Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


A Letter To The Demon Child Next To Me On This Flight To Boston

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I too am not pleased about heading to New England, land of our forefathers and a thousand future leaders of America. I’ve been called on this journey because of love — love for friends, which makes us do crazy things, like breathe in the crisp fall air of the Northeast that has probably already begun to sour.

I too have wondered before, “Where’s Boston?” Where indeed.

You have been called here by your parents, to visit an Uncle Dan for Thanksgiving. You seem to, if not disdain them, show them little respect. Perhaps this is because your mother’s constant threat that she is going to “wash your mouth out with soap.” You seem smart enough to, at the age of approximately 3 or 4, realize that this threat is almost entirely empty; you’ve even told her that she has stinky breath as a retort (though I am unclear if you’re old enough to realize the subtle irony between her threat and your comment).

You’ve sung both that terrible “song” “Gangnam Style” and some of the complete works of ABBA. You’ve disregarded any instruction to not kick both the people in front of you and behind you, a feat I wasn’t sure was possible. You’ve lost your shoe multiple times.

Somehow, your father, who has been blessed in the inevitable parental coin toss with the seat behind you (or in the game of chance that is a set of XY chromosomes), has managed to fall asleep. Your mother has not been so lucky. You’ve made her get up three times during a two hour flight to go to the bathroom. I know this because I am in the aisle seat. I saw you and thought, I’ll take a gamble on this kid. Everyone else seems to be avoiding her like the plague, but pickings are slim and I need to stow my carry-on baggage and get this show on the road.

Little did I know what kind of show I would be receiving.

You have been the victim of the phrase “AVERY! GOD!” so many times that I assume by the tone your mother is using that it’s been said a time or two before I was first blessed with your presence.

Your one moment of silence was, unsurprisingly, when you were brought apple juice. That was also the moment we locked eyes, for a fleeting second, a moment when I dared to look a demon in the face. You seemed calm, but those cheeks were too red; your hair, matching. It was messy, as if tousled by spirits themselves.

You are, unequivocally, a terror. And yet, I have something to say to you: It Gets Better. Hopefully for your parents, and whoever accidentally sits next to you because if this flight was crowded, the one you’ll be taking back next week sure as hell isn’t going to be any more spacious.

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