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April 1, 2007

You go Thelma!

In the March 27th edition of the Albuquerque Tribune, entertainment columnist and etiquette expert Thelma Domenici addressed a problem near and dear to my heart with her column entitled: "Mind your space during plane trips".

In it, Thelma discusses some simple rules to consider while traveling on a plane.

They include (using my words, her direct words are in quotes):

• Consider the space allocated to you and be aware of it. Keep bags, limbs, elbows, stinky feet, snacks, fat rolls and other items out of the space belonging to another
• Walk onto the plane with your bag in front of you to avoid wacking the noggins of your fellow passengers already seated
• Be aware of how you dress. What seemed appropriate in the mirror this morning may not "respect the sensitivities of others". Also go lightly on that Britney Spears perfume.....
• Recognize that not everybody wants to be chatted up by the stranger sitting next to them on the plane...unless both you and they are drunk and then everyone wants to chat.
• Try to keep your little tykes occupied and help them refrain from kicking the seat in front of them...over...and over....and over...and over......
• Also help children refrain from shrieking in a decibel just below what only dogs can hear (ok this bullet is my add on....Thelma didn't address it. She said we can expect "a child's excited squeals of delight or the cries that come from pressure changes"...I only ask that my eardrums remain intact).
• "Avoid behavior that is likely to disturb" other passengers. Too numerous to mention, you know who you are.

She's spot on with her guidelines, but much like our dear Polly Summar's article in the ABQjournal regarding Tourist Etiquette, I fear Ms. Domenici is also shouting in a hurricane.

She has some wonderful suggestions. In fact, her article should be printed out with boarding passes and made required reading for each person boarding a plane. But that won't happen. Even if everyone read it, I'll bet you a day's pay that the people it's most aimed at would nod along with it, saying "yeah, that's true, people should do that"...meanwhile boarding the plane with their too big bag whamming the backs of all heads as they meander down the aisle in their inappropriate outfit, too much perfume and screaming child.

We can ask people to step up to the plate regarding their own behavior. We can ask people be both self aware and conscientious of others. We can ask 'til our faces turn blue, but much like the man Polly talked about who flossed in public, folks are going to continue on blissfully unaware.

I guess at the end of the day, I can only be responsible for myself. My folks raised me to be considerate of others. Always. When I fly, I try...and I grit my teeth at man's inhumanity to man (and, er...woman). Especially when riding that airline which shall go unnamed, but uses all the grace of a cattle drive to load on their valued passengers. Moo!

As Thelma says on her website (her signature phrase), "Good manners never go out of style."

Damn, never knew I was so stylish! (insert a wry smile here)

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Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.