With holiday travel now in full swing — and perilous shopping frenzies forecast through the month of December — people are going insane. Like, actually clinically insane. Case in point: the live tweeting between Elan Gale and Diane of seat 7A on a Thanksgiving Day US Airways flight. Did you happen to miss that? Because it broke the Internet last week.
Elan, the producer of the esteemed programs The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad, was irked that a fellow passenger — a middle-aged woman who identified herself as Diane — was complaining about a flight delay on Thanksgiving. Elan was so angered at Diane’s anger that he sent her a glass of wine to chill out, accompanied by a scathingly condescending note. Diane didn’t appreciate this, and she sent a nasty note back. Elan then walked two bottles of vodka over to her seat, and more notes followed, including some from Elan that were graphic and incredibly insulting. He tweeted that Diane slapped him upon de-planing, and, to be honest, we hardly blame her. Elan sounds like a human pile of antagonistic, non-compassionate garbage. (See: Georgia’s thoughts on Elan vs. Diane on her Tumblr.)
So we’ve decided to write up some tips on how to send a drink to a stressed-out stranger. Study up, because we’re sure you’ll encounter at least one person in an airport who is totally losing his or her mind.
1. Assess if the person seems like the drinking type. If the person appears underage, do not send her a drink, no matter how stressed out she seems. This includes very angry babies.
2. Instead of sending a mean note telling the angry stranger that she is a jerk, maybe say, “You sound like you could use a drink.” This gives the angry stranger the opportunity to tell you that she does not drink, or that she has a broken liver. If such is the case, do not send her a drink.
3. If she says, “Heck yeah I could use a drink,” then by all means offer to purchase her one to relax and to re-affirm her faith in the human kindness. Not sure what beverage your angry stranger prefers? Tell the flight attendant that you will purchase the beverage of the angry person’s choice. Sometimes, a favorite beer or spirit might be enough for your angry stranger to feel at home and taken care of in the midst of holiday chaos.
4. Never drop off two bottles of vodka to an angry stranger, as Elan did. First off, vodka is gross without a mixer, and two shots of it might turn your angry stranger into an irate, violent stranger. Remember: One drink can take the edge off. Two drinks may sharpen the edge. At most, buy the angry stranger a beer or a glass of wine — or just one shot of spirits, plus a mixer. A vodka and cranberry juice is festive!
5. If the angry stranger does not want a drink, perhaps she’s simply hungry and suffering from low blood sugar. Do not tell her to eat any of your body parts, as Elan did. Rather, offer to purchase her an in-flight snack or sandwich. It’s a great idea to travel with small pouches of nuts or homemade apricot-chocolate trail mix. If you realize at some point you have become the angry stranger, have a snack.
6. If your angry stranger refuses your offers of food or drink, remind her that once she is safely home and can relax, Alie and Georgia have a bevy of holiday beverage recipes that she can enjoy with her family once reunited. Sit her down, rest a hand on her shoulder and remind her in a gentle tone of voice that she’s just hours away from a pumpkin bourbon milkshake, a mulled kosher wine, an apple cider cocktail or a hot mocha mint cocktail.
7. If it does not appear that your angry stranger knows martial arts or carries a concealed weapon, offer to hug her. Sometimes a little compassion and one free beverage is enough to melt the iciest winter attitude.
Go forth, travel safely and be kind to one another.
Tray tables up,