Two flight attendants share a 1’x2’ barely padded, retractable torture device we call a jumpseat for take offs, landings and the occasional burst of turbulence. When we start the trip, we are complete strangers but by the end of our 3 day trip I will know everything about you. More than your closest friend or even your spouse knows. Why is this you ask? Maybe in the very deep dark recesses of our mind we truly believe we could die any second, so we feel the need to confess. Thus the term "jumpseat confessional " or "jumpseat therapist".
I’ve had the privilege of flying with some really hysterical people, at these times I’m thankful for my shoulder harness or else I’m sure I would fall off the my seat in a fit of laughter! Service is delayed and everyone gets to hear me cackle, guffaw and sometimes wheeze. I’ve also had the dreadful misfortune of sitting next to someone I detest and have nothing in common save for this job. I have found that staring straight ahead in my brace position with no acknowledgement of the person sitting next to me gives them the proper signals to cease and desist all communication not related to the job. If that doesn’t do the trick, I’ve been known to say "please stop talking, you are sucking my will to live." C’est Voila! No more talkie talkie.
There are some subjects you should always stay away from... religion, politics and the best way to raise children. However, apparently what you did last night and with who is fine. Gory details of your latest operation,which gender you prefer, a list of the foods that give you gas, hemorrhoid flare ups, erectile disfunction, cross dressing, how heavy your menstrual flow is, the fact that your last child ripped you from here to there, you only sleep naked, oral sex is your specialty, that you haven’t had a BM in 3 days, you only have one testicle... blah blah yadda yadda blah.
It starts off innocently enough, with the easy questions... Do you commute? Where do you live? Are you married? Kids? If we just stuck to that stuff it would be great because now for the rest of my life, whenever I see this one specific f/a, all I can see is her in an ape suit getting a brazilian wax. Don’t ask.
There are of course other things we talk about... like you.