GIVING UP YOUR SEAT ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. I know, seventy billion hits, right? The only way I could stir up more interest would be to change this to "Giving up your seat to someone WITH A BIKE in San Francisco" or "Giving up your seat to GAY MARRIAGE SOLYNDRA GUN CONTROL."
ANYWAY. I was going to do a whole Urban Etiquette post about Proper Behavior on Public Transpo but frankly I don't have the time and a topic like that requires book-length soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture treatment. TRANSIT FUCKS II: TAKE OFF YOUR FUCKING BACKPACK, in theaters this summer.
So let's confine ourselves to one specific topic: Giving up your seat. Who do you give up your seat for? I have a few basic categories that I always jump up to accommodate:
1. Any woman who appears to be at least 20 years older than me
Now, keep in mind, I'm pretty old, so we're talking the headscarf & dentures crowd here. If you're young enough to not feel inappropriate at Delirium, you can probably adjust this to any woman who appears to be 40 years older than you.
2. Any old man who looks like he needs a seat
If he has gray hair but looks robust and vital, he can stand. If he has a cane or is wheeling a portable oxygen cylinder, be my guest.
3. Anyone who appears to be pregnant or have a physical disability of some type or who at least says they do and asks
Although honestly, in 22 years of riding Muni, I have never once had anyone ask for my seat. I never sit in those seats in the front reserved for the handicapped, though. I always get up for the pregs. Now that The Wife is one of them, she says that the only people who offer their seats are other womyn. WHAT UP DUDES, why so thoughtless? She's pregnant! Get the fuck up!
Other situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. Like if some chick is struggling with a heavy parcel of some type, I'll usually at least offer.
So here's my dilemma: WHAT ABOUT KIDS.
This morning, a woman gets on with 2 kids and they're standing there and one guy gives up his seat and the girl in the seat next to him vacates at the next stop, so the kids get the seats with the Mom standing next to them.
So here's the question: when a Mom or Dad gets on with toddler-or-above-age kids, kids that can clearly stand and walk on their own, do you give up your seat for them? I mean, if a Mom or Dad has a very young kid they're holding, it's a duh, of course you give up your seat. But what if the kid is like the age of these kids above?
Complicating this in my mind is the fact that I saw a sticker someone stuck to the inside of a bus once that said "YOUR KIDS CAN STAND. GIVE ADULTS THE SEAT." Really! That really happened. Isn't that so, so San Francisco? So many layers.
So what's the right call here? I'm genuinely curious.
This has been your Obsessing Over a Very Minor Thing of the Day.