Why Kids Who Fly Solo Are Cooler Than Me

They rock laminates and they’ve got s**t to do. They’re packin’ iPads and iPhones with more apps than I have (note: I have Draw Something. I’m not dead.). They’ve got movies to watch, Bose headphones and usually,  adorable flying outfits that make whatever I’m wearing look way less adorable. The moment they board, stuff starts happening for them. They’re like mini-mafia. People’s seats are rearranged so that the kid can be seated in the right place and everyone starts talking to them to make sure they’re cool.

Believe me, they’re cool. They got this. They’re not like some of those troublemaker kids who are traveling with their parents. I’m in the air right now (with a plane around me) and there is an unaccompanied minor behind me. She’s about 9 years old and talks likes she’s equal parts 31 and 9. Which is the best part about so many 9-year-olds. The woman next to her has taken it upon herself to bond with her. I’m guessing that she assumes this kid needs a babysitter. Her aggressive friending is amusing for those of us in the near-vicinity, because this woman is drunk. Not sloppy, get-that-kid-away-from-the-crazy-drunk-lady drunk. More good mood, let-me-show-this- 9-year-old-child-how-much-I-know-about-kids-and-their-references-and-technology-today-because-I’m-hip drunk. Which is a very specific drunk. So for this lady, I guess it worked out perfectly that a kid rolling solo wound up next to her. Otherwise, what a waste of that let-me-show-this- 9-yr-old-child-how-much-I-know-about-kids-and-their-references-and-technology-today-because-I’m-hip drunk good mood.

The woman has challenged the little girl to some sort game that, as far as I can tell, involves little more than whipping bags of peanuts at the backs of the chairs of the people in front of them. Being that I am in front of them, I’ve become a backboard. I kind of don’t mind, though. It’s a short flight and to be perfectly honest, while I’m not drunk, I too want that 9-year-old to think I’m cool. So the only thing I’d consider turning around to say would be something like, “I’m so cool! Like me?” Which, now that I’ve heard myself say it in my head and have seen it here on the page, would not sound right at all. I wonder how many Twitter followers the ‘lil one would think it was cool to have. The drunk lady probably thinks it’s cool to have infinity-billion-and-two. I guess I’ll just continue to face forward and keep debating the two people I want to be talking to on this flight. The rad 9-year-old who can take me to cool school and Heidi Fleiss.

I know what you’re thinking. What range! Same. I saw Heidi board, she was one of the last on and she’s sitting all the way in the back of the plane. Which I guess is appropriate for this flight – 9-year-olds in the front and former madams in the back. I want to stretch my legs. Which is code for, I want to walk to the back of the plane and ask Heidi Fleiss 1,114 questions. That lady knows stuff about stuff. The captain just said the rest of the flight was going to be a little bumpy and we’ll need to stay in our seats. It’s not getting bumpy at all. I’m very grateful, although I can’t help but wonder if this “turbulence” is some sort of ‘keep Jill away from interrogating Heidi Fleiss trick’ that the captain has plenty of time to be involved with. It could have gone as deep as the tower weighing in, in regards to me bothering the person I’m fascinated with in the back of the plane. I don’t even want to think about the fact that my mother could have very well called the tower who in turn called the captain and the group decided to lie about turbulence to manage my life.

Either way, I do actually like my seat. And it really is one of the few times I haven’t minded someone kicking it or being loud behind me. I’m digging hearing the conversation between the unaccompanied minor and unaccompanied drunk lady behind me. It’s sort of sweet.