Standing Up By Sitting Down

, , , , , | Friendly | June 22, 2019

(I am in my early 20s but have an invisible disability. It attacks my muscles and, when I’m in a crisis, makes it very hard to do ordinary things, like even standing up for long periods. I am just getting past a flare-up in my disease, and I’m out alone on a bus for the first time in ages, having a really great day. The bus is fairly full when an older lady, late 50s or early 60s, gets in. Since I’m on such a good day, I decide to offer my seat.)

Me: “Here, ma’am, you can have my seat.”

Lady: *rudely* “I should hope so. You young people have no business even standing on a bus, much less sitting. You should be walking or at least using a bike! Lazy! You’re all lazy!”

(I was gathering my things to stand, but as she begins to rant, I sit right back down.)

Lady: “What are you doing? Why aren’t you standing?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, you clearly would rather complain than sit down, so I’m giving you more reasons to do that.”

Lady: “That’s outrageous! You owe me respect! What kind of parents did you have that they didn’t teach you to respect your elders?”

Me: “Pretty good ones; they taught me to stand up for myself. And that means no bus seats for people who insult me. So, you can stand, instead, and keep complaining!”

(After complaining some more, and trying to cause a scene, she appealed to the bus driver. But since I had a disabled pass, meaning I can sit on even reserved seats, there was nothing he could do. And since everyone around heard what the woman was spouting, nobody else offered her a seat. I continued having an even better day, having hopefully taught someone to keep their mouth shut!)

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