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Morgan Hill
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November 29, 2023

Seat near plane’s bathroom is cause for traveling woes

I am not a good traveler. I like to go places, of course, but I really hate getting on an airplane to get there.
First of all, there is airplane seating. Look, I’m not like my husband. When he books tickets, each available seat is scrutinized before he chooses the place where his tushy will rest for three or four hours. Several factors weigh into his seating selection. Length of flight, possible upgrades, flight origin and entertainment. It takes him a while to select seat 14A.
Me? I don’t do that. Oh, not because I’m not picky. It’s because I’m a on a special airline list. Yes, I’m on the “no matter what, seat her right next to the bathroom list.” And in case you were wondering, this is not a pleasant list to be on. Also? I’m pretty certain I’m the only person on earth on this list.
So it doesn’t matter what seat I select at booking. No matter what seat I choose – or what seat Harry chooses for me – my seat will be moved to be directly in front of the airplane’s restroom. Seriously. You know that it’s only my seat that’s moved. Harry and Junior usually still have their original seats, while I am sent down the aisle to the seat of horror – the one in front of the airplane’s only bathroom.
Now the good news is, no matter what, I always have in-flight entertainment. There are usually a couple of small children who do a little dance while waiting for the bathroom doors to open. Every once in a while, there’s a dancing adult, but I try to avoid eye contact with them.
And speaking of adults, many seem to believe the noise and recirculated air on a plane can cover other … er, activities … they do while waiting in line. Let me just reassure you, as a frequent seated-by-the-toilet flyer, the noise and air don’t cover for you. At all. Ever.
And don’t get me started on the Mile High Club. Please people. Some of us are sitting in front of the bathroom. Noise canceling headphones don’t keep us from hearing you.
Anyway, aside from the obvious, you would think being near the bathrooms would be convenient seating. No. It’s not. You see, I won’t use airplane restrooms. And yes, before you ask, this does somewhat limit my traveling. For example, you will not see me on a 20 plus-hour flight to Australia anytime soon. In fact, as I get older, my airplane trips get shorter and shorter. By the time I’m 80, I will only be able to fly from San Jose to San Francisco.
But back to my point (and yes, I am pretty sure I do have one). Look, it’s not that airplane bathrooms are dirty – it’s that I’m terrified I will get stuck in one. The doors open inward. Unless you twist yourself into a pretzel, jump onto the closed toilet seat, raise one arm toward the rising sun, place your feet in the 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions and then open the door, there is a very real possibility that you could be stuck in an airplane lavatory for the entire flight.
Or worse – I fear that I’ll reach over to flush and that thing will suck my arm down into the toilet and I will spend the entire flights stuck in the restroom with half my arm dangling into space. And then I’ll have to spend hours wondering if my loved ones will get off the plane, get their luggage, go to the hotel and then realize I’m not there. And yes, I will wonder that.
Of course my biggest fear is that I won’t get the dang door locked correctly and some dancing child will open the door and be blinded for life. On the awful occasions that I do use the airport lavatory, I lock and unlock that door 50 times to make sure that nobody will walk in on me.
Um, yes. I might have just a few ridiculous phobias about flying.
But I know that I am absolutely on the airline’s “no matter what, seat her right next to the bathroom list.” This is because I recently had to fly by myself. And in order to shield the rest of the planet from my stupid airplane bathroom phobias, Harry shelled out a good portion of his carefully hoarded frequent flyer miles to upgrade me to first class. He even selected a seat for me.
Which naturally was changed to the first class seat directly behind the bathroom.

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