Self-preservation comes in a left window seat

A few years back before our lives of traveling with kids, my husband was sitting in the middle seat of a row of three seats. I was in the window seat. Another man was sitting in the aisle seat. My husband who finds coach class not the most comfortable wanted his experience to be more comfortable and asked me to switch seats with him.

I did keep myself from saying, “Are you out of your mind?” and stuck to “No.” It was a firm “No” in order to make sure that he knew I wasn’t kidding.

Seriously, why would I give up my inch or so of space afforded by the curve of the airplane wall to be smashed, unable to move between two men–even if I was married to one of them? Also, we were on the left side of the plane which was a bonus for me. I am left-handed, so for me to be in a window seat on the left side meant I could write if I wanted to. Or be able to eat a meal without worrying about my elbow’s movement being curtailed.

When it comes to travel comfort, a martyr I’m not. I will let my husband share my tray table if he’s too uncomfortable with his down. I will also put the bulkier things under the seat in front of me so he has room for his feet. Giving up left shoulder room is where I draw the line.

Since we’ve had children, most of the time this has given us an added advantage of more room. First, it was our daughter who used to sit between us giving us oodles of more space. Now that our son is in the mix, if there are three seats, our son usually sits between us, and our daughter, gleefully sits on her own. We have a couple more years before our son is too big that he won’t think it’s nifty to sit between his parents. No matter what though, I’m not giving up the ability to move my left arm. It’s either the right aisle or left window for me. Period.

For a funny read about how to hold onto sanity on an airplane, “A User’s Manual to Seat 21-C” by Wayne Curtis published recently in The New York Times may give you some scenarios that you recognize. What’s your keeping your sanity tip?

By the way, the photo is of a seat that is not my first choice. How come?