Thursday, February 22, 2018

Backpacks On Public Transit

So I'm taking public transportation to work again.  And I'm sorry to report that not much has changed: people still crowd near the doors, young people still don't give up their seats for their elders, and the person on crutches is still not seen by people sitting in the seats marked for the mobility-challenged because they are too busy looking down at their phones.  And my biggest pet peeve has remained in full bloom: people are still NOT removing their backpacks or large purses and holding them at their sides.

It's mind-numbing that this still happens in 2018.

This morning, while sitting on my ride to work, I got smacked in the face by a backpack that easily doubled the girth of the young man wearing it.  Making us better friends was the fact that he didn't bother to apologize.  And our love was sealed when he didn't respond to my asking him to remove the backpack and hold it at his side.  He looked at me, then back down at his phone.  Nothing.  Yeah - we're best buds now.

People, apparently, are not born with an innate sense of spacial awareness.  This special ability is mostly attuned by people with larger builds who've either been made to feel self-conscious or try to shrink as much as possible in crowded situations.  Likewise, people who use wheelchairs have to immediately assess where they can fit or at least hope people move so that they can access the specifically designated areas for them.  Otherwise, the rest of the world is unaware that they may be encroaching on someone else's personal space.

All too soon, Chicagoans will put away their North Face winter coats and whipped out their North Face jackets and spring fleeces which will thankfully diminish everyone's girth, even if ever so slightly.  But the backpacks and large purses will still be worn by the clueless.  I guess I'll just have to get used to getting hit in the head with said backpacks and shoulder bags because this is apparently how it goes; it's what we do in Chicago.  Like going to the lake, and not putting ketchup on hot dogs. and "dibs". In the 23 years I've been riding subways and buses, it's never changed.

And really, why should I have expected that?