I thought they were going to fight. One row in front of me a woman sat with her SO not saying a word, phone out taking notes of the invectives as the woman in front of her hurled hateful words in her direction. Eff this, eff that, they’re my blood, love them, eff, eff, eff. The longer she ranted, the more slurred her speech became. After a few minutes, she passed out on her SO’s shoulder, and both men sighed and said “finally.”
The women were beautiful. I looked around to see if there were cameras because it played out like a Real Housewives scene.
Nope. Just Thanksgiving family flight drama.
At first when the screamer started, I thought she was just ranting about something going on in the airport, but after a minute it became apparent this was ugly and personal. The three others in the group didn’t respond much. They’d seen this before, I figure.
But WE hadn’t, and in those minutes while the scene played out, a million thoughts crossed my mind.
I had my noise canceling Bose. Should I put them on and try to ignore what was going on? Should I pass them forward to the woman being verbally skewered?
At first it wasn’t even obvious they were traveling together. I listened for a few seconds and wondered if we should intervene. Once it was obvious they were family, I wasn’t as worried.
But I did wonder what would I have done if they WEREN’T related? The news is filled with people going on awful rants while others look on in stunned silence. Every once in a while someone speaks up. I always thought I would be that person. The one who got involved. But being in the situation and living in that pause while we watched in stunned silence, I don’t know. That pause leads to questions, to should I-shouldn’t I-what should I do?
There’s not a one size fits all answer.
Fortunately, watching this situation, playing the part of stunned bystander worked out all right.