Friday, July 07, 2006

The Wheels on the Bus...Better Support Me

I started my new job not two weeks ago and I love it. It's cultural, it's sort of important (to those who need my services), and I've got the best views the city can's also on top of a ginormous hill. And, because of that ginormous hill, almost all employees are made to park their cars at the bottom of this hill, and take a shuttle up to the tippity top. Not so much a big deal...if you're skinny.

The shuttle holds about 20 people, two rows of two seats each. When I get a seat all to myself, it's awesome. What is not so awesome is the look on people's faces when I climb the three steps to get on the shuttle and find that I'm going to have to sit next to someone. I can hear the voices in their heads wishing that the fat girl doesn't sit next to them...and I'm wishing concurrently that I don't have to sit next to them. It's ass hangs into the isle. I try my best not to touch the person as a way of saying, "See...see, it's not so bad..I'm not that big...see!?" But what is really going on is my leg supporting all my weight like a tripod of some sort so I don't knock into the person on a turn driving up or down the curvy road.

And it works in reverse too. If I'm the one sitting there already, I can see the person scanning the shuttle for a space next to the skinniest one has ever chosen to sit next to me...not that I'm complaining.

So, this is my plight. Fat girls and busy shuttles don't mix.


Anonymous said...

I deal with the same thing!!!!

Michelle said...

Congrats on the new job!! It sounds wonderful!

Don't worry so much about the shuttle. I bet most of those people are way more worried about their own bodies, life problems, if they turned the iron off, etc.

Enjoy the excitement of having a new job!!

emily pound said...

Congratulations on your new job! I wouldn't worry about the shuttle either. Just enjoy your new surroundings.

Anonymous said...

michelle: Not entirely. I'm an average sized person, and while I don't necessarily mind sitting next to someone larger, I do usually hope they don't sit next to me. No--I'm not worried about catching the fat flu or whatever. It's just that I've literally been sat on by some larger people who do not fit into one seat on their own. The system in my city has arm rests only on the outer seat of a two seat set. Which means they can't really sit halfway out on the aisle if I'm already at the window.

It's very unfortunate, and I'm sure they're as embarassed as I am--but I'm not sure actually sitting on my thigh, or having an elbow nestled into my waist is exactly the nicest thing either.

The best option of course is to create bigger seating so everyone is comfortable, but until that day happens I guess I will continue being sat upon. :\

Anonymous said...

You can sit on my lap and we both enjoy rides.

floradoragirl37 said...

Hey, everyone
I remember my friend and I were waiting for the bus by the mall to go home.
Some friends drove by, and offered to give us a lift home.
We decided to take the ride. My friend that I was with was quite large, and I was smaller. I ended up sitting behind the driver of the car.
The fellow driving the car was HUGE! at least 450 pounds. I ended up having to sit behind him and I was nearly split in half by the seat. It was extremely painful, and I couldn't hardly breath at all, but I couldn't say anything because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.
As for large people sitting beside me, I have had them sit beside me before on the bus, and I have rarely ever been squished or felt uncomfortable.
Have a great day

Laura said...

I think people are far to concious of other people's sizes. Who cares? Is it anyone else's business?

I know there are going to be people who say, yes, when they sit on me. Well, you know, I get knocked about by careless kids on buses, people who are not watching where they are going, and people that are just too downright rude to move over. Which is worse?

Everyone will have their own opinion, but seriously. People are people. You sit where you can. Need to take the bus to go to work? Then you take the bus, and the people who are offended by size be damned.

Sam said...

The title of the post is hilarious. It made me laugh out loud. I hate when you get in a car and you can feel it tilt your way!

Heather said...

I guess fat people and amusement park rides don't go together either. Last summer, at our annual company picnic, I was barely able to get the safety thingy hooked over my gut. Since I've gained weight since then, I am terrified that I will not be able to fit at all, which would be embarassing in the supreme since I am going with my younger brother and his girlfriend (and since I have an extra ticket, I may invite a male acquaintance). Since I have a month until the event happens, I am going to be diligent about what I put in my mouth and making it to the gym. I can handle being dateless and stuck wearing ugly bathing suits. What I cannot handle is NOT being able to ride roller coasters!

Anonymous said...

I (a fat girl) was once taking the bus from Ikea back to NYC and was told by a woman not to sit next to her!

It was one of the few empty seats on the bus, on the aisle. The woman sitting by the window was also fat, but neither of us was so big that we wouldn't have fit, albeit a bit snugly.

I approached and the woman started shaking her head. "No," she said, loud enough for everyone else sitting on the bus to hear. "You can't sit here. You're big, I'm big, it's too hot out."

I was younger then, so I didn't tell her to shut her fat fucking piehole and summon the driver like I should have. Instead I turned crimson and scurried to the back of the bus, wedged myself in next to the window and cried (quietly) all the way back to Manhattan.

So, unfortunately, it wasn't exactly a Rosa Parks moment for fat girls at the time. But I'll never let anyone talk to me that way again.


Anonymous said...

Fatty, I feel your pain. I ride the bus as my primary mode of transportation, and I always choose to stand rather than sit next to anyone else. It's not worth it to me for me to be embarrased and uncomfortable, and for whoever I sit next to also to be uncomfortable and probably resentful. I'd rather just stand. Of course if I'm already sitting and someone else chooses to sit next to me, that's up to them. But I secretly always wish I could take up less room.

I suppose some of you are more secure about yourselves, which is why you're able to say not to worry about it. But when it's something you have to deal with every day and it DOES actually make you uncomfortable both physically and emotionally, sorry but it IS a big deal.

Fatty, I wish I could offer you a magic wand. If I had one, I'd use it myself. For what it's worth, you have my empathy.

NicoleW said...

I used to go through the same damn thing on the bus and the subway. I'd do the "tripod leg" maneuver (love that); I'd squish myself into as small a space as possible to avoid touching the person next to me in any way. Maybe if I didn't touch them or take up their space, they wouldn't think I was that fat ... I think that's what my reasoning was.

Now I often end up next to guys who sit with their knees spread about five feet apart so that they take up all of their seat and half of mine, too. I think maybe I just can't win.

Anonymous said...

I used to ride the bus all the time when I was in college; not so much anymore.

For what it's worth, I'm a small person, and I don't mind large people sitting next to me on the bus.

I figure, I'm not using all of my allotted space, why not have it be used by someone who needs it?

I have noticed that fat people have the tendency to hang out in the aisle out of fear of crowding me. But, I was always too shy to say, "hey, I'm not using 1/4 of my seat, you can use it." Or maybe that would also be considered offensive?

On the bus, I’d take a considerate fat person, over a creepy guy who tries to snuggle up to me for no reason, or someone who smells bad, any day.

floradoragirl37 said...

Dear anon above,
Thank you for kind words. You are absolutely correct about preferring a chubby person versus some creepy dude leering at you the whole way.
I have never had a problem with large people sitting next to me. Im not that skinny, but we all have to be kind to each other and
I think that a lot of people do understand that a large person needs to sit down, too. It's nice to know there are some people out there who don't discriminate.

Anonymous said...

I really don't have a problem with a large person sitting next to me either. Honestly, though, if my weight bothered me I would probably make an effort to do something about it. I don't understand why y'all don't seem to want to lose weight since your size bothers you. To each his own, but why spend life wishing that things were different when they can be?

Anonymous said...

I would, every single day, look for the cutest guy and sit my butt down right next to him. Who knows? He may just be the one who thinks you're perfect just the way you are!

Anonymous said...

Fat people can be creepy too.

Regina said...

I HATE when men sit with their knees three feet apart. What the hell am I supposed to do if I don't want them touching me? Sometimes I'm already squished over so I'm only taking up about half my seat, but their legs keep spreading! Do you think saying, "Could you put your knees closer together?" would make a difference? Or is this just a creep problem? I'd rather sit next to a considerate big woman any day.

Shazana said...

Anonymous said...

Fat people can be creepy too.

Asshole! If u think that then what the hell are you doing here? U r just a dumb creepy person who gets a kick out of saying dumbass things is it?

Anyways, I am quite large but not so I take up another persons space but i certainly use up all the alloted space for my seat.

One college trips I sit beside my guy friend whom I am comfortable with. He had never made me feel uncomfortable about my size (and I am careful not to squish him or take up any of his side while he doesnt spread his legs into my end) and I love him for it! Friends are the best. ^_^

Make friends with someone whom u can meet up with and ride the shuttle with together if it helps~ :) I dont think a person minds a large person sitting next to them as long as they get along and neither of them smell or are weird XD The main reason my friend likes me is cuz we dont have to make small talk or gossip with one another like other girls seem to insist on doing with him. LoL!

Haystacks said...

Well to be fair, anyone can be creepy. I don't think weight and creepyness really have a corralating factor.

ShortDave said...

I don't think anonymous 8:38 meant that ALL fat people are creepy, its just that so far everybody has said they would rather sit next to a fat person than a creepy person, implying that all creepy people are skinny.

My question is this, you have to park at the bottom of a hill, how big could this hill possibly be, a few miles, maybe? Why not get their early and walk up the hill? I am not saying this because "Fat people need exercise" I am saying this because everyone needs exercise, get some fresh air, walk up the hill, you might even enjoy it.

idyeblue said...

It too bothers me the decision of sitting next to someone or someone having to sit next to me, fearing to be witness of one more look of disgust.

You are welcomed to sit next to me anytime:)

Anonymous said...

in my experience, nobody wants to sit next to anyone they don't know on a bus, be they fat, skinny, etc. I just think the world would be a nicer place if people were a little less xenophobic generally - i quite enjoy it when i end up chatting to some random stranger who's sat next to me on public transport - it removes some of the tedium of the ride. Personally the only thing that bothers me about someone sitting next to me is B.O. Trying not to breathe for an entire bus ride ain't fun. Really couldn't care less how much whoever sits next to me weighs though.

asdgasdfaserwe said...

Once, on the underground, a woman sat next to me. She kept moving her arm and bumping it into me. This had nothing to do with her size, but I thought to myself 'keep your arm away from me, you fat *#!' and made a show of leaning away from her while huffing and puffing.

When I turned to get off the train she looked at me and smiled. She made me realise what an idiot I had been. This, I feel, was very generous of her.

Kate said...

The "walk up the hill" idea is nice, but walking up a long hill in the summer leaves one to marinate in her sweat all day. It wouldn't be my first choice, and it's the reason that I don't walk the mile and a half to work during the warm weather. I walk, go home and shower, then drive. I'm looking into getting a bike. I think that I could bike it without getting too sweaty.

Anonymous said...


I don't think it's the best idea to walk up a 1-2 mile hill right before going into's bad enough being fat...does she have to be the smelly fat girl as well?

ShortDave said...

Good point, being smelly would be a drawback, but I assume she works in the morning so it might be relatively cool still. Plus it could be a social thing, get a bunch of people from work to meet at the bottom of the hill and walk up the thing together, you will be chatting with and getting to know your co-workers, you'll be at the top of the hill before you know it.
But that's just me and my love of exercise talking.

sarah said...

yep, that's how i feel every morning and every night on my bus/trolley ride to/from work. sucks.

FatMom said...

Ah, the story of my life. Except I live in CA and we don't tend to use mass transportation. But I get that look everywhere I go. Usually it's in stores or at parties: Ooooh, don't make me wait on the fat lady! Ohhhh, I hope the fat lady doesn't want to try and TALK to know...the usual.

peppa said...

This post disturbs me a bit. It sounds as if you're going through daily mental anguish over this shuttle/seat issue (amongst other issues?). Is it really necessary to do the "tripod" thing whenever you sit next to someone on aisle side? Why not just sit back and relax? People will think what they want of you irregardless of your arm touching them. I suggest that you let go of these negative thoughts. Fat people go through enough, and these small but (eventually) adverse stumbling blocks will just keep stacking up if you give them enough attention.

Anonymous said...

Hah, I was just in LA for a wedding and am almost positive I knpw where you work but for your privacy I won't say it aloud. If it is what I think it is, it's a steep hike and it's LA so it's always hot - although not humid like NY so we were loving the weather out there.

When I was a size 24 (and even to an extent now at a size 14) I used to have a similar dilemna on the subway where it'd be a long bench with "seats" for 8 and there'd be 7 people and I'd have to squeeze in. I'd always sit down my tuchus and not push all the way back so as not to squeeze anyone or take up more than my alloted space. This is not a comfy seat for more than 2 stops. Now for the most part (as I did today on the bus) I'm like fuck it and just push all the way in. Fat is pliable, it'll accomodate us all.

Dolley said...

Well, we were packed into the bus today like sardines, as we often are, and you know what bothered me? Not one thing about weight, mine or anyone else's. What bothered me is the fact that 97% of the bus-riding population is either too stupid or too inconsiderate to own bags, because they can't control the damned things, and don't care how often they smack someone with them, or where - arm, back, shoulder, or face.

People, I'm begging you, control where your bags are swinging. The life you save may be your own.

Anonymous said...

if you sat next to me, i'd be in seventh heaven.

once actually i was on a greyhound and rode for three hours next to a woman who was only mildly heavy, maybe 220, but fat enough that her hips pushed over to my side of the seat and her left hip was snug against my right.

i was high at the time and therefore shy, so i didn't really say much of anything to her, but smiled briefly as she got on. it was overall an enjoyable experience, and when it was time for me to get off the bus, she smiled and said thanks. i think she had enjoyed the experience as well.

if only i could be everybody who you sit next to. hehe.