Elle Cosimano

Angry Airplane Lady

Today’s post is about accountability.

And airplane bathrooms. But mostly about accountability.

On a recent flight, my five year old son tugged on my sleeve and told me he had to go to the bathroom. I glanced down the aisle. It was empty of passengers awaiting the “necessary” so I said, sure. No problem.

I followed Little Man to the front of the plane. Then made him wait while I checked the “Vacant” sign. Yep, the sign said the bathroom was empty, so I let him reach for the handle.


There was Angry Airplane Lady, still doing her business, and not very happy with my son. Little Man was very polite and immediately shut the door. He turned as red as she did, and I assured him he’d done nothing wrong. Angry Airplane Lady had simply forgotten to lock the door.

Hey. It happens.

Eventually, Angry Airplane Lady emerged, and she glared daggers at my little boy. She mumbled something at him under her breath and proceeded to huff and puff and glower at him through the rest of the flight. (She happened to have the seat right behind us… just our luck.)

As much as I tried, she wouldn’t look me in the eyes, because I am old enough to know and she is old enough to know — despite her behavior suggesting the contrary — who was actually responsible for the bathroom door debacle. It wasn’t the five year old’s fault. So why lay the blame on him?

We all make mistakes sometimes. If it hadn’t been my son, it would have been the next person to barge in on her business. And yet, she made it a point to show everyone, through her behavior, that she was not woman enough to take responsibility for her own embarrassing oversight.

I’m not sure where I was going with this post. But I guess my message is, remember to lock the door. And don’t point fingers at someone else who is smaller and incapable of defending himself if you know in your heart the mistake was your own.

And if you happen to walk in on Angry Airplane Lady, on a flight to or from Dulles International or Cancun, send her my warmest regards and a copy of my post.


22, 2011 |

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Elle's Life

3 Responses to “Angry Airplane Lady”

  1. Haha — I’ve totally met Angry Airplane Lady!
    I’ve also been Angry Train Lady, once. Because the bathroom had one of those sliding doors, and the train lurched to a stop, and the door flew open, and it was way out of reach, and there was a LINE of people waiting. Oh, how I wanted to be mad at someone else in that moment….

  2. Megan Benedict says:

    LOVE it! dont you wish in those moments that you could stand up in front of the whole plane and say, “hey, stop looking at my son like that. you forgot to lock the bathroom door. its not his fault he walked in on you.” but then … A. you’d be no better than her. and B. you’d probably get tased by an air marshall! 😉

  3. Kelly Barwick says:

    Good thing he didn’t walk in on anyone trying to achieve Mile High Club status.

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