Window Seat Wars

On the rare occasion that my husband and I are able to jet off somewhere alone, we’re are generally quite amicable and cooperative travel companions. We share suitcases equitably, although he usually gets a bit more bag space because his “clothes are bigger.” We jockey phone chargers and reading material like seasoned pros. He drives. I navigate. We get an Almond Joy to snack on so we each get a fair and measurable half. He tries to tolerate it as I coach him to the best parking spot or security line (because I am highly insightful). I try to tolerate it when he tells me he needs to stop for a second or third latte (because he is highly caffeine dependent). As a rule, things are smooth and seamless.

It’s all quite pleasant…except for one issue. The window seat. There is only one. We both want it. Love? Honor? Cherish? Absolutely. Window seat? I think not.

Savvy girl I am, I am chief travel agent in our family. I book all our travel. I print itineraries. I check us in online. I keep the scannable boarding passes on my phone. He’s at my mercy.

“What are our seat assignments?” Steve asked as we boarded the plane to Boston today.

“22E and 22F,” I informed him.

“Window and center,” he said, appraising the situation.

“Yep,”I replied.

“I’ll be taking the window,” he reported.

“Oh no you won’t,” I enlightened him. “I am 22F. Window seat is mine.”

“We’ll see about that,” he retorted as he sped up to jump ahead of me boarding the aircraft.

I tried to elbow him out but he slipped by me and was the first one in the narrow aisle. I stayed doggedly on his heels, bantering with him on the way.

“You’d better not even think about it,” I warned.

“It’s done,” he said. “You’re too late. Accept it.”

“Never,” I replied, still plotting a hip check that would get him out of my way.

But, alas, it was not to be. The rows in front of ours were occupied so I couldn’t check him. It wouldn’t be right to hurt a fellow passenger in our private war. He slipped into row 22 and plopped himself into my window seat.

“Get out of my seat,” I said under my breath through my smiling, clenched teeth.

“No,” he said defiantly.

I’d had enough. I hit the flight attendant call button.

“What are you doing?” he snapped.

“Get out of my seat and there doesn’t have to be a scene,” I told him.

“Possession is 9/10ths,” he said trying to call my bluff.

The flight attendant approached. I flashed her my sweetest smile.

“I think this gentleman is in my seat,” I said, showing her my boarding pass with 22F clearly displayed.

“Oh…is this your seat?” Steve said innocently. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and looked at it. “Oh…you’re right. I’m 22E on this flight and 22F on the next one,” he lied. He them stood up, shifted his things, and moved out into the aisle. The flight attendant, happy to have avoided conflict, gave us a curt smile and left. I walked past hubby to claim my rightful seat. He followed me in and took the center seat.

“Ha,” I gloated. Triumph!

I lifted the shade on the window and prepared for a peaceful flight. You don’t mess with my window seat. You just don’t. I’m a generous woman. I’ll negotiate on most things. I’ll give you the last bite of my candy bar or my very last fry. I’ll tolerate the three snoozes it takes you on a weekend to decide you’ll just exercise later. I’ll even interrupt my day to let you back into the still-idling car you accidentally locked yourself out of. But, the window seat is sacred. Even if it was overcast all the way to Boston and I didn’t get to see a flipping thing, it’s a matter of principle. The window seat is one of life’s little pleasures. It’s worth doing battle for it. Marriage is full of compromises, and this one is his.

Oh, fine. He can have it on the way home.

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