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You Need To Take Several Seats, Lady

, , , , , | Friendly | January 1, 2023

When I was pregnant, I very quickly developed problems walking, partly due to my back disease, and I was told a few things to think about. One of those was to not stand on a moving bus.

Being a shy woman in Sweden, where we are very bad at speaking to strangers unless it is an emergency, I avoided full buses altogether, as my pregnancy wasn’t visible yet. However, sometimes you just need to get somewhere, even during the busiest hours.

So, I ended up standing on a bus, looking for the first available seat to claim. One man, seeing me, seemed to realise my situation, perhaps due to my pained expressions and bad balance. He stood up and offered me his seat, which was for older people, pregnant people, and those with other disabilities. I thanked him with a smile and sat down with relief.

Cue entitled old lady. She got onto the bus, came up to me, and began staring at me. It took a while before I realised she wanted me to give her my seat, and before I could say anything, an older gentleman offered his instead. The old woman merely glared in his direction and then turned to me.

Old Lady: “The youth of today should really learn to respect their elders. Stand up!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I really shouldn’t stand, and he offered—”

Old Lady: “I don’t care. I want to sit down, and you should stand up! I’m old and frail, while you are young and strong. Why should he stand instead of you?”

Older Gentleman: “It is quite all right; I have no problem standing. You can have my seat.”

Old Lady: “No, I don’t want your seat! Sit down.”

He did sit back down, and she stared me down again.

Me: “Look. I’m sorry, but I really shouldn’t stand.”

Old Lady: “Yes, you should!”

Me: “I’m pregnant and—”

Old Lady: “So what? You can’t be far along, and I had no issues standing when I was pregnant.”

Me:And I have a back disease and can barely walk at the moment. The doctor told me not to stand on buses.”

The old lady scoffed. And despite her attitude, I could see a slight shock on her face; I think she got the picture but did not want to admit she was wrong.

Old Lady: *Mumbling* “Entitled youth.”

Then, she turned toward the older gentleman. He shrugged and said:

Older Gentleman: “Oh, you didn’t want a seat, and it is such a hassle for my old back to stand back up.”

She didn’t reply but merely moved on, further back, and got another seat soon enough.

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