I had a blog started about airport/travel etiquette but most of it is written on my old iPhone and it's across the room and I'm not ashamed to admit that I don't feel like going to get it. So I looked through my current phone and found the note that inspires today's blog. I am about to discuss a pretty important topic, if I do say so myself...
In December, I woke up after a weekend at Ian's farm and my face was pretty sore. I went to work and didn't really think anything of it - nor of the red bump that I thought was just a pimple. As the day went on, I realized it wasn't a pimple and that it was more than likely some kind of bite... probably from a spider. I tried to go to the walk-in near my apartment but it was closed by the time I got there so I went to a pharmacist who suggested I try Benadryl. I woke up the next morning and the right side of my face was pretty swollen and what I had originally thought was a pimple, had also grown. I went to the walk-in and the doctor prescribed me an oral antibiotic as well as an ointment. Needless to say, I was hoping I would at least turn into Spider Woman. (SPOILER ALERT: I did not turn into Spider Woman).
Sitting in the walk-in, I did as I always do when I'm pretty much anywhere: I people watched. It was pretty full in the waiting room, but I was able to snag a seat without anyone beside me. Then the thought occurred to me (and not for the first time): How do you choose where to sit when you are in a public space? Serious question! Do you give the guy who looks like he hasn't showered in weeks a chance cause it's rude to judge? Or do you follow your instincts and just sit someplace else? This happened to me once before. I kid you not, I got onto the city bus, saw the stinkiest, dirtiest looking guy and thought to myself "Laura, don't be rude, just sit beside him in the open seat." HE STUNK. We are taught not to judge a book by it's cover or stereotype people but like... realistically and unfortunately, we are going to.
It's like being in the waiting area of a gate at the airport. You get there and it's either awkwardly full with a few single seats and then you have to look and choose who you are going to sit beside: The guy in the suit talking on his phone about business who is probably not going to stop talking ever; the really large person who is taking up some of the seat beside them; the kid who won't sit still and is probably going to spill that oversized pop all over that empty seat next to them; or the elderly person who can't read their ticket without help. Or when there are three seats in a row, and you're travelling on your own - do you sit in the middle of those three seats? Or do you sit directly beside someone who will probably stare at you and burn you with their eyes cause you sat beside them when you didn't have to? But you were really just being considerate of people travelling in pairs who might want to sit beside each other on the incredibly uncomfortable waiting room chairs.
I hope I've got your thought gears turning, people. This is some serious stuff that they don't teach you in school. Same goes for the movie theatre - in one hand why would you want to sit directly beside a stranger but on the other, it's kind of stupid to leave one seat between two people. SERIOUS PREDICAMENT. If the movie is just opening and it's going to be a full house - DO NOT leave that extra seat there, you're just screwing other people over. If the movie has been out for a while, you might be able to get away with it. But maybe you should just find another place to sit. Plus, when you're with a group - how do you decide who has to sit on the end and most likely beside a stranger? I don't like sharing arm rests with strangers.
I've kind of lost myself here. I think what I wanted to get across is how awkward it is to choose a seat. There are a few choices if you really think about it:
1) Sit beside a person who, by appearance, seems like they might not be pleasant to sit beside .. but you don't want to be rude
2) Just be rude and find another place to sit, or stand
3) Leave one awkward space between someone and yourself which may in turn make it harder for a group to sit together
4) Sit right beside a stranger.. even though you'd rather not, so that you keep everything flowing nicely and you're not wasting seats.
It all sounds like a lose-lose to me. But at the end of the day, for about two and a half hours out of twenty four, you had to sit in what may have been an uncomfortable situation - that's really not that bad. Just be grateful you got to experience that plane ride or that movie or... well, no one is ever really grateful they get to take the city bus.. especially beside a stinky guy.. but you get what I'm trying to say right? Whether you sit somewhere because it's convenient for you or someone else, who cares. It's just a seat and you'll most likely live to tell the tale. Really, now we all have Smartphones and are so addicted to them, that we probably don't even notice who we are sitting beside in the first place (unless it's the stinky guy cause you can smell him!)
So next time you are faced with the daunting task of choosing a seat in a public space, think about a few things: How long will you be there for? Is it going to get busy - should I sit directly beside someone so I don't waste seats? And trust your instincts - the person who looks stinky, probably is.
Oh my gosh, how much of a jumble is this thing? I should really read it over before I press Publish today.