It’s only out of our hands if we don’t want to pick it up.

“Everything is turned upside down these days,” the man in the middle seat says. We are settling into our overnight flight around the world, JFK to Istanbul, and I had just commented on how the plane had only been half full when I flew in December, the “busy season.” Now it was completely packed, in the “off season.”

“Nothing goes the way it’s supposed to go these days,” he says, giving me that familiar glance. We both know the conversation can go a dozen different ways — all of them eventually merging into the same dead end…