Dear Old Man On The Bus,
You reminded me today of one of the reasons that I love my husband. Not by anything you said to be sure, for we have never actually spoken. On any of the occasions where our paths have crossed. But by something that you did today, or rather didn’t do as the case may be, you ultimately gave me pause to recall one of my husband’s strengths.
See, this morning I got on a busy bus. Not a crowded bus as the vehicle wasn’t full to bursting. It wasn’t practically overflowing with individuals squished together like sardines in a tin but there were no free rows. There were also no single places available unless you count the fact that you were sitting smack bang in the middle of a two-seater bench seat. By yourself. Which I did.
So rather than spend the rest of the journey on my feet as possibly the only standing passenger, I chose to take what I’m sure most would legitimately consider as the last free spot. I approached the seat in question whilst looking directly at you, removed my handbag from my shoulder, turned around and sat down. On a quarter of the space actually feeding into the aisle. Because you didn’t budge an inch.
Now I was brought up with sufficient old fashioned values which dictate that I should respect my elders. So I didn’t make a fuss. I didn’t tell you to move and I didn’t try to shove you further across the seat either. On the other hand, I was born close enough to generation “Y” that I feel I have the right to question those who could be considered my betters. And pass judgement. And I thought you were rude. Despite the fact that I am younger than you, I am still a lady. Where were your manners? You didn’t need to give up your seat, just move the hell over.
I then spent the rest of the day deep in the throes of my righteous indignation. You had done me wrong. You ought to be ashamed. You needed an attitude adjustment or at the very least a little civic awareness. I pretty much told my husband as much when I got home too. At which point he suggested that old age brings more with it than just grey hair.
Maybe it is an effort for you to merely get on the bus each morning let alone interact with anyone else. Maybe you don’t find it as easy to cope with the day to day as you might have done in your youth. Maybe you really didn’t see me today, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe I shouldn’t judge prematurely unless I actually know all the facts.
Which, Old Man On The Bus, is one of the reasons that I love my husband. He humanises me. He brings me down to Earth. He helps me see clearly and he makes me behave better…But I still get to be peeved that I had my butt hanging halfway off the seat for the ride into town. That was uncomfortable.
The Girl On The Bus
* Photo taken at this year’s Sculptures By The Sea