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Week 18 – Writing as Therapy

My wife Joan and I are on a Southwest Airlines flight taking us from Chicago back to San Francisco. There’s a girl of six or seven and her mother sitting right behind us. The girl has an incredibly screechy loud voice. Joan hasn’t had to listen to the torture I’ve been through for the past two hours because she’s been plugged into her iPod the whole time.

There is no doubt that the young girl is in love with the sound of her own voice which happens to be the most shrill, piercing voice I’ve ever heard in my life. My ears rang every time she opened her mouth. Her voice was as ear splitting as a siren. If someone had held up an empty wine glass, she could have probably shattered it with that voice of hers. The mother was so unaware of her daughter’s penetrating voice. That voice not only infringed upon my eardrums and thoughts for two hours, but I’m sure it affected every person seated in our general area.

The mother still hasn’t told her daughter to relax and be quiet for a while. I believe she refuses to do so because she thinks she’s a caring, loving mother who is trying to make her precious and precocious little daughter forget that we’re 36,000 feet in the air on a somewhat bumpy flight. I blame her for not realizing how much her daughter’s voice is bothering others.

Oh, I turned around in my seat a couple of times to show my displeasure, but not a peep came out of me. I was actually too shy to intrude upon their intrusiveness. I’m usually the first person to speak up when unthinking people are oblivious to others. I was hoping another passenger would say something–except no one did. I thought of asking the flight attendant to tell them to be quiet–but I didn’t. It just shows how extremely tolerant people are of children on planes. An idea even occurred to me to tell the mother that her daughter’s voice carried so well that I thought she had a great future as an opera singer.

So how am I able to write with those two chatterboxes still going non-stop behind me? Earplugs! I couldn’t think straight until Joan dug into her purse and handed me a pair of earplugs. I was almost on the verge of getting out of my seat and telling that mother and daughter team to “Shut up already!” Because of these earplugs, I don’t have to vent my anger on them. Instead, I’m venting it on this page, which is the only course an angry writer should take.