It happens. Every time I sitting in my seat (hopefully by the window) waiting for the rest of the passengers to board the plane and find their seats. The anticipation nearly kills me. I get so excited to see what kind of character I will be seated next to this time. Now clearly I can not let on that I am excited to see who it's going to be. So I play with my phone to avoid eye contact. (Although I had just been sitting waiting to board for at least the last 30 minutes so there is nothing for me to play with on my phone... I've already checked my text messages, emails, voice mails, blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter .) So it just turns into a waiting game. Waiting for the person who is going to sit next to me to put their carry-on in the overhead, waiting for them to check their phone one last time, waiting for them to look relaxed and even a bit bored. It's then and only then that I pounce.
I never start with a question directed towards them. That is a total rookie mistake. I start with some type of funny joke or comment about something. Maybe about the flight attendant... maybe about another passenger... maybe about the weather. Anything except personal questions. You see, personal questions in such a close proximity is just too much. So I try and keep it light. Other wise there is a chance that I might scare off the person and then I am trapped in the window seat with nothing to do for 1 to 2 hours. So my whole goal is to get the other person to ask me a personal question. Once that has happened... they are hooked and I know the rest of the flight is at my disposal. If they are an interesting person I get the next 1 to 2 hours to explore their brain, their dreams, their passions....or if they are boring I can complain how exhausting the day was and pretend to go to sleep. It is an automatic win. (Because you see, if you ask them a personal question first but then realize they are a really boring/crazy/annoying person you can't THEN say you are tired... because you asked the personal question. Now you are stuck in the conversation until they end it.)
I hate flying. I get so so motion sick. Whenever the plane drops I am afraid we are all dead men. But I'll tell you what. It's all worth it. Not for the destination or even the peanuts... but for the chance of being seated next to a gem.