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Where do you want to sit?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately.  A young couple will board the bus, the young woman first, followed by her boyfriend.  She will start walking down the aisle, and then when she’s about a quarter of the way down she’ll stop, and turn to him and say, “Where do you want to sit?”  I say now to these young women:

This is rude to anyone who happened to get on after you.  They’re just stuck standing until you move.  Just sit down already.

Even if nobody got on after the two of you, often the driver won’t move until you’re seated, so if you just stand there debating where to sit, you’re holding up the driver and all the other passengers.

But while violations of bus etiquette do annoy me, this disturbs me for a deeper reason.  As one woman to another, I really hope you learn this soon for your own mental health: his opinion is not more important than yours.

Where do you want to sit?  You don’t need to ask him where he wants to sit.  Just sit wherever there’s an empty (whole) seat, wherever you feel like sitting.  He’ll sit with you.  If he doesn’t, there’s something wrong with the relationship.  If there isn’t an empty seat, just sit someplace where there are two empty spaces close together.  If he makes you feel like you need to ask his approval for where to sit on the bus or like you’re not competent enough to pick out a place to sit by yourself, there’s something really wrong with him.  Why are you in a relationship with him?

It’s one thing to consult with your partner about things that affect both of you, like where to go for dinner, or is this a nice neighborhood to live in, but it’s another thing to always ask your partner where do you want to eat, where do you want to live, and go along with whatever they say like you have no opinion of your own.

If this sounds like a relationship you’re in, and you’re thinking it will get better, it won’t.  It will only get worse.  If he makes you feel incompetent over trivial things or like you need to ask for approval for small things now, eventually he’ll be making you feel incompetent over everything and like you need to ask for permission before you do anything. You’ll wonder how you ever got hooked up with such a maniacal control freak.  Get out now while it’s still relatively easy.

Or maybe your relationship isn’t like that.  Maybe he’s wondering why you ask him every time where he wants to sit.  Maybe he’s wondering why you can’t make a simple decision like that on your own?

Either way, it’s something to consider.  I wish you luck.

3 comments

  1. Sue

    I agree with your comments and assessment here, but I also have an additional theory. And I just left a relationship like this, so it is fresh in my mind. It seems to me that often, a man’s opinion, especially about something as relatively irrelevant as where to sit on a bus, will be much more strongly held than the woman’s. So even if each person is deemed just as worthy to have an opinion, I generally think the person with the barely-care opinion should defer to the person with the strongly-held opinion. My ex was a typical Virgo (whether I believe in that is irrelevant, since HE believed in it), and to him, lots of trivial (to me) things mattered *greatly*. But when it came to stuff that was truly important to both of us, we tried to include both of our opinions equally.
    By the way, you don’t know me, Hi, I’m Sue (waves), I enjoy your blog, been reading for a few years, found you originally from the CarFree group, I think. Now I’m an aspiring knitter and YarnHarlot reader too, and see you there sometimes.

  2. Vincent F. Ryder III

    I’ve enjoyed your blog, too. I was brought here originally by a search about food. I’m a vegetarian and am thinking about going vegan. I still haven’t decided.

  3. Marcy

    Argh, I hate that crap, too. Just sit your ass down, and who gives a shit where the guy wants to sit. And I don’t believe in that “stronger opinion” stuff either. It’s just a euphemism for CONTROL.
    My favorite is the couple with the kid that gets on, and once they’re seated, the man acts like he wants nothing to do with the woman and child. He puts the stroller under the seat and then zones out.
    Woman are totally brainwashed to defer to men. If we all stopped deferring to men, they’d probably poop their pants. We have the power; we just need to use it.

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