I Can’t Believe I Have To Say This, But Let’s Not Make Up Long Convoluted Love Stories About Strangers On Airplanes

The big viral story of the moment is unusual in that it actually comes with a bit of truth to it. Unlike it’s threadecessor, the story of Zola the stripper, the story of the two hot personal trainers who fell in love on an airplane has not only pictures and an air of actual plausibility, it seems to have been confirmed after the fact by one of the unwitting participants, and even taken by them to be in good fun.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, below is the first tweet of a long thread:

For those who don’t feel like reading a long thread, here’s the TL;DR version: two people asked a good-looking girl to switch seats on a plane so they could sit together, joking that maybe by switching seats she would meet the love of her life. When it turned out that the guy who would sit next to her on the plane was also very attractive, they got very excited; when the two seemed to hit it off, they continued to document the who thing, buying Wifi on the plane to do so.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but no matter how hot the people sitting in front of you on a plane are, and no matter how well they seem to be getting along, let’s not make a whole public love story about them and spend our entire flight freaking out, OK guys? It’s really weird, like REALLY weird, and very much an invasion of privacy.

I love romantic comedies as much as, if not more than, the next guy, and a meet cute on a plane seems like a pretty decent premise for one, but it’s not your responsibility to tell that story as you perceive it to be happening in real time, because then the premise actually becomes about two people minding their own business while two delusional stalkers plot to kidnap them and force them to have sex on camera or something. If you like the story that much, spend the flight writing a script about it or something, not taking pictures and videos of them and pretending to be an expert on body language.

The fact that, as I mentioned, the perpetrating couple’s assumptions seem to have been correct doesn’t make this any less of a thoroughly odd thing to do. Imagine if this story had taken place in a bar or a club rather than an airplane. A couple asks someone to switch seats so they can sit together, fine, and they joke that maybe they’ll meet the love of their life by doing so, kind of weird but passable as a “quirky” one-off comment, also fine. The couple then proceeds to creep around the bar or club, trying to surreptitiously take photographs of a couple of people hitting it off, praying that their prey will fall in love and have babies together so they can take credit for it. All the while, all of this couple’s friends are pouring up glasses of wine and constantly refreshing SnapChat so they can watch. These are the kinds of people that would watch Jim Carrey’s character sleep in the Truman Show or something.

The only differences in this scenario is that a plane ride is a way less comfortable situation than a bar or club to begin with, and the weird self-styled documentarians are impossible to get away from without a parachute and some skydiving experience.

This is an understandable bit of viral content. Like I said, everyone loves a rom-com, and when you think one is happening right in front of you, or that someone has captured one happening directly in front of them, it’s kind of difficult to view the two people being relentlessly photographed and videoed as real, actual people and not just Content. Maybe if you see something like this happening, though, just text your friends about it instead of becoming reality show producers. You may not get the same Twitter metrics out of it, but you also won’t prove baby-boomers right about everything they say is wrong with millennials, and in the long run, that’s way more meaningful*.

*Note: I have never had anything I’ve done get over 300,000 retweets so I can’t say for sure whether this is true; however, I’ve also never bought Wifi so I could broadcast two people sitting next to each other to all my weirdo friends, so whose word are you going to take here?

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