Travel tales: If you can’t say anything nice… Hush.

With hands on hips: “This is taking forever.”
Eyebrows scrunched: “What are they dooooing back there?”
Eyes rolling: “God, how long does it take to push a wheel chair?”
Foot tapping: “We’re going to be late.”
Neck craning: Finally, she’s back out front.”
With disgust: “What do you want to bet all the people sitting in back put their luggage up front?”
Arms crossed: “Are we ever going to take off?”


Photo credit.

I heard all of these statements and more while waiting for my flight home last night… from one crabby lady. I came this close to turning around and setting upon Ms. Toxic with passive aggressive cheerfulness. “Oh I just LOVE flying!” “Is this so exciting?” “The staff here are just wonderful.” “I can’t wait to get on the plane, too.”

But I didn’t have the energy. Instead, I noticed how her negativity seeped out toward other people. She certainly made me feel irritated and up until then, I had been in a remarkably good mood.

So I got to thinking about something my grandma always told me: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. 

In the airport, where feelings literally fly*, I think it’s important to keep our verbal and nonverbal expressions of emotion in check… especially the negative ones. We’re all inconvenienced. Nobody likes waiting. Everyone gets cranky once in awhile. But can you imagine what it would be like if we all expressed our irritation out loud (and not just on Facebook and Twitter)? And then boarded a closed, cramped metal tube? How fun! (Err…)

So, as I mention in this post on airport/airplane etiquette… For pete’s sake, be kind. And if you can’t, please consider being quiet.


* Yes, that’s a title of one of my academic papers, I am a cheeseball

Related Links:
Travel Tales: Switching seats away from stinky and never looking back
For pete’s sake, be considerate. Shawna’s guide to airport/airplane etiquette
Ruminations on travel
Life in the sky: Hiding from the TSA, watching grumpy passengers and keeping perspective

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