Thursday, February 16, 2012

Venus and Mars Meet the Overhead Bin

In the my last stretch of eight days of work, I came into contact with 1,925 people on the plane.  Yes, I actually added it up.  Ostensibly the airplane’s job is to get people from point A to point B, however, I prefer to consider it a giant social experiment put together for my amusement.  As I am obsessed with all things gender related, I focused on the difference between men and women when the quandry of the overhead bin rears its ugly head.

If you've been on a plane (or better yet, IN one, RIP George Carlin), you probably already get a notion of where I'm going with this.  Passenger brings bag, bag goes in bin.  Simple enough?  Not really.  Making a bunch of people's shit fit nicely in a confined storage space is sometimes akin to a cruel puzzle with too many pieces.  Every plane is different, every bin is different, you bought a new bag, you stuffed it full of crap on your journey, there are no rules that universally apply to this mess.  People are stacking up behind you, fool, put your bag away and get out of the aisle!  And here's what I've witnessed....

A good number of people when faced with overhead bin drama stop and look at the problem, they rearrange things, they look for other spaces, they solicit help from their fellow passengers or from me or one of my other bag wrangling pro co-workers. These folks give me faith in human kind.  But some people are not so logical or resourceful.  When one of our less evolved friends comes across this dilemma (note I refrained from using the term idiot, because I am CLASSY), I see a discernable difference in reaction between the genders.  

When He Man Master of the Universe cannot make it work, he often resorts to feats of strength to man handle that bin to bend to his will.  Clearly these dudes have not heard the funk anthem “If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”.  There is slamming and cracking and damage to structural integrity and my central nervous system.  They will not stop when asked, they just have to prove to that bin WHO’S THE BOSS.

When Our Lady of Perpetual Confusion cannot make it work, she resorts to leaving the bag sticking out five inches over the edge, often verifying that it won’t close, and proceeds to sit down and read a magazine.  Basically, her mindset is, I don’t know what to do, therefore IT’S SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM.

I’ve certainly seen guys walk away from the above scenario, but not with such shocking regularity.  And I honestly can’t remember any women trying to physically assault the overhead bin in my eleven year career.

So, I guess I’m asking….is the message we’re telling men is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT?  And are we telling women DON’T WORRY YOUR PRETTY HEAD, SOMEONE ELSE WILL DEAL WITH IT?  I have no answers, just more questions.  But I’ll retire the Caps Lock for now.

My writing is currently flatter than a coke addicted super model’s chest, but I refuse to be discouraged.  I’ve started to train for some upcoming runs in Chicago as the weather is improving….and running is where I have most of my writing inspirations.  If there was only an app that could transcribe what happens in my mind when I’m truly inspired that seems to fizzle when I stare at the blinking cursor…..

Ending on a high note, I'm very excited to start a new storytelling class in March. Spring is coming, people.  Can you feel it?


  1. As a castrated female riding the low estrogen skies I realize I check everything I can and put my (s)carry on shit at my feet. I do not like standing up in flight, retucking, showing hot flashy sweatspots, doing the slide puzzle of bin contents, touching other people's stuff. Venus, Mars? I must be from Uranus! What say you Oracle of DaBins?

  2. I'd say what I always say about my Meesh...she's one smart cookie from the Planet Awesome.