The Consummate Grad: Air Travel
A lot of people are always traveling, especially around Thanksgiving, and there’s a lot of merit in that. But for many people, air travel has become just another chance to behave inappropriately. And I’m not talking about ripping cigarettes in the bathroom or yelling willy nilly across the main cabin, because chances are if you’re logging onto Gradspot, you’re not some codeless heathen who shouts to his friend in 23B when he’s all the way back in 37D, thinking about whether or not it’s safe to whack himself off under the midnight blue wool blanket that’s “washed’ after every flight.
But statistics don’t lie, and I’d bet if this site had a tracker for which of its users wore sweatpants on airplanes, it would be at least a thousand impressions. And that CPM costs a lot more than $15. In fact, it costs more than the Euro!
If you could see me right now, you’d probably be yelling, “Practice what you preach, Cheddar!” because I’m actually penning this on an airplane while wearing a sweatshirt! But it’s from American Apparel (pause), so that’s sort of fashionable, and I’m also wearing a very, very fresh pair of corduroys. So maybe if you could see me you’d actually be saying, “Nice Cords, Cheddar! Are those from Structure!?” Well, yes, they are. But that’s beside the point, because you can’t see me, so you also don’t know I just paid to watch Hairspray on my individual monitor. God, I love the internet!
My point is this: Usually I wear a blazer on the plane, and so should you if you’re a man. If you’re a woman, unless you’re a tenth grader at Nightingale or you’re pregnant — hopefully not both ;) — it’s embarrassing to dress for a flight like you’re fixing to cozy up to a late night marathon of Grey’s Anatomy. If comfort is so important to you, stop wearing heels or shoes with toes shaped like triangles when you go out. Who cares if an airplane isn’t a nightclub and air travel is a deeply anonymous endeavor? It is in these moments that a firm sense of propriety is very important.
For here’s the rub: when you’re sporting a fresh blazer or a beautiful plaid jumper, the stage is set to behave like an incredible mensch on board. All of a sudden you’re helping people with their bags. You’re willing to change seats so a family can sit together. You know to politely ask for a bottle of water so that can of Mr. And Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix doesn’t dehydrate you too much. You never lean back in your seat. You make sure not to consume spirits on board if you’re by yourself. You never talk too much, but you relate to other people on their terms when appropriate. Basically, you act like a dazzlingly polite human.
A lot of people think that being on an airplane is just a chance to catch up on rest, but it’s really a golden opportunity to be exceptionally polite and rack up some personal merits. Happy holidays!