Two reactions.


Amanda Marcotte @AmandaMarcotte…If you’ve been passing around that funny story of a man schooling a woman on a plane, here’s the other side.

Renee Hendricks @reneehendricks

Yep, still amusing, OphieB – – … – being ill doesn’t give you a free pass to be a whiny ass to everyone.


  1. A. Noyd says

    You know, it’s amazing how many people in the other thread are like Hendricks and seem to think that the most important thing is it scold Diane. How they don’t want to let her “get away” with being a jerk, even though no one is offering her a “free pass.” At least some of them are willing to offer token disapproval of Elan, but that still doesn’t excuse their focus. Someone acting out because they’re suffering is not remarkable, and while there’s no reason to condone it, we shouldn’t worry about lecturing them about the breach in their perfection. That happens and while it sucks for the people who have to deal with those like Diane, it’s nothing compared to the destructiveness of bullying and sexual harassment. I have to wonder if people would more readily criticize the behavior of deliberately trying to make someone miserable if Elan were a woman going after a dying man.

  2. Claire Ramsey says

    They were both acting up. I might have mentioned here that I sometimes burst into tears at airports, esp when I have to confront TSA indignities and/or other people’s bad behavior. Airports and airplanes bring out the worst in everyone. And if someone is already facing the worst, well, shit happens.

    If she were in better shape Diane could have nipped the interaction early. Diane could have just laid it out to the asshole who was acting like an asshole, e.g. a return note “I am dying of cancer. My behavior sometimes not completely under my control because I am ill and grieving. I would appreciate being left alone now.” But of course she was in no shape to do that. The man acted like a big huge jerk. And he knew he was acting like a jerk. But it didn’t stop him. Something is wrong with that guy.

    I like to think that’s what I would do. I have several deaf friends/family members and when some jerk yells at them “What are you? DEAF?” it is a great pleasure to observe them saying “YES I AM.”

  3. screechymonkey says

    And of course, the appropriate punishment for being a “whiny ass” is repeated and persistent harassment.

  4. says

    Also, where do the flight attendants have some responsibility here? They are trained to deal with very difficult customers. How they thought passing along these notes (starting with that first, snarky one) between these two as it all escalated was seriously poor judgement and unprofessional.

    No matter how annoying this woman was, she was clearly suffering. The lack of compassion for this woman is really boggling. If someone was crying and whining from visibly physical pain, would you tell them to shut the hell up? Why is this different?

  5. thetalkingstove says

    I’m just depressed by the total lack of empathy shown by people like Hendricks, and most of the new commenters in the previous thread here.

    Can they not imagine what it might be like to be scared, tired, stressed, sick, miserable, near the end of your life, desperate for the comfort of being with family, and how all of those things might make a person snap and behave out of character?

    My father has cancer, and so far he’s pretty much been his normal, positive self. But if it all gets too much for him one day and he takes it out on me, another family member or a stranger, I’m not going to give him a damn lecture, because I can’t imagine how he must be feeling dealing with day after day of illness. And what’s more, he’d feel awful about it once he calmed down.

    Ugh. It’s just disgusting that all these people can do is shake their heads and be all ‘Nuh-uh, no free pass!’

    What is this ‘free pass’ bullshit? It would have been totally fine for someone to politely ask Diane to calm down and be more considerate. That obviously wasn’t what happened. So actually ‘no free pass’ means ‘no protection from being told to eat a dick’? Again, ugh.

  6. says

    And from what Elan reports, she wasn’t all THAT rude anyway. The way he tells it it was more that she was acting as if she were the only one affected by the delay. Sure, that’s annoying in an adult, and fair game for venting on Twitter – but it’s not even close to deserving followup punishment by a random passenger.

  7. Anthony K says

    Renee spends a lot of time indignant over people with cancer. What a rotten life that must be.

  8. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Anthony K wrote:

    Renee spends a lot of time indignant over people with cancer. What a rotten life that must be.

    Ah, more pissant carping from a wretched, scummy creep. I bet her family can’t wait to spent holiday time with her.

  9. Anthony K says

    Seriously, Wowbagger: she seems to think it’s her mission to keep those uppity cancer patients from getting away with something.

  10. sailor1031 says

    “…and fair game for venting on Twitter…” – er, No! Twitter is not private. It’s like taking out a full page ad to bitch about someone else. Fuck that!

  11. says

    Fair game assuming she’s anonymous – which of course she would be (because he’d have no way of knowing who she is unless he approached her and approaching her is what I’m saying he shouldn’t do). She’s just someone on a plane. I vented about that guy who picked his huge dirty feet right across the aisle from me throughout the flight that one time – but nobody on earth could figure out who the hell that was. That’s fair game. I vented about the two guys who sat on either side of me on the flight to Schiphol en route to Dublin last summer, and who both coughed freely without covering their mouths and noses, and who gave me a fucking cold by doing so…but nobody knows who they are.

    Mind you, the assholes who monitor my every move in order to complain about it on Twitter made even THAT a grievance, but that’s what they do in life.

  12. ismenia says

    Even if she had behaved appallingly, it’s hardly good manners to sign off with “I hate you, eat my dick”. He was far, far more rude.

    If the woman had been black, would it suddenly be ok to sign off with a series of racist epithets?

  13. says

    Hendricks’ reaction, and that of a lot of scolds in the other thread, seems to imply that they’re the ones being adults. They see things as they are and apply judgement and lay responsibility.

    I don’t know if I’m right, but my feeling is that being an adult means you don’t always know why people behave the way they do and often the most adult thing to do in public social situations like this one is nothing at all.

  14. Gordon Willis says

    being ill doesn’t give you a free pass to be a whiny ass to everyone.

    This is just an excuse to be “superior” and spiteful. Being ill is the reason why people don’t always get things straight, and talk out of anxiety or their pain-killers rather than Buddha-like serenity. The demand that other people be complete saints makes me very annoyed. [I also note from the tweets that Elan saw that Diane was wearing a medical mask, but seems to have drawn self-serving conclusions.]

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