This week is going to be a little bit about letting off steam….I know I’m trying to be a better person and all, but you know…I’m human…

A few weeks ago I went to the New York Botanic Garden, which is in the Bronx, a borough of NYC. The best way for me to get there from my perch in Manhattan is to take the MetroNorth commuter train.


After a wonderful afternoon of looking at orchids, we  waited patiently at the Botanic Garden stop, and boarded the train to come back to Manhattan. This was Sunday afternoon. In NYC. On a train that probably had about ten stops prior to this.

Do you know how many people live in the NY metro area?

Do you know how many people use mass transit in the NY metro area?

So when we got on the mid crowded train, I looked to find two seats together for my husband and me.  I spotted a row with one man and two “empty” seats. Why do I say “empty”? Because at 3 in the afternoon, this guy was in a sleep position where he was physically taking up two and a half seats. Plus his large bag.

So I got in the row and sat in the leg occupied middle seat and pushed his bag into him. Young asshole made some sort of grunting sound but I really didn’t care. I got out my phone and opened up my nook app so I could read for the 15 minute ride into the city.

The worst part was, when the ticket taker came to our row, the asshole had to show his ticket, which means he probably only got on the stop before….

When did it become common place for people to take up multiple seats on mass transit?

Why do people think they have the right to do this indiscriminatingly?

I don’t care how many seats you take up if a train is mainly empty.  By all means stretch out and relax. But if a train is crowded? What are you thinking?

Before you all go “this is so manspreading” let me say that women are just as bad. We were taking the commuter train to see my parents. A solo woman got in the section that’s four seats and two of them face the other two. Why would you get in those seats unless you expect that no one else will want to sit with you because it is not ideal for strangers to sit in these seats?

And the subway? Both sexes are equally horrible at keeping there bags in check. If the subway is crowded you are supposed to take off your backpack and hold it in front of you. First off- it’s stupid to have all your belongings directly inline with someone who can open up the zipper and grab your airpods.  Secondly, it’s rude. The same goes for people who board the train armed like they’re about to scale Everest. I have been on the train with loads of crap during rush hour- I get it. But at least try to keep contained. Try not to be a flaming idiot.

Why do people think it’s OK to not really care about anyone else? Why do people think it’s ok to only think about themselves? (and don’t get political here- because this crosses party lines and it’s not even close to being about politics)

Sure- we have to think about ourselves. But seriously- we live in a society where we interact with others. Ask yourself: I know I’m a twenty something six foot tall guy, and it’s really hard to put my backpack on the overhead rack strictly intended for personal belongings like bags, but maybe it’s worth it so other people can have this highly coveted seat next to me so they don’t have to stand.  Say, I know I’m a twenty something woman traveling alone and I really need the space that comes with taking up four seats, but maybe that family of four with two toddlers are actually better served in this seat section.

So- moral of the story: when you’re out and about and other people are around, try to think about them just a little.

44 thoughts on “The Spread

  1. When we were under water restrictions last week, I kept hearing about people who couldn’t be bothered to abide by them because they didn’t feel like it, because apparently it was just too hard to cut back on their usage to help ensure that places like hospitals and schools would have the water they needed. We don’t have public transit as much as you, but same sentiment: sure it’s not that hard to think of others now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was pregnant with my first born in the first trimester, I didn’t really show much yet. I sat on a subway train on my way to work lugging a heavy knapsack with my laptop in it. It was placed at my feet between my legs. The subway was semi-empty. It got full fast as we approached the middle of the downtown area of Toronto, and a young person at least 8 months pregnant got on the subway and stood in front of me. She was probably not much older than 18, but visibly pregnant.

    I looked around. There were no more seats available. The subway was full. She stood in front of me and got bounced around into the poles and stuff.

    I offered her my seat.

    Me, the other pregnant lady (but who wasn’t showing yet) offered a pregnant lady her seat.

    She said no thanks, but that’s not the point.

    My observation? Everyone else on the subway is a self absorbed moron.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As you point out, this post speaks to the larger issue of basic human consideration. A lot of people will always try to take more than they’re entitled to, whether it’s food at a party or seats on the train. Thanks for reminding us to be more considerate every day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yes, I ran into so much of this, that I really just don’t go out anymore. It happens everywhere, people are just plain RUDE. I no longer tolerate it well. I decided a few years back that if their parents didn’t teach them better, then I certainly will, no matter what age! Someone has to, or they will just keep doing it their whole lives. I’ve been called a few ‘choice’ names for it, but never let it bother me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Who you foolin’ ? Human critters are social creatures. Human beings are political animals. Any discussion on how people interact is about politics (big and small) and culture, high and low.

    A former United States Senator from the state of New York.

    “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.” ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We had an “Amber Alert” here in the province a month ago, and over two hundred people called 911 to complaint about the fact that it woke them up on their cells phones and/or interrupted their TV watching. Unfortunately, the 11year old girl was found dead in an apartment, but the dad was apprehended by the police because someone recognized the car he was driving. Even though there was a tragic outcome, it didn’t seem to matter to the complainers – stop and think people, imagine if it was your child. The police are now doing an education program about the Amber Alert system, (and improper use of 911 for complains) but is that what society has become – a bunch of self-centered idiots who only care that their sports game was interrupted when someone’s life is at stake! It is beyond disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine! I mean really…there’s a system for a reason, and it needs to work as it does in order for it to work. I mean seriously…how self entered have we become!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Agreed! We take public transit (train or BART) to concert and Giants games and notice that all the time. My husband is the one who will get up from his seat if a woman comes on board and there are no empty spots. A dying breed for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting. I was at the University this morning doing my hours for students to show up and took a lunch break. My friend was not available to eat lunch, so I ate alone in the sun on the benches. I noticed all the students having lunch with their partner, the cell phone. Very lonely! It made me relive my campus days how we looked for friends to speak with. Once taught, good manners are never forgotten. I admire you for your nerve in moving his bag. Who knows today what his response would elicit? You say or do the wrong thing and the person goes off on you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I remember visiting some Old Italian neighborhood in the Bronx. There was a castle, beautiful gardens. I spent the day there as I had a car and had finished working and was in the area. It was a wonderfully safe area or at least it felt this way years ago. I wish I could remember the name of it. I lost the location of my parked car and these older Italian gentlemen playing chess asked me if I needed help. I told them and they laughed, “Don’t worry. You will find it and no one will touch your car in this area.” Reassuring.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I have seen this so many times when I’m in the city. People think nothing of taking up multiple seats and don’t lift a finger until asked as if I’m invisible.
    In a related story, I fly often and generally have someone offer to put my carryon in the overhead for me. Is it because I’m short? Is it because they think I’ll hit them in the head without help? Is it because *shudder* they think I’m old?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think it has become an acceptable epidemic that people feel entitled to be oblivious to their surroundings or selfish and rude. Consideration should not be a thing of the past. The current social environment, including the residing occupant of the WH , has sadly reinforced how to be inconsiderate and unaware. And we seem to have a group of entitled young people who are too self centered to care about anyone but themselves. It’s infuriating.
    I’m old school when it comes to kindness. I don’t blame you for being annoyed. I’ve taught my grandchildren to be respectful to their elders and to others. The sad thing is that now they don’t understand why some kids are cruel on the playground because they’ve been taught kindness and manners.
    Consideration Is a difficult rule to reinforce in public if there aren’t any consequences. (Like kicking that guy off). I hope things change for the better in 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve noticed the lack of concern for others a lot lately. I honestly think technology is to blame. Although in some ways it connects us, it also isolates us far too often. We ignore our surroundings when we talk on our cell phone, or when we use our ear plugs to listen to our music in public. We don’t have to venture out to buy things (read: deal with people), we just stay at home and order things on the internet. We watch only tv and news shows that reflect our own values. In other words, we are being conditioned to think “it’s all about me and my personal comfort.” Sadly, that shows in the way we treat others…which is fast becoming as if they were invisible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point…we have so much available to us that we are conditioned to thinking there is only one right way, because we consciously seek out what we know. And tech….yeah…..

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m originally from NY, so I’m well aware of the mass transit situation there. Although I don’t think it was as bad, as far as people being selfish, when I took the subway to work decades ago. It was more worrying about getting your bag or gold chain snatched. 🙄 And there were the occasional weirdos.
    My explanation, and it might be incorrect, is that this is the me-first, entitlement generation, and I think people just don’t care about others, generally. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? I understand the rant completely. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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