I had to skip last week because I was on vacation, but I'm back with another Subway Etiquette Lesson. This week, it's time to talk about the rules (and there aren't many) between people who are seated.
These rules are similar to the rules for people who are standing, except that, obviously, you're seated.
You are sitting on the subway, following last week's rules about taking up only one seat and a person sits down next to you. For this example, you are not seated at the end of a row of seats, but rather in the middle. And we'll say you're on a bench seat, rather than the individual seats, so that it's not as clear what's your space and what isn't. So you're sitting, maybe with someone already next to you on one side, and this person sits down on your other side, and they're a bit on top of you. They are trying to subtly push you over so that they have more room. And, if there is not very much room, they are in the right. But, let's assume that there is plenty of room, and they're just an asshole.
So you've got someone sitting on top of you. What can you do? The first step in removing someone from on top of you is to move further towards them. Like when standing up and someone's leaning in to you, you lean back in to them, the same holds true for sitting. You have to lean in to them to try to express to them that they need to get the fuck off of you. [Tip #1: If someone sits down next to you and is encroaching on the little space you have, you are allowed to encroach on their space in hopes of forcing them to move over]
There is a lot more of a grey area with these rules, though. Some people seem to think that they are entitled to as much space as they can take while seated. And that is incorrect. Everyone has seen a person sitting on the subway with their legs as wide apart as possible, trying to prevent other from sitting next to them. Unfortunately, sometimes these people do not push their legs together when someone does take the space next to them.
Yesterday I got on the 6 train to go home. It was about 90º out, which means that it was probably about 150º on the subway platform. I was also carrying an extremely heavy bag with me, and so I beelined for a seat next to this two fuck faces wearing suits. A woman sat down on my other side as I sat down. These two suited douches both had their legs apart and refused to budge. I sat down, put my bag between my feet, and found, shockingly, that my foot had ended up mostly on top of the foot of the guy next to me. He pushed his foot slightly towards me, in hopes of removing my foot from him. And, that is a fair thing to do if someone's foot is on top of yours. However, in this case, the woman sitting next to me was flush against the middle pole, and I was pressed against her. there was nowhere for me to move. Additionally, the heavy bag between my feet kept my foot from moving anywhere. He pushed against me, was unable to move, and eventually very slightly adjusted himself so that I wasn't totally on top of him. These fuckers got off the train, and two women took their places, and all four of us now had plenty of room, because the women sat with their knees together. [Tip #2: Don't take up more space than you need to be comfortable. You will make yourself and those next to you uncomfortable if you try to take more space than you need, but if you take just enough, you should have a little extra space on either side of you to make you even more comfortable]
As I've said before, the seated rules are similar to the standing rules. And the name of the game is don't inconvenience other people. Take only as much space as you need, and not more than that. You're riding the fucking subway, not sitting in a limo, so there is no reason for you to stretch out or feel entitled to extra space. Everyone pays the same fare to take the same subway cars (yes, yes, senior citizens pay half-price, and a pay-per-ride ride costs different from an unlimited-ride ride depending on how many times an unlimited card has been used and if the pay-per-ride rider got their free 6th ride per $10 or not), but the fact remains, there is no designated seating, there is no luxury section, there is no first class. No person on the subway has any right to be more comfortable than any other person on the subway. If you think that you deserve more space than anyone else, that's fucked.
I'm not going to recap these rules because there are only two of them, but seriously, it's hot out, it's hotter on the platforms, don't be a fucking douchebag on the subway cars right now. Be happy that you're in a fairly well air-conditioned enclosed space that takes you where you're going and leave it at that.