Hero husband saves wife from bad breath, B.O. and political rhetoric on flight to Maui. Why I Spent the Entire Flight to Maui Entertaining my Kids, While My Husband Sat a Few Seats Up

We did it!  We finally had made plans to take our daughters with us for a week of fun and sun in Hawaii.  Hotel reservations – check.  Car rental – check.  Airline tickets – check.  Well, mostly “check,” anyway.  All our frequent flyer miles are at American Airlines, but we have to travel during the holidays:  Major blackout period.  So, after doing some online research, we settled on flying United.  Without using all our miles, it was significantly cheaper than American, for when we wanted to go (no red eye flights for us).  Only problem was, by the time we booked our tickets to Maui, we couldn’t get two rows of two seats each anymore.  We settled on a row of three in the middle of the plane (no window seat!), with one parent to sit by her or himself.  Make that simply, “himself.”

The pre-flight plans made sense; I would sit in the row of three with our daughters for the first half, and around midway through I’d swap seats with my husband Dave.  Fair enough!  But about two hours into the flight, my spouse sidled up to to me and muttered, “You don’t want to switch seats with me.”


What?  Is this some kind of Jedi Mind Trick?  Of COURSE I’m tired of playing Uno and Go Fish, of COURSE I want to settle into my junky paperback undisturbed.  I gave him a look.  “I don’t want to switch seats with you?” I smirked, and stood up.  But he had his Serious Face on, the Face which Must Not be Smirked At.  He quietly explained that the guy he was sitting next to wouldn’t stop talking, had B.O. and bad breath, and – to top it off – was a slightly scary retired Navy Seal.

I looked at my kids.  They were happily playing with their Tamagotchis (muted) and laughing, getting along with each other.  I leaned out to take a peek at Dave’s seat mate.  He certainly WAS talkative. With Dave gone, Navy Seal had pulled a flight attendant into his orbit, using his arms and hand to gesticulate wildly as he explained something of obvious importance to him.  Hmm…

And that is how I spent the entire flight to Maui engaged with my daughters, while their poor father learned more than he ever needed to know about the great Ronald Reagan’s legacy, or something.  My hero.