As I lugged my carry on bag through the airplane and watched the woman in front of me take the last overhead bin space above me, I rolled my eyes and swore under my breath, accidentally gaining the attention of the stewardess standing next to me.
I recently took a quick trip to Indianapolis to see my family, now that Alaska Airlines has started direct flights, therefore making my life that much easier in an effort to cram one more thing into my busy life.
The stewardess looked at me and smiled, asking if I knew where I was sitting.
“All the way in the last row,” I responded.
She looked at my ticket and cringed, seeing the aisle seat next to the toilet.
“Oh you aren’t joking,” she said. “But we call it first class in the back. The staff is going to take great care of you.”
I was hoping that wasn’t some sort of sexual reference I’m unaware of, but assumed there were too many people around for that sort of behavior.
I sat down and was bummed that I had the seat next to the toilet, but things started looking up when no one showed up in the entire row so I essentially had a couch version of a plane seat–first class in the back, but with the unfortunate stench of every passenger’s toilet aftermath.
My father has spouted out random pieces of advice throughout my life, some useful and some absurd. But one that I’ve heard since I was a child and always assumed to fall in the latter category has been, “if you control the toilets, you control the plane.”
I’ve always rolled my eyes and sighed, but I found myself now wondering if I commandeered the bathrooms if I wouldn’t quickly become the most powerful woman on the plane.
One of the stewardesses handed me a tablet to watch movies on and said, “First class in the back.”
This couch near the toilets was not the worst thing that had happened to me.
I then found myself sipping free rum and cokes eating a cheese and fruit platter wondering if this wasn’t the place that everyone should want to sit.
It was July 4th, and as I sat there for the four hour flight, getting more tipsy as I was handed free drinks that I gladly accepted out of pity, I found myself openly judging people as they came back to the bathroom.
Queen Carly of the back of the plane.
One little girl kept using the bathroom so fast I knew she wasn’t washing her hands. I almost yelled, “Go wash your fucking hands,” but thought that might be too much coming from the Queen, seeing as the girl was only a child.
Anyone who walked by wearing US flag attire as if it was a fashion statement, started to trigger a rage in me. Particularly when they seemed to think that a flag print on a pant must match the polo shirt they were wearing.
I started openly giving the stink eye to the people who took too long in the bathroom, (knowingly contaminating my area), the people who came to the back of the plane solely to do lunges next to me, and of course, the people wearing non-matching flag prints. One woman was a trifecta of all three and I wanted to throw my drink in her face, but thought that wouldn’t be very “first class” behavior of me.
I was more like queen of the white trash peasants, but I figured that’s probably about as good as I’m going to get in my life, so I figured I’d take it. I had a weird amount of power and influence in shaming people and getting free things, so it was seemingly the best place for me to be.
As I was the last one to leave the plane, I said goodbye to all the stewardesses. We had been through something together and had a bonding experience. After all, their jump seats are always right next to the toilets, so they felt my pain for the duration and are the real rulers of the back of the plane.