Between Boyfriends: The Reality of Flying Solo

You'd better be sure your makeup is in check before boarding that flight. After all, traveling solo can involve hours next to a charming bachelor seatmate. Right? Well, we've heard about that happening, but we've never actually seen it -- and neither has Cindy Chupack. The former writer for Sex and the City and author of The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays, gives the straight -- and hilarious -- scoop on what you can really expect when you book a single seat:

"Hi," he said. He was adorable, and he appeared to have the seat next to mine on the plane. That never happens. I usually end up sitting next to someone with a child, which means either making silly faces for five hours or appearing to be a woman who doesn't like children. I do like children. I want to have some eventually. I just don't want to fly with them.

In fact, I have no political aspirations, but I did once come up with what I think is an excellent program to keep teenage girls from getting pregnant. Give them a baby (preferably one with an earache) for the duration of a cross-country flight. The child's parents could sit together in another row and enjoy a little break, the teenager could fly free (an incentive for the teenager and the parents), and the teen pregnancy rate would plummet. It's a good idea, don't you think? If anybody in elected office or in charge of an airline is reading this book, it's yours. All I ask is that you get this program in place before I have a child.

I am somewhat chastised, because last time I flew, I was looking forward to sleeping on the plane, and a woman with a screaming baby got on board and I was thinking, "Please don't let that baby be sitting next to me, please don't let that baby be sitting next to me," and of course, he was sitting next to me. And this baby looked healthy, like he could scream all the way to L.A. and back. His weary mother dropped off a baggie of Cheerios and then looked for an empty overhead compartment in which to put, I hoped, the baby. I took this opportunity to surreptitiously summon a flight attendant, and said that if another seat opened up, I would very much like to move. She nodded sympathetically. Then the woman sat down, let out a big sigh and said, "It's so hard to travel with a baby. When I was pregnant everybody was so nice, and now it's like I'm a pariah." I instantly felt guilty, and overcompensated by pretending to be equally indignant: "It's true. It's a disgrace. Everybody was a baby once. Why aren't people more tolerant?" I spent the rest of the flight praying the flight attendant would not offer me the seat I requested. In fact, I felt so remorseful and hypocritical that by the time we were somewhere over Phoenix I was holding the Cheerios and singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."
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