As we took our seats, we noticed that a woman in the row ahead of us was involved in a loud and detailed discussion with the man sitting in the seat next to her.
Actually it wasn't a discussion. She was talking, and he was trying to ignore her without being rude. Naturally he was having no luck.
Here's what we learned about this woman.
She was going to see her daughter and son-in-law. He has a big important job at _______. When they went looking for a house, they couldn't find anything they liked, so they bought a three-acre lot and built a beautiful place blah blah blah.
She was no longer speaking to her sisters because recently when she had come back home from a trip out of town, she found that her mother was not in her home. She only learned from her hairdresser what happened to her mother. Well, her sisters told their mother that her house needed to be tented for a pest control service and so they took the mother to a "hotel," which turned out to be a nursing home. The chatty woman went to see her mother, who said, oh isn't this a nice hotel. Well, the chatty woman got to work. She learned that her mother's home had been rented out, and she got that renter out of there FAST. Then she and her lawyer went through four different court hearings and got her mother out of that nursing home. Then, the next time the chatty woman got back from a trip she found that her sisters had put her mother in another home, this one for demented people....
It cost $2 million in cash and she's so upset, she's lost so much weight, but she believes in karma. There were times when the police were pulling up in front of her house, but that was nothing. When she was young, the FBI regularly pulled up in front of the family house because her grandfather was in the Mafia. She knows how to take care of herself.
She has two kids, and her husband has two kids, and she just tells the kids, I'm going to send you on a vacation. She doesn't want them to get divorced. So she buys the vacation -- doesn't give them the money because they'll just spend it on something for the house -- because she just wants them to be happy.
Her husband has sciatica. The poor guy has had four operations. She's 58, and when she dies she's donating her body to science because she wants to give back. By then her soul will be gone blah blah blah.
Her father was a wonderful, wonderful man ... blah blah blah.
The poor man sitting next to her couldn't get a word in edgewise, not that I suspected he wanted to say anything. He just sat there and sighed a lot.
The monologue I've recounted occurred during the period when passengers were taking their seats. After the plane took off, she went on for a couple more hours until, apparently spent, she put a scarf over her head and face and went to sleep.
No doubt her vocal cords needed the rest.