Everyday when I take the PATH train home, I always try to get a seat in business class.
Didn't you know that the PATH train has business class seats?
When the PATH trains were first designed 30 years ago, the seats were made for one individual, of certain size and weight. I'm sure in 1975, the average rider fit just perfectly in those plastic molded seats, with plenty of room for other riders to sit next to each other. Sadly, due to our Supersize Nation, our girths have expanded, with less room between other passengers. Countless times I have had a large hipped passenger decide that it was ok to wedge her ass between me and another rider, just because a seat was open.
After a short while I discovered the business class seats in the PATH train.
Each train car has 1 or 2 (it depends there are different car designs on the PATH) of these seats. They are located by the inter-train doors: the doors that you open to walk between trains. The seat, itself, is the last seat in the row, and has about an extra 4 inches of plastic panel between the seat and the end of the car. It may not sound like a lot, but that extra room allows me to cross my legs while reading a paper, or just scoot a bit further away to the right from the passenger that sits on my left side - and avoiding their "ham shank legs".
To get this seat, each day when I take the PATH at the 34th street station, I will usually walk down the platform, to the second to last car. Most people who board get on the first 3 train cars, and getting to the business class seat is usually a hassle. Normally when I walk to the second to last car, there are maybe one or two people waiting. I know where the doors will open, and stand right where they open up, making sure i'm first on the car and making sure I can get the same seat nearly everyday.
Imagine my surprise yesterday when I was boarding the train and someone tried to take my seat. I will explain.
It was like any other day and I was lined up for the door. The train was rolling into the station and a taller girl, with dark hair and a cream colored long coat stood next to me, waiting for the door also. I was a bit perplexed, because where we were on the platform, she could have waited at ANY door. There wasn't anyone else.
I was there first. She was going to try and take the business class seat. Call it a moment of clarity, but I knew she was going to try and use her feminine wiles, thinking i'd let her on first, and then she would sit at the only seat that I really enjoy sitting at on the PATH - the business class seat.
The train came to a stop, and we were both with small, minute moves, jockeying for position at the door. I'm 6'3, and much larger than her, but I was in the disadvantage because I was on the left side of the door and she was on the right side of the door. When the doors opened, I would have to walk across her left side to edge her out of the seat.
The doors opened and I made my move.
I didn't touch her, I just made a quick move to the seat and sat down. I notice on the corner of my eye she tried to go in my direction, but then sat down at another seat. So, i'm happily getting out my magazine and crossing my leg when I notice her quickly stand up. I glance over at her, and she walks away, then looks behind her - directly at me. She gives me the MOST withering stare I have ever gotten. To me it spoke "You fucking bastard I wanted that seat!"
Trust me, I know she wanted that business class seat. If I was imagining that she was gunning to get on the train before me, I now know that she was angry because of that look she gave me. It wasn't an angry look of "Why did you walk in front of me". It was easily a look of, "You took my seat!"
She walked to the other end of the car and sat down, with a pissy look on her face. Me? I was absolutely chuckling to myself while I read my magazine the entire ride.
You know, its just the little things in life that I enjoy.