A Few Words From an Airplane Middle Seat

I’m tired of being the center of controversy!

For far too long, I have been labeled the pariah of the airline industry. Decade after decade, passengers have scoffed at my existence, bullied me for my physical features, made me question my self-worth, and doubted what I bring to the (tray) table.

Travelers consistently beg to sit anywhere else: “Stick me in the lavatory! An overhead bin! Just let me just hang off the wing!” they plead.

Just because you monsters haven’t figured out how to share an armrest, I’ve always been treated like a flying electric chair. People even start fist fights over me, which is, unfortunately, not as flattering as it sounds. I often have nightmares about the very moment someone eyes me, sighs, and reluctantly plops down — like they were forced to sit on a barf bag full of murder hornets.

Even at peak altitudes, my self-esteem is at an all-time low. Now, more than literally ever, no one wants to get near me. A global pandemic has fully taken away what little value I had left; I’ve been blamed for social distancing violations and consequently, abandoned — furloughed — just for being myself.

That shouldn’t sit well with you!

Every time a crew-member comes down the aisle and says, “Trash?”, I can’t help but wonder: Are they talking about me? There are days when I just want to grab two warm beers, open the emergency exit, and tumble down the evacuation slide like that iconic JetBlue flight attendant did in 2010.

I get it — I don’t have the sex appeal of a coveted Window Seat, with its breathtaking views and Instagram content from takeoff to landing. And, obviously, I don’t have the luxury of letting you effortlessly stand up and zip down the aisle without disturbing anyone, like you-know-who.

Sure, those guys have their own issues, but they’ve never had to face the same (economy) classist nonsense I have.

(Does it seem like I have a lot of baggage? It’s because I do. Is there anywhere for me to put it? Not really––you’ve seen the storage situation, bro.)

Did you know there were actually three Wright Brothers? (I can’t possibly know if this is true; I am a chair after all.) One of their first aircraft prototypes had seats for each of them! But mere minutes after takeoff, Orville and Wilbur were so annoyed with the third bro for accidentally elbowing them in the middle, they shoved him right off the edge of that little plane! And he was never spoken of again.

See — for more than a century, I’ve been the center of controversy.

Listen. I recline. I provide you with a safety belt. I let you drip your vodka sodas and Biscoff Cookie crumbs on me, and I offer the same lousy legroom as the others do. I feature a handy pouch full of pertinent info — one you should never, ever stick your hand in. I let you jab headphones and USB cords into me non-stop. And, not only do I cushion your ass, but my ass can literally save your life in the event of a water landing, okay? Let’s not forget that. I’m just as practical and uncomfortable as any other seat on this airplane! (Except maybe the elitists in the front.)

I’m tired of waiting on the edge of myself for someone to say I’m a hero! Without me, airlines couldn’t even afford to take you on a fantastic, magical, almost-impossible ride through the sky and drop you halfway across the world. Please remember my sacrifices the next time you fly. And if you’re going to spill on me, at least pour one out for that third Wright Bro.

Copywriter by day. Humor writer by night. Exhausted by afternoon. @omgskr / sararunnels.com

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