Ditsy Old Woman


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It’s appalling.  I admit it.  I’ve become a ditsy old woman. 

On the Jet Blue flight back from Los Angeles to Newark, I grumbled to the cashier about paying $3.60 for twenty ounces of Dasani water.  I sat near gate 50 and waited to be called to board.

When I checked my boarding pass, I was surprised that I was in Group A.  Maybe I paid extra for this seat, but I didn’t remember doing so. 

Group A was called right after the first-class passengers.  I had checked my suitcase, so all I had was a bag of expensive food and water, and my backpack.  After finding my seat, 12 D, I unhooked the neck pillow from my pack and hung it around my neck.  I had just settled the rest of my belongings when a young woman stopped beside me and said, “Um, sorry, I think you’re in my seat.”

“Oh, let me check,” I flapped around until I found my boarding pass that I’d stowed in the kangaroo pocket of my sweatshirt.  It said 8 D, not 12 D. Maybe 12 D was my seat number on the way to L.A.?

“Sorry, sorry,” I intoned, retrieving my stuff. 

My new seat was four rows to the front.  I bumped and jostled all the passengers who were going in the right direction.  “Excuse me, sorry, sorry, excuse me.” 

The aisle seat 8 D was next to a youngish woman.  I repeated the motions of depositing all my stuff and looked around for the neck pillow. Oh, no!  I must have left it at 12 D.  I stood up and searched the rows for my former spot.  A flight attendant was there, assisting someone.  I waved my arms to get her attention.  Waved and waved. Jumped up and down for emphasis.  Finally, I caught her eye.  She held up a finger.  I should wait.

I did, sitting down once again.  There was the pillow, wrapped above my shoulders.  Minutes later, the flight attendant, a slim African American woman, leaned over.  “May I help you?”

“Uh, no thanks.  I found it,” I muttered. 

As we taxied for take-off, the same flight attendant was checking the storage compartments a few rows ahead.  I stared wide-eyed at her shoes.  Black patent leather with five-inch heels. 

I nudged the woman next to me.  “Look at those heels!” I said. “I’d break my legs if I wore those!”  She stretched a smile and pointed to her ear buds.

By this time, I really had to pee.  I’d been afraid to wander off to the toilet before boarding, so now I needed to go.

The plane finally took off.  I unclipped my seatbelt and moved toward the toilet, a few rows ahead.

The same flight attendant stopped me.  “Please go back to your seat,” she said.  “We’re still climbing.”  Did I hear impatience in her tone, or just weariness?

Meekly returning to my seat, I was a model passenger for the duration of the flight.  I think.


Lightwood, an e-magazine, published one of my poems in the fall issue. Go to https://lightwoodpress.com/page/2/ to read it and other writers’ work.


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