The cranky lady next to me on the plane jumped out of her seat to frantically keep anyone else's luggage from harming her Ferrari (?) laptop. She didn't want to put her second piece under her feet, but it was a good thing for two others to put their only piece under their feet. Everyone within a four row radius knew her opinion about my space.
I was angry at her for being so self centered. Later I softened when she told me of the places she'd been, the businesses she had started and been successful at. She needed to be a spitfire to accomplish what she had. When I found out she was eighty, it was hard to believe. She looked 60. Begrudgingly, I came to admire her as we parted. Still, I thought she was completely out of line and selfish.
A few days later I felt the grinding ugliness of my space. The beach was sparsely populated. Brita and I had a sweet little spot under the sun filtered fronds of three palm trees. A group of senior citizen's with visors and clothes screaming Tourist tottered over and plopped their chairs right between us and the water. Inconceivable! The whole beach beckoned..... and they picked that spot? Ruining my view? My afternoon? My vacation? My life?
It was unbelievably rude and inconsiderate of them. They didn't notice my scowl. They were oblivious of my offended huffing and puffing as we laboriously moved our pile of stuff to another place.
They wrecked my space. It was mine. I was there first. Acquiring two year old emotions came easily.
As lady dragon smoke continued to puff out my ears and nose, the frail older man who picked their spot came up to our chairs. Extending his hand he apologized. "We come from the East coast where the beaches are packed like Honolulu. I didn't realize we were sitting between you and the water. I'm sorry."
His timing churned my stomach. Brita had just been reminding me that they probably had been oblivious and weren't purposely being annoying or mean. She gently helped me remember times I had probably been unaware myself.
What could I do but blush and welcome him to the human race while taking his warm, wrinkled hand in mine? It was hard to make eye contact. His knobby knees had become fascinating.
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