Slate, Dear Prudence, 8/13/2014:
Dear Prudence, I tend to travel solo and without much more than a rolling carrying bag and a purse. I’ve often found that when I board when my row is called, there’s not enough space in the overhead compartments for my bag. My past few flights, I’ve boarded earlier with the folks who “require extra time” to board, and that gives me time to stow my bags and get comfortable. Recently, when I traveled with my husband and did this, it mortified him. He said I was taking advantage of a situation intended for parents with children and the disabled. My stance is that I am bothering no one by doing this, and no flight attendants have ever said anything to me about it. Am I being an inconsiderate traveler? Signed, Early Bird
Dear Early Bird,
Rules were not made to be broken, they were simply made to apply to every other human being on planet earth besides you. Unique among the good lord’s wond’rous creations, you in particular deserve nice things that other people just have to do without. Tough break for everyone who is not you, but who are you to stop doing whatever the fuck you want to do, whenever the fuck you want to do it?
Who knows what unfathomable terrors might befall humanity if you had to—perish the thought—check your rolly-bag instead of stowing it in the overhead compartment? What heinous, topsy-turvy machinations might ensue if you found yourself having to wait five, ten, even FIFTEEN seconds while the person in 16B adjusts their tray table in order to accommodate your magnificent person?
After all, you surely could not ever, under any circumstances, be a hindrance to any other early boarders with their piddly-ass actual need for assistance. Disabled folks and parents with small children already enjoy too many social benefits in America today, worshipped as they are every time they leave their homes and given all the publicly funded medical assistance, work and family leave they could ever use—not to mention the assloads of political capital they enjoy in their gross overrepresentation in elected public office.
You’re just taking a little piece of the pie back for the average Joe. Thanks for taking a stand! Because you literally can.