Muni Mind Reader: Aisle-Seat Squatter
After a brief hiatus (we gave her the week off for Riders With Drinks), Tiffany Maleshefski, aka Muni Mind Reader, is back. This week, she peers inside the synapses of that odd creature who, often no matter how soon their stop is, refuses to scoot over to the window seat.
Yes, I understand it’s a little odd. You’d think that the opportunity to have a view, fresh air, and to have a place to lean your head when you’re sleepy would be an ideal situation for riding the bus. But, I just can’t do it, OK? I can’t sit in the seat near the window.
So regardless of how crowded it might get … no matter how much hate-beams you direct my way, I am NOT going to move over. I’m just not. EVER. Deal with it!
I realize it would be a perfectly easy enough task. I’d slide over so no one had to make a big scene fumbling over legs and knees and worrying about your bags sliding off your shoulder and hitting people in the face. But what you’re forgetting is what happens when you sit down and I am getting off at a stop that’s before yours. Then what do we do? Are you just going to get up and let me out?
Sure, I’ve seen this sort of consideration played out. But sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I sat near the window once. Just once. It was my stop, I had waited a little bit longer than usual to prepare my exit at the next stop. Before I knew it, the doors had opened and people were filing out and I was STILL at the window, collecting my bags, and the person in the aisle seat didn’t even realize what was happening. I nearly knocked them over as they stood up to let me through, and THEN … the BACK DOORS CLOSED! I had to yell, “Back door! Back door!” Eventually, the doors opened again and I was able to exit. But from that day forward, I swore, may God strike me dead, that I would NEVER stay from the aisle seat. Ever. God, I still have nightmares about that shit.
So, no matter what. Even if it’s a bus with standing-room only.
And you know what? For all your silent bitching, you could, if you really wanted to, climb over me. You could even ask me to move over. But you won’t, will you? Awww, because you’re just so damn polite, right? You’re just too pure and chaste to have the audacity to ask me to move or to help yourself to my empty seat. You know what? You’re a pussy then. Because seriously? How hard is it to squeeze in front of me to get to the window seat?
Maybe it’s a phobia, because you know how when you’re taking a group shot and the photographer says, “OK everybody! Squeeze in!” Well, it just never worked for me. I’d squeeze out. Just go and try to find a group photo with me in it.
And I realize that there is a bit of a power trip going on here as well. You’ll find among aisle-seat-squatters that we don’t have a lot of control in our lives. But one thing we can control is whether or not we sit next to the window. And apparently, that power is so far-reaching, it makes fellow passengers cower in a corner, or kind of do this fake-out aggression by simply throwing us dirty looks. WHATEVER, dirty looks don’t do shit. I just pretend you aren’t there. I mean, you’ve seen me do this a thousand times. It’d probably make things less awkward if I was reading a book or listening to my iPod, because then at least we could both pretend I was so engrossed in something else that I didn’t even REALIZE there’s a fat empty seat next to me. But nah, I just go for it. Stare straight ahead. Never let them see you sweat. NO FEAR!
The only thing to fear is fear itself. That, and that huge-ass dude coming my way who is going to crawl over me come hell or high water. Uh oh. Here he comes. Is that a suitcase? SHIT! Oh thank god…it’s my stop! Until the next time …
Check back next Friday for the next installment of … Muni Mind Reader.