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The Worst Thing You've Ever Seen on an Airplane

Illustration for article titled The Worst Thing Youve Ever Seen on an Airplane
Image: Getty

Last week, a woman sitting in a fully-reclined seat on an American Airlines flight shared a video of a man repeatedly striking the back of her chair. It went viral, mostly because people love debating whether or not it is okay to recline on an airplane. On Twitter, strangers argued over who was in the wrong, which is wild to me. (The correct answer is both of them, but mostly the dude—no one deserves such harassment. But just so we’re clear here: no, it’s not okay to recline, unless you need space due to a disability of some sort, or the asshole in front of you fully reclined and if you didn’t, you’d have a tray table in your sternum. Airlines would be wise to remove the reclining ability and extend legroom everywhere on the plane. The fact that this is even a question leads me to believe people are evil at their core.)

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I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, mostly because I haven’t been able to think about the horrible shit people do while on airplanes. And because of that, I want to hear your stories: what is the worst thing you’ve seen on an airplane? Who knows, you may even go viral.

(NOTE: Jezebel has asked this question in the past, but it was five years ago—that’s half a decade. Surely the Trump presidency has brought out a few more assholes, and I want to hear new stories.)

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What’s that? Last week’s winners? Why, here are your greatest Valentine’s Day flops.

Seabassy, this is a true nightmare. Like, cinematically so:

I’d been with my on/off-again boyfriend for about two years and we were in an off-but-still-boning phase. We were both in grad school and Valentine’s was on a Wednesday, so it felt like we should do something since we’d been together-ish awhile, but not anything too fancy since weren’t technically together. He suggested dinner at a Falafel diner...at 4:30 p.m. Figuring he needed to study, I agreed to the weirdly early dinner.

He was super awkward during the whole thing, which was weird because he’s otherwise a charmer and we’d spent the previous night together. Dinner ends, he asks for separate checks, and said he was going to hit the books, but didn’t invite me to join (I also had books to hit).

We part ways and I go meet friends at a bar. I drink a lot and call him on my way home, as I usually would, to see if he wants me to come up to his apartment. He doesn’t answer and I don’t hear from him for two. whole. months.

In April I finally just stop by his apartment to be like “wtf? I guess we are finally fully over?” and a woman answers the door. She says she lives there. With him. They are engaged.

Turns out they’d been seeing each other and he had a REAL Valentine’s date with her that night he took me out at 4:30 p.m. They fell madly in love over the ensuing weeks and decided to move in together. Oh, and she’d been married to someone else at that point. They divorced and she married my ex. That was almost 15 years ago and afaik they are still married.

I was waiting for one of these, petshopgirl. I’m sorry:

I got dumped on Valentines Day once.

BabyGirlsMomma, lol:

I don’t know if this counts, but I’m a perma-grey so no one will see this anyway. In high school, because I thought I was witty and unique and so over Valentine’s Day and needed people to know that, I decided I would temporarily dye my (red) hair black. Cool. I don’t even really remember the reactions at school (if I had to guess, general eye rolling mixed with not noticing or caring), but by the end of the day, I was very ready to go back to my own color. Except whatever I used WOULD. NOT. WASH. OUT. Shampooed like 7-8 times with absolutely no change before I broken down crying and my mom called the hair salon for their advice. Several more scrubbings with Dawn later, my scalp was super irritated, but my hair was back to normal.

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Deep State Class of ‘97, the ska detail really got me:

It was my first year of college and there was a girl I liked for a few months. We had a few classes together and always got along. But she had a long time boyfriend. They had been together for about 3 years.

They broke up the first week of February. She was upset about being alone on Valentine’s Day. So I told her a bunch of my friends were going to a concert that night and she should come. (It was the late 90s. So of course it was a ska concert.) She told me to meet her at her friend’s house at 5. When I got to the house, there were beer cans everywhere and an empty bottle of Sambuca. She was completely drunk. We had to take a bus and a subway to the concert. She was yelling and singing the entire time. When we got off the subway, she needed a bathroom, so we had to run through a shopping complex looking for a restroom. We got to the concert and I saw my friends. And they saw me with this incredibly drunk girl that none of them know. She sat down on the floor of the venue and went to sleep So I just sat with her for 2 hours.

I had to wake her up when the concert ended. And then had to guide her back to her friend’s house on the subway and bus. I got her back to her friend’s house. She insisted that I come in. And I discovered it was her friend’s mom’s house. And the mom was all pissed off about the college kids that were drinking in her house that afternoon and left a huge mess. And she yelled at me that she has no idea who I am. I told her the situation. And I told her I just wanted to use the bathroom and leave. I ran up and used the bathroom. As I am leaving, I trip and crash into a 30-pound bag of dog food and knocked over and right down the basement steps.

We went on 2 or 3 more dates and that was it. She said her only memories were me showing up at the house and kicking over the dog food.

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Drop those observations in the comments below.

No. Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

indianajoan
IndianaJoan

Pretty furious that there are still people saying that the woman was in the wrong for that seat incident. First of all, she did have a disability (fused neck), but besides that, she paid for and selected a seat that reclines. She’s allowed to use it, full stop. If you’re mad, be mad at the airline that keeps squeezing the seats closer together. Also, when you book a seat that doesn’t recline, there is a huge warning message that comes up telling you that it doesn’t recline. You don’t get to be mad that the seat in front of you does. This guy is caught be a huge and potentially dangerous asshole on video and there are still people excusing him. I seriously find it unbelievable.