Socks on the airplane have been the subject of many conversations in the galley. As well as the cause of a flight attendant nightmare or two. Personally, I don’t care what you wear – shoes, socks, even no socks – but it’s where those shoes (socks and even no socks) are headed that bothers me. Why? Because they’re wandering up and down the aisle and into the lavatory. And…umm…you do realize that’s not water on the bathroom floor, right?
The socks have just exited the bathroom and have now entered the galley.
“Excuse me, miss, can I get a glass of water?”
“Of course,” I say, as I place my lunch on the counter and try not to flinch when I see the socks. I reach for a plastic cup and a bottle of water as you inch your way closer to me. I smile. You smile. We’re both smiling as you slowly bounce up and down on the toes, jangling loose change in the pocket.
“Here you go,” I say, handing you the glass, but before I can even twist the cap back on the bottle of spring water, you say, “A little more, please.”
“Oh sure.” I untwist and pour. Hey, you don’t have to explain it to me. The glass is small. You’re thirsty. I get it. That’s fine.
But now you’re peeking inside an insert. I imagine you’re thinking to yourself, hmm…what do we have in here? Just orange juice and dry ice, I want to say, but don’t, because that’s when I notice you’re eyeing a cup of lemons and limes with a little too much intensity. I’m just about to ask you if you’d like one, when I watch in horror as a hand reaches inside and takes a few.
You smile at me, so I smile back at you, even though I no longer feel like smiling due to the fact you’ve just stuck your hand in there without asking, a hand that recently exited the lavatory before entering the galley. I make a mental note to toss the lemons and limes as soon as you leave. Then I find myself wondering if you’re ever going to leave, because you’ve just placed your empty cup on the counter and you’ve decided to enjoy the view outside by cupping your hands around the small port hole located on the other side of the galley. Now I can’t breathe. Why? You’re still in the galley. Don’t you know it’s against federal aviation regulation to loiter around the galleys and lavatories. Didn’t you hear the captain’s PA?
Guess not. Because you’ve just draped your arms over the other jumpseat, the one right beside me, resting your chin on your arms as you take in a view from the back of the cabin. I try to remain calm. Surely I won’t have to say anything because you’ll be taking your seat anytime now, right?
You bend over and touch your toes. You’ve decided this would be the perfect time to start doing those doctor recommended calisthenics. While you’re bending and stretching, I’m about to have a nervous breakdown. I’m sorry, but I do get a little claustrophobic from time to time. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because your butt is now in my face.
Look, unless you’ve actually been invited into the galley (it does happen), you do not – I repeat – you do not, for any reason, step onto the linoleum floor – for any length of time. And if you do, try to make it quick. Do not loiter. Do not help yourself to whatever you happen to see. And please do not bring your baby to the back to crawl around. It’s filthy in there. Not to mention, we break glass in there. And do you really need to do your exercising in the galley? Can’t you simply take a walk the length of the cabin to get the blood flow going when the seat belt sign is not on. I mean is Pilate’s really necessary?
Imagine I came to your place of work and peeked into your drawers and helped myself to all those little nicknack’s you have on your desk – ya know, the jelly beans, the picture of the wife and kids, the Rubik’s cube. What’s the problem? I just came by to say hi. To see what’s up. Don’t really care if you’re eating lunch or in the middle of a project. Not when I want to be near you. What’s the big deal? I’m just taking a break. Stretching the legs. Inviting whomever passes to join me in your tiny little office space. Mind if I do a few lunges in here? Right beside you. Rubbing up against you. Hey, you gonna eat that sandwich?
Admit it, you’d get a little annoyed, too. Now go back to your seat. The seat belt sign is on.