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'AITA for socially denying a woman a seat next to me on the bus?'

'AITA for socially denying a woman a seat next to me on the bus?'

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There's nothing quite like sitting in a mostly empty public space, only to have a stranger demand the seat right next to you.

"AITA for socially denying a woman a seat next to me on the bus?"

I ride a pretty sparsely ridden bus from my work to my college. When I say sparse, I mean it’s never even close to half full. There are always rows of empty seats at the time that I ride it in the afternoon.

I use a light linen bag for work and I don’t want to put it on the floor or on my lap so I put it on the seat next to me (all the seats are pairs, two seats next to each other). I don’t mind anyone sitting next to me, but the bus is never close to full, so I use the space for my bag.

Yesterday during my commute, a lady got on the bus and grimaced at me. She gestured for me to remove my bag so she could sit next to me. As usual, there were so many empty seats. I wasn’t sitting in a disabled/reserved area — there were seats closer to the door.

But whatever, I’m not confrontational, I removed my bag so she could sit.

I sort of rolled my eyes when she sat down next to me and sighed, not to be obvious, but just because I got off an 8 hour shift, I was tired and wanted my own space, and SHE DIDN'T HAVE TO SIT NEXT TO ME.

She clearly noticed - she then said “You need to learn some manners.”

After that I got up and moved to another seat, but the whole thing has been bothering me for a day. Did I really lack manners? It just feels like she sat there to teach me a lesson when she could’ve sat anywhere else…

The internet had plenty of opinions on the situation.

Dumba$S_Number5 wrote:

NTA. Bag in seat > No intention on moving it > Empty seats all over the bus = Find your azz somewhere else to sit and leave other people alone. OP, it sounds like you might have an occasionally anxious mindset; Rest assured that you did nothing wrong hun.

It was very inconsiderate for that lady to intentionally invade your personal space and demand she sit next to you. Yes, this is a public space and setting so most of the time there isn't enough space to be left personally to yourself. NTA. The only one lacking manners and common courtesy was her and not you.

alien_overlord_2001 wrote:

NTA. This has happened to me too - these people are just on a power trip. I just get up and move to another empty seat. If I get on any kind of transport and there are empty seats everywhere, I don't go and sit directly next to someone - its weird.

ohheynikki wrote:

This happened to me the other day-I was on the left of a three seat bench. Bag on middle. Empty right. Some crazy guy tried getting the one right next to me. I said "there's an empty right there". I got lectured and called names. Obvious NTA. I look at it as what I call the urinal philosophy-you don't go right next to someone else if you have a ton of urinals open.

wailingwonder wrote:

Anyone saying anything but NTA is showing they are either too privileged or too young to know how buses work. There are unspoken rules. You don't creep on people until you have to.

BigBigBigTree wrote:

NTA. If most or all of the pairs of seats have someone sitting in them I'll move my bag, but if there's plenty of empty seats then na, I'm taking up some space.

bgray13 wrote:

NTA. Petty revenge is the answer. I was once on a packed bus with no free seats, except for one next to a window. A girl was in the isle, with her bag on the window seat. I walked over and asked to be let in.

She ignored me. I tried to move past her. She blocked me, continuing to ignore me. I couldn’t believe it: even the isles were packed with standing passengers. This was ten years ago and I had a very heavy laptop in a large tote style purse with shoulder straps.

I held it on the shoulder closest to her at about her eye level. I spent the whole ride leaning heavily into her seat, hanging onto one of the poles. Every time there was an excuse (stopping, going round a corner, “losing my balance” etc), I “accidentally” swung backwards and absolutely clocked her in the face with my laptop.

She kept trying to glare up at me, as if I were being rude, but I ignored her. After all, she could have just moved over into the window seat to avoid it. The stubborn little thing sat there and let me clock her in the face about twenty times instead of just letting me sit down. But that’s okay. It was even more satisfying than sitting would have been.

Discount_Mithral wrote:

NTA. This person needs to learn some manners first. The entitlement to force someone to move their bag on a city bus with plenty of room is just bonkers. It's basic bus riding etiquette 101: If the Bus is Mostly Empty, Don't Ask People to Move Their Belongings - Sit Elsewhere.

ShinaSchatten wrote:

NTA. Recommend going forward, you sit by the aisle and put your bag in the window seat. I have found that setup discourages people from trying to sit next to you. Obviously, when it starts to get crowded, swap with your bag so people can sit.

ReviewOk929 wrote:

NTA - she could have sat anywhere else. She probably chose to sit next to you so she could make a point. Unnecessary shit caused by her.

Yourconnect_ wrote:

NTA it’s rude to invade people personal space even in public. If it can be avoided then AVOID IT. It’s like when your standing in a line at the grocery store and you can feel someone breathing on your neck even though there is no one standing behind that person. Those people are just creeps and they should be called out more.

Sources: Reddit
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