I’m a stickler for bus etiquette. I don’t think people should have loud phone conversations on the bus so that other people have to listen. I believe in giving up my seat when someone who has difficulty standing needs it. I even acknowledge that it is awkward to sit next to a stranger when rows are still open. However, this morning I accidentally breached bus etiquette.
It was the last. On my usual bus route, there are open seats but never open rows in the morning. That means I’m going to be sitting next to some stranger, the question is just who. There are a couple crusty people who have really gotten nasty about having to share before, or people who actually spread out over two seats to not have to share because they are a-holes, and those I tend to avoid a little just to not cause a confrontation. I also tend to sit next to men rather than women to avoid unintended intimidation that I understand can happen (so many men going right to sit next to the cute girl on the bus who wants nothing to do with them). Anyway, this morning I didn’t see any open rows so I went to share the row I normally default to.
The gentleman sitting in that row seemed uncomfortable.
That’s when I realized there was actually an open row. I’d totally missed it, not seen it at all. I have no idea how I missed it. I walked right past it. However, missed it I did. I was sitting next to a stranger and there was a row I could have had all to myself.
Breach of etiquette.
At that point, I was embarrassed. Instinct told me just to keep sitting, pretend like it hadn’t been a mistake. I would really have preferred that empty row though (I had extra baggage this morning), and so would the guy I was sitting next to. So, I sucked up how weird it all looked and got up and moved.
It was for the best.