Yesterday, as most people know by the time of this posting, Rosa Parks passed away.
I'm not planning to eulogize at all, and there are many others who have posted. The Times article is linked here. If you don't have access, TinkertyTonk posted a big snippet of the piece here.
Gawker made a statement as well.
I commented on the Gawker post, and unexpectedly I got a fair amount of positive e-mail feedback. Including her divaness Pink Lemonade, who commented on the blog(thanks). So since I am apt to link to anything I do remotely praiseworthy, here is the comment.
For those who don't want to bother I basically say that, in her honor, I'm refusing to give up my seat on the the bus to any of the elderly or disabled.
I gave myself a good chuckle with the line, but then when actually riding the bus today my mind was swirling. I don't usually end up in the seats where the stickers ask you to "please give up this seat to someone elderly or disabled," but today there I was. And with the remants of Wilma hitting NYC today there were a lot of people using the bus.
So with my comment in mind I was feeling particularly conscious about making sure I don't take the joke too far. At the same time the bus is crowded and I wasn't looking to give up my seat unless it was really necessary.
So I'm scanning the people as they come in. Every middle-aged person who boards I'm checking out for extra wrinkles, or a limp, or missing teeth ... something to let me know they fit under the "elderly or disabled" category. There were a number of tweeners that made me lean forward, but then say, "nah, they're not that old."
Eventually an old lady with big bags and a cane feebly makes her way on to the bus. Perfect, I think to myself. I look at her face that is desperately hoping for a seat and I rise up with a little extra flourish to make sure others notice my benevolence.
And as soon as I step away from the seat, this bratty little girl slides in front of the old lady and gets in the seat. And not only does she take the seat, she actually stands on the seat itself, then kneels down on her knees so that she can look out the window. All done with that childlike oblivious exuberance that is oh-so-annoying when there's absolutely nothing to be obliviously exuberant about.
The old lady, who had noticed my flourish, was clearly disappointed. But there's nothing anyone can do. The child was too young to approach about proper etiquette in that situation.
Mind you I wanted to take the child, slam her down on the ground, put my wet boot on her face and tell her, "the sign says kindly give the seat to someone elderly or disabled. And not only that, yesterday Rosa Parks passed away, and I made a funny comment on Gawker about not giving my seat up that people e-mailed me about. And I was thinking about that comment when I gave up my seat. So with all that in mind don't you want to go and find someplace else to cry and complain about my wet boot being in your face?"
Someone's got to teach these children some manners. It might as well be TAN and his wet boot.
Unfortunately like a good little blogger, I thought big thoughts, and took little action.
A little later in the day all these events made me think about how, despite considering myself to be a spry young man, I get on the bus and often have elderly and disabled people getting out their seats so that I can sit down.
Maybe I need botox