This excerpt from a helpful interview might add to your social wisdom. Today's Christian Woman is interviewing Dr. Phil.
TCW - Traveling can cause people to spend time without a lot of private space. I have a friend who, when tightly seated by a handsome and proudly dressed man might have accidentally let a small indiscretion of air release from her body. What would you say, Dr. Phil, is the best way to handle this type of situation?
Dr. Phil - Well, there are several approaches often taken. These things can happen to anyone, and people understand that. I'm sure there was no offense.
TCW - Well, my friend said that it was pretty bad. Perhaps not everyone will be so understanding.
Dr. Phil - In that case I always suggest that people own their lives and simply smile and apologize.
TCW - That might be more than every traveller can manage. Is it okay to simply look out the window, and perhaps open the in-flight magazine with vigor to move the air around a bit?
Dr. Phil - Well, certainly, that might help. Air can get caught between those tightly packed seats.
TCW - How about the commiseration strategy?
Dr. Phil - You mean, look at your seat mate, role your eyes and tip your head toward the man sitting in the seat in front of you? I think that would be a socially acceptable move, and certainly you are going to build some camaraderie with your seat mate.
TCW - My friend said she was going to try that but the man beside her was leaning out into the isle, casually covering his face with his hand. She couldn't really catch his eye.
Dr. Phil - Sometimes people do lean away from situations, but that simply reveals their own weakness. I hope your friend wasn't too crushed by this rejection.
TCW - Certainly she coped. I have one more question - a significant one. My friend wanted to know. She wondered why it was so hard to keep her poise - she said she looked out the window and couldn't stop laughing. In fact, the more she tried the more she laughed. The question is, how does a mature person find herself with this obvious lack of decorum?
Dr. Phil - This is an epistemological issue, pondered in many a philosophy debate. In fact, it might be a good topic for a whole issue of TCW.
TCW - thank you Dr. Phil. This has been so helpful. I myself have never had anything like this happen to me, but my friend has, and she is going to be greatly helped to know her options.