On my flight out to DC last week, it got kind of interesting, and I think you'll enjoy the details.
I had an aisle seat, in the very back row, and after I was seated, the person in the middle seat showed up so I stood to let her in. I didn't catch on at first that the man and young boy coming along behind her were husband and son, who seated themselves in the same row but on the other side of the aisle. Once she and he started talking across the aisle, and she passed a sweatshirt across to him, I anticipated she would probably ask if I would give up my coveted aisle seat. (That was what had happened my prior plane trip, a mom by herself with 2 kids, so I guess lately my seating luck just hasn't been very good.) At first I figured I would turn her down if asked, as I like some room to stretch my legs on a long flight, and she did have hubby to look after the kid. But then my devious side took over.
Because, she did have a certain attractive quality about her; I guessed her to be late 20s or 30ish, with a generally slim build and an open approachable face that sported a few freckles. Fairly cute feet as well; what can I say, this leopard doesn't change his spots. :)
So I pre-empted the chance of her locating the courage to strike up the necessary conversation with me, by making a humorous comment about the gate agent who had looked completely frazzled for some reason. It's always good to get a woman to laugh a little bit, if you're trying to pick her up. Especially right in front of her husband. :) Then I fibbed a little: I said that it helps to keep your humor on these four-hour flights, which I have to do twice a month now. Gets boring, I said.
She asked what I did, so I explained about my job, except of course I embellished why so much travel was involved. (Shoot, I probably could travel that much, if I let my boss talk me into it. :) ) After getting across that the lengthy dead time on the plane was the only part of the job I didn't like, I asked if she made the trip to DC often, and if she still found air travel exciting, knowing it would let her explain about her family being with her and maybe she would ask to switch, which was what I wanted.
They were heading east to see his family, she explained. To my surprise, she didn't ask about changing seats with me. I offered the opinion quietly, even a bit conspiratorially, that her husband was surely capable of handling the task of watching their son on the flight. She kind of snorted at that assertion. I recanted and said that it's probably in guys' genetics that we all fall asleep within an hour when faced with childcare duty, and she agreed about that with a laugh.
So I brought it up myself: I supposed she was hoping to swap seats with me? She said that she hadn't wanted to ask, knowing that people book the aisle seats in advance, but yes if I wouldn't mind. I said, honestly enough, that I usually prefer the aisle seat so as to be able to stretch my legs a little now and then in-flight, but that "maybe we could work something out ... if you're a little bit uninhibited". I continued keeping my voice low, for plausible deniability to her husband if things really went bad. I realize now as I write this that I didn't have a ready excuse, such as "you misunderstood, I said the stewardess is badly zitted" to cover for "uninhibited". :)
Her reaction told me that quiet had been a wise choice. It really was a presumptuous thing for me to say so quickly. Hardly better, I realized, than if I'd said, "saaaay, you a member of the Mile High Club?". She drew back, and said "excuse me?" I thought maybe hubby would hear that, but I didn't see a reaction from him, as he was already busy reading to their son.
I decided to take one more shot, and then would offer to trade seats without precondition, whichever way things went. "Sorry, that came out bad. I only meant a LITTLE bit. Maybe I should have said 'fun'. I mean, just to talk. These flights get so boring. Those two'll fall asleep after we take off - and then you and I can talk. About things. Play a game of Twenty Questions or something. But with no topic off limits. That's what I meant. Look, I'll give you a safeword - just say "snicklefritz", and the game will end instantly. You have my word as a gentleman about that. But you won't want to stop, I'm willing to bet. It'll be fun. Relieve the boredom at least. Whaddaya say? In exchange for a better seat?"
She was silent.
I relented. "OK, I'm sorry. Look, you can have the aisle seat if you want it, no obligations. I'm sorry if I embarrassed you. I guess it sounded a little bit creepy." Looking back, I had counted on it helping that I was wearing a business suit on a plane - how scary can a guy like me be, really? She said, non-commitally, "you sure? I don't want to take away your space for stretching out." I assured her it would be fine, that it was more important for her to be seated nearer her family. I got up, and she got up, and we made the switch. Hubby looked up, and thanked me for my courtesy. I hoped she wasn't planning to rat me out. :)
Even moreso than usual, I took pains to keep within my personal space in the middle seat, so as not to make her uncomfortable. I expected to pass the rest of the trip in silence, since the old guy to my left was already leaning against the window and half-asleep, and I picked up my magazine to read for just a bit - even without a kid to look after, I expected to drift off to sleep after a while, it having been a long week already. To my mild surprise, my seat mate asked me a question about the article I was reading. Apparently her sensibilities hadn't been so badly ruffled after all. The conversation didn't really go anywhere though; she wasn't much into politics and that's what I was reading about at that moment.
An hour or so passed - we took off, reached cruising altitude, the seatbelt light went off, a few people passed by in pursuit of the bathroom at the back of the plane where we were, the flight attendants served sodas and overpriced baskets of snacks - and the passengers eventually settled in for the main portion of the flight. My seat mate focused most of her attention across the aisle, a couple of times fishing an item out of her carry-on bag to give to hubby for the pacification of their child. Though I didn't notice specifically, eventually the kid drifted off to sleep, followed, apparently, by hubby. The guy in the window seat was also sound asleep by this time. I started to feel a drifting sensation, myself.
"Animal, vegetable, or mineral?" I heard, which snapped me back. "Excuse me?" I said stupidly - but how could I be that dense? "Animal, vegetable, or mineral," she repeated, "you said we could play twenty questions." I suppressed a chuckle. Twenty questions was what I had indeed said, I realized - although I had meant it just as one example, and had a variant in mind. But maybe I should play along with that. "My dick", that would count as animal, right? :) (Unless I claim that rock-hardness at times makes it mineral.)
Anyway, I didn't waste breath asking what had prompted her apparent change of heart. I checked across the aisle, and hubby's back was mostly toward us. "Actually, what I had in mind was ten questions for each of us. Yes or no questions. About anything. The deal is, after the question is asked, you wait 60 seconds to answer. Builds up a little suspense. Then the other person has to wait 60 seconds before asking the next question. It's a long flight. There's no rush. I find it helps if you have to think about it. With your eyes closed, if you want. No topic off limits, like I said. You game?" "Why not," she said agreeably. "You wanna go first, or me?" I offered. "You," she said. "OK, here, I'll time it," I said, "I'll ask you in sixty seconds. Get ready."
I used my time well, it turns out. My original half-baked idea had been to ask a generic "do you like sex?" as the opening question. But I thought about our interchange before takeoff, and decided upon a theory as to what might have prompted her to offer to play now. When my minute was up, I was ready with a better question. I leaned over next to her ear; the roar of the engines would keep my words from carrying even to across the aisle, unless I shouted, and I intended to keep the conversation very private indeed. My only concern was maybe words could carry forward to the seats in front of us; I resolved to aim slightly behind her ear since no one was behind us.
"Do you know what a safeword is?"
I saw a slight smile. "Your minute starts now," I reminded her, "shut your eyes and think about your answer." I hadn't said she should try to avoid tipping off the answer early, so I decided not to tease her about being a bad poker player or anything. But I already knew her answer. I hoped that with her eyes shut, she'd be fantasizing about me tying her up, of course; so jokes at this point would only interfere with sexual waking-dreams.
"Time's up," I said, "what's your answer?" "Yes," she replied softly, leaning toward me, "I do know what a safeword is. Now, I already have a question for you." I asked her to shut her eyes and wait for 60 seconds anyway. At the appointed time, she opened her eyes and looked at me squarely.
"Do you prefer women with large breasts?"
.... There is more of this story ...