We are in California to visit with Douglas’s 93-year-old mother and for him to attend his 50th high school reunion. As the unofficial secretary in this duo, I made the travel arrangements. I always, where possible, ask for an aisle seat, even when I traveled alone. My frequent-flyer program automatically assigns me the aisle seat when I book a flight. I don’t even understand why I am drawn to the aisle seat, considering that I am so short that I do not need the extra leg room. It is a true enigma.
But, since I married Douglas, who does need the extra leg room, I have been relegated to the middle seat. I have just accepted it as the way things have to be, but I miss being able to stick my legs out to the side and feel free. For this trip, I decided to get us both extra leg room, by upgrading to premium seats. I chose row three of the flight on yesterday, which turned out to be the first row behind the first-class seats. Those seats were usually free, but no more.
As we took our seats, I discovered that the extra leg room meant that I could not rest my feet anywhere, because the distance between my seat and the wall was so great that I did not even bother to reach and try to watch a movie or anything. About half way into the flight, I was decidedly blue, as my back muscles went into spasms, and I could not find any relief.
It was redolent of sitting in church on pews where my feet did not touch the ground. My back would start to ache, as there was nothing to rest my feet on to relieve the stress on my back. I have had two back surgeries, and with scoliosis, I am prone to muscle spasms. That was the substance of the problem last night on a five-hour flight, followed by sitting for nearly an hour on airport chairs that do not allow my feet to touch the ground.
I know I disturbed the poor guy sitting in by the window. I tried loosening the seat belt and scrunching down in the seat, stretching my legs toward the low bar on the wall. Then, I tried bending over toward the floor, to relieve the pain, but to no avail. I monopolized both armrests, in a vain effort. All I managed to do was cause the fellow to move closer to the window. I so envied people with long legs.
Who knew that an extra four inches could make such a difference! I just completed my puzzles, read my Kindle, and prayed for the pilot to say, “Folks, we are on our descent into San Francisco!” The extra $150 was so not worth it, but I did learn a valuable lesson that I will not forget.
It seems that there is something in our human nature that drives us to want to be better than other people, such as being first on the plane, and that extra leg room that seems to tell the world that I am somebody more important than you. I would not think that after all of these years as a Christian, I could succumb to that thinking.
The apostle Paul states in Romans 12:2-3, “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (changing the way you think). Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. For by the grace given me I say to each of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.”
I was so proud of that extra leg room, but while it was great for Daddy Long Legs (Douglas), it was pure misery for me. On the return trip, we will be among the last getting on the plane, for I am not upgrading our seats. I am going to squeeze into less room, put my feet on the back of the seat in front of me, and exhale. After all, everybody arrives at the same time, and we are all at the mercy of God.