Apparently one of the coldest days of the year, so there was little chance of wearing anything other than the Snow Maids on my feet! I actually had a lot of layers on here – a fitted slip, two layers of tights and a long-sleeved t-shirt which you can’t even see in the photo. Thankfully I had to run across the bridge for my train, so wasn’t even on the platform long enough to feel the cold!
On my train last Wednesday morning we were more crammed in than usual. I went out of my way in finding an unreserved seat – beside a fellow whose seat was, in fact, reserved from Banbury onwards – and settled in with my book. I figured he would probably be vacating his seat before Banbury, or if not, that someone would get on and ask for his seat, which would require me to move, but at least leave me seated…
At Banbury he was still in the seat. A fella got on and came over to where we were sitting. “I’ve reserved that seat,” he directed at me.
I got up to let the fella move. But he didn’t. He stayed put. The new fella directed a woman into what had moments before been my seat, and proceeded to flirt outrageously with her. Something that might prove more difficult, I suppose, were she in the window seat he had actually reserved…
“Excuse me,” I said, “But I think I was in the unreserved seat, 43. The window is seat 44.”
Everyone stared at me blankly, then apparently simultaneously decided to ignore my protestations.
This is exactly the kind of behaviour that can make me incredibly angry on the commute. It can, in fact, ruin a perfectly good Wednesday in its entirety. There are ways to balance out the ire, but as they usually require some act of chivalry of magnanimous proportions, I don’t expect miracles. I was just wondering whether a ruined day was worthy of fighting my corner, when I heard a voice from behind.
“Excuse me. You can take my seat.” A middle-aged businessman smiled up at me. “Please – I’ll be sitting down all day anyway.”
And with that my frown emphaticaly somersaulted upside down. Suddenly, the world was at rights again. In fact, better than rights. Because not only had someone acted in a gentlemanly way, but that same someone had shown up the perpetrators of quite ungentlemanly behaviour in the process. Neither the young fella in the window seat nor the fella whose seat he was in could look me, or anyone else in the vicinity, in the eye for the duration of the journey.
I know, these are such little things in the grand scheme, but they really do matter. To me, at the very least.