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Scenes from a Plane

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Scenes from a Plane

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Chew with your mouth closedThere are certain habits that are ingrained in my brain. These directives ring in my brain from having heard them so many times while I grew up.

Don’t eat with your elbows on the table.
Put a napkin in your lap when you eat.
Don’t chew with your mouth open.

Recently, I was on a plane going to Pittsburgh. I was already seated in my preferred spot, an aisle seat when I saw a 10-year-old girl enter the plane. Her blond ponytail swinging, she ambled down the aisle, her mouth open as she vigorously chewed gum. Right behind her was a 13-year-old version: blond, ponytail, and also vigorously chewing gum with her mouth open. And behind her came Mom: blond, ponytail and also vigorously chewing gum with her mouth open. At that point I realized the rules I learned about not chewing with your mouth open did not apply in that household.

I did not realize how ingrained this instruction was until a few years ago when I had lunch with a group of people, including two attorneys. One of the attorneys complimented me: “You chew your food very nicely with your mouth closed.” I made a point of telling my mother about his compliment. She waited for 50 some years to be rewarded for all of her teachings about manners.

On a flight to Phoenix, I learned the importance of getting everything out of a bag before it goes into the overhead. After the flight began, I needed my glasses from my purse, which was stowed in the overhead. I tried to balance a suitcase on the edge of the overhead compartment while I reached behind it to retrieve my purse. The stewardess saw my struggle. In her right hand was a tray filled with cups of water and ice. She used her left hand to balance the suitcase so I could get my purse. Unfortunately, she tilted the tray as she helped me. An elderly woman sitting in the aisle seat was directly beneath the tray of ice water. Unfortunately, the elderly woman had her head turned and did not see the tray until she was drenched. I believe most of the people on the plane heard her reaction.

Now I make sure I have everything I need before I put a bag up.

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