I am back from Business Land…all sticky and wet. Ya see, I had a middle seat on the flight home. The mad-at-the-world lady to my left spilled her entire drink in my lap…with three more hours of flying time to go. I just knew there was trouble brewing when she barked at the flight attendant for an Ocean Spray Cran•Apple and two vodkas.
An apologetic “I’m sorry” would have been nice…combined with a quick cleanup with paper towels. No such luck. She wiped up my seat with her shirt. Then, she pulled a leopard-printed fake fur over her entire body and went to sleep. So, I spent the remainder of the flight in vodka-drenched pants sitting beside what looked to be a human-sized cheetah.
Not good picture-quality…but sometimes words are simply not enough…
Thank goodness there wasn’t trouble to my right. Just a nice lady reading her book. Thank you nice lady, because I hate being the meat in the middle of a disaster sandwich.
I feel like I’ve had the middle seat in life over the past few years. My life in isolation is pretty good, but a lot people around me have been going through some tough times. Health problems…money problems…relationship problems…Cran•Apple and vodka problems.
And when you’re in the middle seat, your family and friends’
mixed-drinks problems are prone to spill all over your lap.
When the spill happens, you have a choice about how to react:
- become a mad-at-the-world cheetah lady (place blame);
- demand a proper cleanup (judge);
- move to another seat (walk away);
- order your own double vodka (ignore);
- clean up the mess yourself (enable);
- you can recognize the spill, get up, grab some napkins, dry your pants, make sure the middle seat is dry, and sit back down for the remainder of the flight.
Lately, I’ve been sitting back down in the middle seat. But, there are certainly situations where I’ve placed blame, judged, walked away, ignored, or enabled other people’s problems. My reaction usually depends on who the person is, where they fall on my People Pyramid, and the seriousness of the situation.
In some situations, like dealing with my parents’ illnesses, I will never move from the middle seat. I know there will be more messy spills…more leopard printed coats creeping over the armrest…and more books wide open on tray tables begging me to read a few lines. That’s okay, because I know that I have a choice…and when I am in the middle, it’s because I feel it’s the right place to be.
How do you deal with other people’s messy life-spills? Are there any that you’re dealing with right now?
If you liked this post, you may also like Freeze Power and Emotional Osmosis.