In a rare instance of not being sandwiched between two family members, I prayed to the God of airline seats. May the empty seat next to me remain empty or be occupied by a sexy man on this eight-hour flight. Amen, I thought. Frankly, I was rooting for an empty seat because hellllloooooo extra space.
Plus, this was an eight-hour flight. Chances were that my mouth would flop open as I slept, and Theoretically Sexy Man would get a never-ending whiff of Airplane Morning Breath. AMB, for those not familiar, is a rancid mixture of airline entrée, cheese, peanuts, and unbrushed teeth. Something about the altitude and stale cabin air makes it so much worse than regular morning breath; it’s also why there’s no way on God’s green Earth that a couple will meet on a plane—unless one or both of them are legally olfactory blind. There was also the possibility that I’d fall asleep on my neighbor and drool on him. It has happened in the past.
Not five minutes after my little prayer, a frazzled mother and baby duo sat next to me. Hilarious, I thought with Chandler Bing-level sarcasm, absolutely hilarious. Then, baby Klaus gurgled and handed me his new toy, a sleep mask, as a sign of peace.
I am no stranger to babies, who, while adorable, will send you to the nearest apocalypse bunker for cover when they start crying. As a children’s hospital volunteer, I once babysat a three-month old who carried an impressive amount of hatred in his tiny baby body. There was also Cheerful, Slobbering Saint Bernard Baby (he was human, but I could swear he was related to Beethoven). Oh, and let’s not forget Matchstick Baby; he shared his Cheerios but made me play fetch until I confiscated the ball. If all teenagers babysat tiny humans, I guarantee teen pregnancy rates would crash harder and faster than the stock market in 1929.
In short, while Klaus was the human equivalent of a fluffy yellow chick, I was tempted to fake a medical emergency.
Me: Help! My chest it hurts! I think it’s a heart attack!
Flight Attendant: Miss, you’re a teenager, you can’t be having a heart attack.
Me: I’m 20 thankyouverymuch, and if I die I will sue you from beyond the grave.
Flight Attendant: Alright, we’ll call the paramedics.
Me: Call the sexy one!
Flight Attendant: Excuse me?
Me: There’s always a sexy one! Don’t play coy with me; I’m dying here!
Instead, I stayed seated, clutching a bottle of Tylenol like a talisman to ward off evil spirits. Well, in this case, wailing babies. Thankfully, aside from some pre-bedtime crankiness and tiny karate kicks to my thigh, Klaus was an extremely well behaved baby.
I kept the sleeping mask though. Don’t give me that look. He insisted.