The scene: my bus, around 8 am this morning. I am wedged between two other women in the front-area seats that face each other. To my right, the resident “church lady” is chatting about her revival, which was “awesome” in case you were wondering, and to my left, my neighbor is listening to head phones. I’m just watching everyone, wondering if I should have brought a scarf, wishing I were still in bed. We stop at two or three more stops. Two men get on the bus, shaking hands with the bus driver and saying “Good Morning” to each of us in the front aisle-facing seats individually as they pass. Clearly these two painters should have been politicians. Their paint-covered pants and shoes betray their real profession. The bus moves on. We stop again. A young woman gets on. The bus is now full. We stop again. A mom who often has her daughter with her but doesn’t this morning gets on, finds no place to sit, and takes a standing space.
The bus driver glances in the rear view mirror and sees her standing. “What, can’t none of you guys give her a seat?” He hollers this, apparently to the men of the bus. Some people shuffle around, suddenly remembering their manners. A seat materializes where two men had been taking up 3 seats between them. The mother sits down. Her face says she doesn’t want anyone making a fuss. I wonder if I’d rather be standing or wedged in between two guys who really take up 3 seats between the two of them. The bus driver, apparently satisfied that everyone is now acting like a gentleman, closes the doors and merges back into traffic.