Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Taking a seat to make someone feel better

This is a weird situation and I want to hear what you would have done in a similar scenario. The train was crowded with people standing. There was an extremely overweight woman who took about 1.25 seats, with the edge of her thighs hanging over to the empty seat next to her. People sat down for a second, and then left in favor of standing instead. This happened through 3 stops. As the train got more crowded, the overweight woman still sat alone, with her head down, looking a bit awkward with each person next to her leaving almost immediately.

I felt bad for her. It was clear that people didn't like sitting next to her. I was already seated but decided to get up, stand for awhile as if I'm leaving, and then, took the seat next to her. As I sat down, I said hi, and she whipered hi back. I was plastered next to her, but I wasn't uncomfortable.

I don't know if she cared that people didnt want to sit next to her but as more eyes stared towards her direction, I just felt like I needed to help make it less awkward.

I can be imagining all this of course! But oh made sense at the time!


Anonymous said...

I don't know what I would've done in a similar situation (purposely sitting next to said person to alleviate some real or perceived awkwardness), but hopefully you made her morning a little better.

I do vaguely recall a time where someone on the heavy side sat next to me, their leg coming slightly over to my side. No problem for me. I simply scooted over a tad to allow for more room. I would much sooner leave because someone happened to have bathed in their perfume and is polluting the air with it, making me completely sick, which is not the way I would like to start off my day.

Anonymous said...

Truly pathetic that so many americans need so much personal space that even the slightest physical contact is cause for alarm.

How TRUE-lee pathetic!

Would this be a good time to ask everyone who's ridden the Tokyo subway on the last (midnight) train?

Anyone out there's who's experience the Subway Stuffers filling the cars to capacity every morning and evening rush hour?

Anonymous said...

During my evening ride home, many times I see a very portly fellow who usually sits in the handicap seat(s) next to the door, and I see the same situation that you describe-- people sit, then quickly vacate.

While I do sympathize for the person who is in that position, it is one of those things that can and does affect other people. If you're squished in your seat for 30 minutes, that can be a most unpleasant ride.

I treat the "very large riders" in the same way I treat the over-perfumed, cell-phone talkers, and hobos-- you can keep your 2 seats, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well I think what you did was very nice and I would have done the same.

Anonymous said...

i'd rather sit next to a fat person than an asian person any day. though they both typically stink, i have never gotten a cold from sitting next to a fat person.

Anonymous said...

That's really cool that you did that, Ms. BartMusings. As someone who's lost 40 lbs in the past few years, I can tell you that most overweight people really feel self-conscious taking up more than their fair share of space. I love the fact that now I can look down & see a few inches of space on MY seat between me & my seatmate. That being said, a large person's situation is different than someone who's actively being selfish - spreading legs or newspaper wide open & encroaching on others' space.