Sunday, February 24, 2013

Playing the Old Man Card

I was riding home from work on my regular King County Metro bus, seated near the driver on a side facing bench that had textured lines dividing the seating area for three passengers.  I occupied the right seat area, a woman occupied the left with a space between us.  The bus made a stop to pick up more passengers and a young Asian woman perhaps in her 20's took the available seat but then scooted over to her left leaving half a cushion for her plump, unattractive friend who plopped down into the available half space with her left butt cheek and put her right butt cheek on my left thigh.  She forced herself to slide into the available half space and off of my left lap and compressed me into the wheel well of the bus on my right with her fat ass.  

I shoved hard to my left in an attempt to give myself some lebensraum and convey that this was unacceptably tight but she ignored me and went on yacking with her friend.  I stood up and without looking the fat woman slid over to occupy the space that she sensed that I had vacated.  There were no more open seats on the bus.  I glared at the 2 Asian women, they ignored me.  A young woman sitting across from the Asian women  said, "Sir, would you like my seat?".  I told her no, that wouldn't be necessary.  Other passengers looked at me, one shook her head in mild disgust as if to say, "Kids today, what are you gonna do?"

The bus continued north on I-5 and got off the freeway at the Seattle City line in Shoreline when the woman occupying the 3rd bench space toward the back of the bus got off, the two Asian women scooted to their left without missing a word.  I took my now open seat next to the fat interloper.  I drew her attention and said, "These seats are made for three people, not four".  She replied, "I didn't know that", in a monotone.  I continued, "You have absolutely no manners forcing an old man like me out of his seat to stand all the way home so that you can sit next to your friend".  She gave me a look of mild displeasure and the two resumed their conversation as if I had never been there.  

I'm nearly 61 now, at work I'm the oldest in my group and some of my coworkers joking refer to me as "Grandpa" and 'Papa", which I really don't mind.  My thinning gray hair and lined face tell the truth and at 61 I don't qualify for any senior citizen discounts at restaurants or airlines and I don't try to con my way into any.  But time marches on, I am thinking about retirement and this is the first time I've ever played the age card.  I don't think I'll do it again soon but I felt strangely empowered, like I had something new to help me press this case against these two rude women.