Coffee, Tea, Leg Room?

by Raymond Moody, M.A. 

I am writing this blog aboard a metal tube that is hurling through the air at over 400 miles per hour. I am returning to New York after a very enjoyable weekend with family and friends celebrating the marriage of my cousin. My spirit was really recharged after this weekend. I have been in a great mood for the past few days and I wanted to bring this good mood with me back to the city. But, this plane ride home is trying to take this away from me.

I made it to the airport early this afternoon so I wouldn’t stress about making it to my flight on time. I ended up having plenty of time because the plane showed up an hour and a half late. I was annoyed because this now meant I would arrive back in the city after midnight and when combined with the travel time home from the airport I would not get to bed until after two in the morning. When boarding the plane, the airline decided they wanted to check my bag to see if it would fit in the overhead bin. I never check a bag and my bag always fits in the overhead bin but for some reason it never fits in the bag sizer they have at the gate. Waiting for my bag in New York was going to be at least another fifteen minutes.  I am now more than annoyed and tired.

At this point, I am sitting in a seat without any legroom. I actually purchased one of the preferred seats on this flight thinking it would have more legroom (which I need because I am 6’5”) but was upset when I realized it was the same amount of legroom just in a row closer to the entrance of the plane. I have asked for a coffee from three different flight attendants and have not received any beverage. This doesn’t look good for my goal of returning to New York in good spirits.

How am I appraising the situation? Everything should go as planned and it is awful when it doesn’t. More specifically, the plane should be on time, the airline must not question me because it’s not my first time flying, the airline should recognize that for tall people the amount of legroom is uncomfortable, and I shouldn’t have to ask for things twice. Ouch, I sound like that demanding passenger that people want to avoid. What costs are there to being angry? I will not feel good during the flight, when I get home, or probably tomorrow. Making myself angry isn’t going to solve any of my complaints anyway.

Thinking rationally, I am uncomfortable and I don’t have to like it but is it the worst thing in the world?  Can I just acknowledge that I don’t like it and ask for my coffee again, accept that I am going to be tired when I get home, and probably the next day, but remember that I took a late flight because I wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible? Yes, I am going to do these things in an effort to not get angry.  And now my coffee just came, right in time to enjoy without the unnecessary anger!

Ray Moody

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