We Are Living in a Society

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So who’s ready for another random series of thoughts. Guess I’m just in a mood. The title comes from Seinfeld and was a tag line in a couple of episodes where George would lament some perceived wrong by someone else. It was funny because you could never mistake George for a selfless, giving type so he’d be the last person you’d expect to be going after others for behaving selfishly.

I’m not going to claim to be totally selfless either but every now and then something gets to me a bit. This was our last flight back home so it was a short hop from Atlanta. You know how they tell you that you can bring two carry on items with the intention that one would fit under your seat. Well, we board the plane (we’ve got an empty two seat row) and I go to put our bags in the bin and the dude across the aisle has put his backpack on our side. He already had a bag on his side but there was no more room because the other people had their bags up there as well.

OK, he’s a tall dude and its a plane and its cramped but I’m not that short either and I put my computer bag under my seat. We didn’t have room in our overhead bin for our two carry on bags so I had to take a bit of someone’s else space because this guy wanted to have maximum leg room. I know the airlines don’t enforce this but WE ARE LIVING IN A SOCIETY. Air travel basically sucks when you’ve got a full flight and you are packed like cattle in a tiny metal tube but we’re all in it together. The least we could do is just try to be courteous to the other livestock on the flight.

I remember the first airplane ride I took. My older brother and I got flown up to see my grandmother. I think we were 12-13. I can’t remember dates well at all. It was a little prop plane and I think it made four stops along the way because this was way before they funneled every flight into Chicago or Atlanta. So it was a lot of up and down but to two kids who had never flown before, it was cool and exciting.

Now, air travel is something to avoid. Nothing worse than the full flight where they have to announce over and over again that they don’t have room for all the carry-ons and that someone will have to check theirs to their final destination and you wait around for someone to volunteer. While other people try to cram their bag into a space that is clearly not big enough just to avoid having to check it. Plus with food no longer really an option, you get the people who bring some overpowering dish from one of the airport places and then you have to smell it for the whole flight. Seriously, couldn’t just get a protein bar and call it a day? Now I’m sounding like a cranky old man so I’ll stop here.

We had taken Rocco out for a walk on Sunday and there was a lady attempting to photograph the bluebirds that were all over the little patch of woods. They just weren’t staying still long enough for her to focus so she stopped to pet Rocco and then said something about wanting to get a photo of those Indigo Buntings.

Guess I could have been one of those snooty bird experts. “Oh no, those aren’t Indigo Buntings. You won’t see Indigo Buntings until the migration in May. Those are bluebirds who arrive much earlier. You can easily tell the difference because an Indigo Bunting is a different shade of blue and is blue all over. The Bluebird is only blue on the back which you should be able to see from here.”

Maybe there aren’t really snooty bird experts but it sounded good in my head. But you know the type who love to correct anyone and everyone. You’re wrong and let me show you how much I know by pointing out how wrong you are. I guess I could have done it in a nice way but I figured she was just out to try and photograph nature and saw some pretty blue birds that she wanted to capture. If she wants to think they are Indigo Buntings, what’s the harm.

We picked up Dolly’s ashes early last week. Hard to believe she’s only been gone just over a week. The place that did the cremation was really good. They did the pawprint and gave us some of her fur and they gave us a folder with a few things. A certificate showing the day of her passing and the Rainbow Bridge story. There was also something titled “10 inalienable rights after the death of a special companion”. Number 5 was “You have the right to experience “griefbursts”. It talked about being overcome by a powerful surge of grief. I like the word. Had one when I picked up the ashes. It was kind of hard to hold it together.

Yesterday, in the mail, we got a sympathy card from the staff at the hospital where Dolly ended up. It was a nice touch but I knew that opening it was going to trigger a serious griefburst. Really weird how powerful it can be. One moment you’re holding an envelope in your hands and then you open it and start reading messages of support from people who only knew your dog a week and it becomes a waterworks.

Hope that wasn’t too much of a downer. Just felt the need to share that. One of the other rights was the right to talk about your grief so that’s what I was doing.

On the plus side, we went to lunch today with my team to celebrate a birthday. There was a tinge of sadness from me knowing that it might be the last one before things change. Our service was just awful but had some good conversation. It was an island of fun in a sea of gloom and doom.

Tomorrow is workout and dance day so I’ll be back to more normal topics.


  1. I can see your point, (and also just got back from a crazy trip myself!). I would like to offer that I always put my backpack up in the bin (but only have the one bag, no additional carry-on) and the reason is due to my knees. After an hour of sitting with them bent they start to ache and seize up and I have to stretch them out or I will be limping by the time I get off the plane. I use the space under the seat to allow me to extend them now and then so I am not getting up and down all flight. That said, if I DID have a second carry on – I wouldn’t be putting both up in the bin. I would put one under the seat. Common courtesy.

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