One of our readers recently contacted us to tell us how much she appreciated a previous post in which Joan described her unpleasant encounter with a woman on a plane. Our reader, too, had just had a disagreeable interaction with a passenger on a plane, one which she admits did not go well. This reader said that our conclusions in our post had helped her to see a better U Love way in which she could have handled her situation. (We greatly appreciated the reader’s comments. It was encouraging, as are the other kind words some of our readers write to us. Thank you!)
We’re mentioning this because her tale of the ordeal was quite humorous, along with being a good example of how to (or not to) show U Love. We asked her if we could share her story on the blog. So, with her permission, here, in our own words, is the account as described to us by our reader:
I recently boarded a plane for a long flight to my home town. I am not always comfortable with flying, so I was in a state of agitation from the onset. My seat was on the aisle, with two empty seats next to me. I was hopeful they would remain that way. To my disappointment, near the end of the boarding process, a man and a woman came to claim the seats next to me.
I realized the couple would have to climb over me to get into their seats, so I stood up in the aisle to give them extra space so they could maneuver into their seats. As I stepped aside, and while the woman slid from my seat into hers, I noticed that the woman had on an extremely short skirt which left little to the imagination.
After a few minutes of wrangling, each of us finally settled into our seats. Then, much to my dismay, I saw that the woman next to me (with the short skirt) had my seat belt caught up between her legs. I said, “Ma’am, you have my seat belt between your legs.” The woman responded to me in a slow, southern drawl, which she peppered with exaggerated facial expressions while forming her words.
“Why I guess I do have your seat belt. I thought I felt something under my legs,” she giggled as she drew out a seat belt and handed it to me. I knew she had given me her own seat belt, so I handed it back saying, “Ma’am, I believe this is your seat belt.” “Well, how right you are,” she said in that overly sweet drawl. She then slowly fished out my seat belt from between her legs and handed it to me.
I did not really want to handle the belt, but knew I needed to put it on; we were about to take off. So, I took the belt, quickly snapped it on, and tried to be OK about it. In reality, I was kind of disgusted by the whole ordeal.
At that point, I just wanted some space between me and the woman next to me. So, I turned to her and said in a matter-of-fact way, “Ma’am, I’d like to put down the arm rest between us.” She retorted in a not-so-kind, southern drawl, “Well, you don’t have to be so rude about it!” I was shocked by her response. “Pardon me?” I said, knowing no proper southern woman would point out someone’s faults. Then, she said it again. “Well, you don’t have to be so rude about it!”
That was it for me! I snapped at her in a hugely fake, sickeningly sweet, sarcastic, southern drawl, “Well, Ah am so sorry Ah transgressed against you. Won’t you please forgive ME!” We stared each other down, at which point she turned away from me and never gave me another glance for the rest of the trip (although she did complain to her companion loud enough for me to hear about how rude she thought I had been).
As icy silence descended upon us, my conscience began to work on me. I immediately thought about the post Joan had written describing a similar incident on a plane. I remembered Joan saying how poorly she had handled her situation, and how she wished she had shown more U Love at the time. I tried to shake off these thoughts. I didn’t want to give in to the truth they held. Instead, I tried to stew in my frustration, feeling justified by my vexation.
But, my conscience was working overtime. I was completely convicted that I, like Joan, had handled this situation with very little U Love. Even further, I was so very sorry that I had misrepresented God to the woman. I hoped she would never connect this incident (and me) with Him. I knew I had come to this conclusion mostly because of my close relationship with God, but also partly because of Joan’s honesty in admitting her negligence in showing U Love as expressed in her airplane post.
From Joan and Rebecca: To our reader, we say thank you for your openness in sharing your story. It has always been our hope that by revealing our own successes and failures, we would inspire not only ourselves, but also others to show more U Love in life. We are happy to know that, in this instance, our airplane post made a difference. We are looking forward to more success stories about U Love down the line!
Have a U Love week!
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