flight as my Pops. Before the trip, my entire family sat down and my dad talked through the strategy for our flight. Since we were flying Southwest, we, of course, couldn’t just take things as they went, we needed a capital P Plan.
We are Dennings, after all.
Our planning conversation was eerily similar to the Arrested Development Season 4 episode where Michael, George Michael, Maeby and Paul vote someone out of the dorm room–we talked in circles, nothing made a lot of sense, and if the scene made it in our family sitcom, it would grow tiresome quickly.
That said, here’s the plan! Yay! Excitement!
- My father would board first and take the aisle seat.
- I would board with the other, non-priority members and take the window seat next to him.
- My dad’s sour disposition would keep anyone from choosing the middle seat between us.
There were other details, including but not limited to, luggage placement in the overhead bins, but that was the gist of it. All parties were prepared. Extended family was informed. The US Embassy was on hold.
The plan was thrown off almost immediately when someone in A1-30 held up the line and I caught up to my dad. It further deteriorated when, on our largely empty flight, a stranger chose to sit in between us.
That’s right, we had ourselves a MIDDLE SEAT IMPOSTOR.
There are two explanations for this unforeseen person/disaster:
1. My dad’s face is not quite as sour as he imagines it to be.
2. My disposition is so sunny that people are drawn to me, inexplicably, even in a plane of empty seats.
Because it was 7:30AM I’m going to have to go with reason numero uno. Also, no one has ever said I have a sunny disposition, so there’s that.
I should mention the middle seater was not a disaster and saying she was is what we writing folks like to call hyperbole and what we regular folks like to call DRAMA.
In the end, my dad and I successfully completed our flight alongside a middle seat impostor/completely regular person, and you know what? We were okay. In fact, we were more than okay. We were learning Robert Burnes best-laid-schemes-of-mice-and-men-often-go-awry life lessons!
Perhaps next time we will learn that we don’t need best laid schemes for a two-hour Southwest flight.
Then again, we are Dennings.
Flight strategizing is part of the package.