Every time I get on an airplane I have the feeling that whoever sits next to me is going to be my future husband. Perhaps you’ll say I’ve seen too many movies. But my logic is, of all the 7 or 8 billion people on planet earth, what are the odds that this person sits next to you? Clearly, this must be your soul mate.

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I boarded my flight home to Beirut and my seat/ soulmate appears. He’s pudgy, bald, and unkempt, the most noticeable thing about him was his grimace. He requested not one but two extra cheese-and-turky sandwiches and then proceeded to fart the entire way home to Beirut. SBDs. Silent But Deadlies. He was a weird guy, you could tell from the get-go. For one thing, he asked me to hold his coat for him during the plane ride. For another thing he complained to me that he had no place to put his laptop.

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“Down there,” I motioned to the space underneath the seat in front of him, as everyone knows from infancy is the correct place to shove all personal belongings for the duration of the in-flight safety videos.

“There’s no room!” he complained, as though I cared.

As we bickered about whether he might be able to fit the laptop beneath the seat, I said a silent prayer, God, why have you cursed me with such a stupid husband?

Like any wife pissed at her partner, I watched half of some violently anti-woman Hollywood film starring Sandra Bullock and then turned it off to sulk.

In any case, in between this man’s farts I began thinking about some of the Do’s and Don’ts of Air travel.

DON’T: Fart extensively whilst flying. But if you must fart during the plane ride, do be sure to blame it on the person seated in front of you.

DO: Do something nice. Everyone acts like such a jerk when they’re flying that even the tiniest act of kindness will make you appear like Mahatma Ghandi. This is your time to shine. At the baggage carousel, assist the elderly and small children in lifting heavy baggage.

DON’T: Freak out in case of turbulence. Whenever the plane makes a slight dip, I am immediately convinced that we’re all about to die too. These are our last moments of life – savor them. But let’s just keep it to ourselves, for the sake of morale, shall we? Don’t want to scare the fellow passengers.

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One thing I find massively ironic is that babies love turbulence. The rest of the flight they cry like they’re being tortured, but give them a shaky plane and they’re nestled like they’re back in the womb. Maybe they’re onto something?

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DO: Applaud when the pilot safely lands the plane on the runway at BEY. This is such a delightful custom, and I fear it’s dying out. From now on, let’s all make a mental note to clap to show your appreciation for the pilot’s hard work.

DON’T: Smoke in the airplane. You’d really think this would go without saying, but, I shit you not, a friend of mine was flying to Beirut recently and there was a woman who smoked a cigarette in the bathroom. Still, you have to admire the balls of someone who, in the paranoid year of 2015, smokes in an airplane.

DO: Chew nicotine gum (if you’re a smoker). Smokers always hate going long flights without a smoke break, but chewing nicotine gum on board a plane while everyone else is just fiending for a cigarette will make you feel like you’re getting away with something.

DON’T: Get too drunk. Everyone always just wants to get wasted so you can black out on the flight and pretend it’s not really happening, but let me tell you there’s nothing fun about thinking you’re two minutes away from an overdose 5,000,000 feet in the air.

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DO: When you get to the people mover- KEEP WALKING. Why do people stop and stand on that thing?

DON’T: Make a stink about having to turn your phone on airplane mode during takeoff. There’s nothing worse than the one passenger who refuses to turn off his phone, as though this is the most onerous request anyone has ever made of him. The least you can do is pretend to turn it off until the flight attendants aren’t looking.

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In case you’re wondering what happened to my future husband – we parted ways at customs and never saw each other again.

Thank God.

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