I love to travel, and traveling by air is certainly most efficient for me since I love relaxing on Caribbean islands and because my closest family member lives over a thousand miles away. But the love I have for traveling and for my family is mixed with anxiety because I am an overweight passenger.
I fit into the seat, and with the help of an extension, I am able to buckle myself in. I just board the plane early then discreetly ask for a seat belt extension before carefully making my way to the back of the plane (where people are less likely to be sitting right next to me.)
Sitting next to someone on an airplane when you’re obese (err, at least when you’re obese and your name is Kenz) creates the kind of dread that I cannot begin to express. And unless you’re fat (or have ever been fat) you just cannot possibly understand.
So when I arrive at the airport tomorrow, I will look for a customer service agent who seems polite and ask if there is anyone in the seat next to me. If so, I will ask if there is a seat on the plane in which the seat next to me could be free.
If I can sit alone then I’ll take a deep breath and be extremely thankful. If I have to sit next to someone then I will pre-board, ask for the seat belt extension, take my window seat then stay seated until the plane lands. And I will hope, with all of my being that the person next to me understands.
After all, I don’t spill over into the next seat. I can even put the arm rest down if my neighbor
wants to be a jackass wants to use the tiny armrest. But I hate the thought of crowding someone, especially someone who seems bothered by it. And believe me, I’ve been seated next to those people (thankfully not many times.)
I will never be able to explain to anyone how difficult it is to hope that no one causes a scene on a plane due to my size. And I will never be able to help anyone comprehend how it feels to wish for nothing more than to be invisible.
But I am going to get on a plane in a few hours because life will not wait for me to achieve my goals. The difference this time is that I know I’ll be smaller next time. I’m 37 pounds smaller this time, and I look forward to the day when I will no longer need a seat belt extension. Until then, wish me luck because I’m definitely going to need it tomorrow.