Is this seat taken? (or, What a bus chick will do for love)

Bus Chick, with the man she commits bus fouls forBecause Bus Nerd and I “met” on the bus we ride to work, our early courtship was supplemented by some infatuation-enhancing bus conversations, the kind that actually made me look forward to my commute. Pre-Bus Nerd, I relished my mornings. I loved that I didn’t have to be at work at any particular time, and I never rushed. If I missed my regular bus, well, there’d be another in 15 minutes. More time for NPR. After I got to know him (and which departure time would likely result in an encounter with him), I warmed up to rushing and regularly found myself running up the hill toward the bus stop, coat unbuttoned, bus chick bag half packed.

The problem was, there was no guarantee we’d get to sit together. Back then, I got on downtown (about midway down 4th Avenue), and he got on several stops later, at Montlake. Folks, I’m not proud of this, but it’s time I came clean: I wanted to sit by Bus Nerd so badly that I regularly (and intentionally) committed a minor bus foul: I saved him a seat.

I used the standard tactics: leaving my bus chick bag on the seat next to me (a shocking transgression by a woman who prides herself on her impeccable bus etiquette) and pretending to be busy digging through it each time new people boarded. Sometimes I even resorted to feigning sleep to avoid being asked to move it.

In my defense, I never held the seat if there weren’t others available (remind me to tell you about the time my sister, a much braver soul than I, almost started a bus riot by saving a seat on a standing-room-only bus), and I didn’t turn down anyone who directly asked to sit there–OK, one woman, but that was because Bus Nerd was right behind her and there were several seats open in the area. (Yikes. That one might actually be a sin to confess to Busfather.)

I still look forward to my rides with Bus Nerd, but I don’t miss those nerve-racking seat-saving days, and I still haven’t forgiven myself for breaking the bus riders’ code.

Your turn. Ever intentionally committed a bus foul?

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5 Responses to Is this seat taken? (or, What a bus chick will do for love)

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  2. BusChick says:

    Elizabeth,

    Thank you for your kind words! The encouragement means a lot to me.

    Good luck with your advocacy in NC. I know it’s hard for smaller towns to support transit service (both with funding and ridership). You might find this article interesting: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/17/thinking-outside-the-bus/. Let me know how I can help!

    Carla

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