Give up yer seat!
I confess to being an angry person. I always have been. My mother reckons it stems from my frustration as a tot when I couldn’t do things other kiddies my age could do. Y’know, like walk or run or climb trees or whatever. Not that there was much tree climbing in Croydon where I grew up, but anyway.
So yes, I get angry when things irritate me, like most people do, I suppose. I get angry when I see someone treated badly or unfairly. It’s infuriates me. I feel myself start to boil like an over-ripe volcano.
And on a personal level, it really, really pisses me off when I’m on a crowded bus – or the tube – and people see my walking stick, notice my deformed hand, and see my artificial leg (if I’m wearing tights or a short dress, o-la la!) and they still fail to offer me a seat.
Now, I don’t expect a gold gilt throne complete with velvet cushion and a bowl of peeled grapes. Although, actually, that would be nice. But honestly, I don’t. Just a seat on a bus would be nice. Especially where the sign says: “Please offer this seat to an elderly or disabled person or those with young children.” It doesn’t take much surely to say, “Excuse me, Ms Crip, would you like to seat your disabled bottom on this humble seating place?” I would like that. It would make me smile. And I would gush with gratitude and say, “I say, that is awfully kind of you.”
No, really. When a kind soul does offer me a seat I go a bit overboard on the thanks. It’s important to. They may have been a bit unsure about offering me a seat in the first place and I want to let them know, in no uncertain terms, that their offer is very much welcomed. It’s a nice gesture, it’s thoughtful. And no, it’s not patronising. Not to me, anyway.
By the same token, I also offer a seat if someone gets on and they look like they are struggling. Some days I can cope with standing on the bus, but even if I can’t, if an old dear hobbles on to the bus, I figure that I can probably hold on better standing up then they can, so I vacate my gilt throne.
It’s not especially nice of me, I don’t do it for an award necessarily (is there one?), it’s just thoughtful, and I know how nice it is when someone offers me a seat, so I like to play it forward as it were.
God, I wish more people did that.
If you’re able to stand, if you see someone struggling on public transport, for goddess sake, offer them the goddamned seat! They may bite your head off in outrage, but I suspect that more often than not, they are people like me, grateful to be asked.