When in a public space, it is important not to behave as if you were in the privacy of your own home.
It is extremely important to be mindful of the other people around you and make sure you leave your surroundings in the same condition they were in when you arrive.
That being said, if you do find yourself lucky to be alone in a public place, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few liberties, within limits of course.
Redditor skanus_cepelinai found herself in a fairly enviable situation on her morning commute and decided to take advantage of that.
However, when the original poster (OP) was joined in her car by a fellow passenger, he wasted no time in scolding her for being inconsiderate.
Something the OP was not willing to tolerate.
Wondering if her behavior was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to sit next to this man?”
The OP shared how when a stranger criticized her for her behavior, she wasn’t the slightest bit afraid to talk back to him.
“I (30s, F[emale]) was riding an almost empty train, there were maybe 5 or 6 people in the whole carriage.”
“I sat in a four-seater (two seats on one side, two across) and spread out my stuff, put my jacket on the seat across from me and put my feet on it so that the seat wouldn’t get touched by my socks.”
“If it matters: It was early in the morning and I had been wearing these socks for less than an hour.”
“My shoes are also clean as I alternate two pairs daily to let them dry out between uses.”
“A guy in, I guess, his late forties or maybe early fifties entered the train, came straight to me, and said ‘move your bag’.”
“I was puzzled since there was plenty of free seats to go around, so I asked if he really wanted this particular seat and he said yes.”
“So I picked up my bag, he plopped down next to me and I proceeded to pack up my laptop, drink, jacket, put on my shoes and moved to a different four-seater.”
“I spread out again.”
“Before I could even get my shoes off, the dude was standing in front of me and said ‘move your bag’.”
“I asked why.”
“He said that he wanted to sit there.”
“I answered that he had been wanting that certain seat that I vacated for him, so I don’t see why he would want to switch seats.”
“He scoffed and explained that it was not about the specific seat but about ‘entitled people who think their bags deserve a seat’.”
“I told him that I moved once for him and wouldn’t move again.”
“He made a movement as if he wanted to grab my bag and I raised my voice saying ‘don’t you f**king dare!’.”
“He started lamenting about entitled people again.”
“I told him ‘I moved for you’.”
“‘There are hundreds of free seats on this train. Sit somewhere else’.”
“He called me an a**hole and went back to his seat.”
“Then he called someone on his phone (or acted like it, who knows) and proceeded to complain about ‘entitled b*tches loudly’.”
“To be clear, when a train fills up, I, of course, gather my stuff and vacate seats around me so that others can sit.”
“But I don’t see why I should let some rando boss me around and invade my personal space for no reason.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not at all the a**hole for clapping back at the strange man.
Everyone agreed that the man was completely out of line by telling her to move her things in spite of the train car being completely empty, with many finding his behavior disturbing, to the point of dangerous, and applauded the OP for how she handled things.
“If the train was half-empty, it’s not his business what you do.”
“After you moved and he followed you, he escalated the situation, and frankly, he behaved like a certified creep.”
“The move to grab your bag was a big no-no.”
“Good thing you raised your voice: too often, women are inculcated by society to be quiet, to be nice, not to cause a scene, and that’s how we end up abused.”- 000-Hotaru_Tomoe
“The train was practically empty.”
“You did nothing wrong.”
“That weird man has serious issues that have nothing to do with you.”
“To walk up to a lone woman on an almost-empty train and demand that she move her bag is a RUDE flex!”
“If some creep did that to me, I would tell him to pound sand, and I wouldn’t move.”
“I would dramatically wave my arm at the sea of empty seats and tell him where to go.”
“You behaved much more politely than I would have, Lol.”- IMAGINARIAN_photos
“I would have told the guy after the second encounter that he was the one acting entitled by forcing his opinions on complete strangers and that he was being a creepy perv by repeatedly wanting to sit so close to you.”- Fuzzy_Judgment63
“This guy is a creeper and looking to cause trouble with you, a woman.”
“Good for you not putting up with it.”- Punkrockpm
“He sounds like a strange dude that was trying to harass you.”- CZ1988_
“With plenty of room on the train, he had a ton of seats to choose from.”
“He was technically correct about being able to sit in any seat.”
“But his insistence on enforcing his technical correctness on you makes him the a-hole and an overbearing prick.”
“You’re definitely NTA.”- baka-tari
“This was a power play because you were a woman, traveling alone.”
“He wanted to make you uncomfortable.”
“Anything you did would have not been enough until you confronted him.”
“Also, I get the shoe thing.”
“I hate wearing shoes due to sensory issues and can’t get comfortable with them on.”
“Might I suggest trying a pair of small house slippers for traveling?”
“Keep them in a paper or plastic bag in your backpack/bag. Swap them.”
“Fabric softener sheets kept in the bag will reduce smells from the shoes as well.”- Colt_kun
“I can’t believe so many people are focused on your feet.”
“That is not what you asked to be judged on.”
“It’s clear he wanted to sit next to you!!.”
“If he was mad about you taking up space as he claimed, why didn’t he ask you to move your jacket so he could sit across?”
“He chose the seat right next to when there were other seats available.”
“I used to take the bus, and I had a few people choose to sit next to me when there were other seats available.”
“Each time it was a man, and each time they said something rude when I got up to go somewhere else.”
“It’s actually a thing some guys do because they want to sit next to you and probably start up a conversation.”
“Thinking that you have to talk to them.”
“You have every right to want to avoid that situation.”
“I can’t believe more people are worried about your feet than about a guy harassing you.”- cara1888
“He was on a power trip.”- Voldemom
“He was being a pr*ck.”- Any-Strawberry-9395
“This guy is a freak.”
“Hopefully, you won’t see him again. That is so weird.”- Mother_of_Peacocks
“NTA, I hate this!”
“I do not understand why people on a completely empty/almost empty train want to sit next to you.”
“The guy is a complete weirdo and sounds really controlling.”
“I had a similar experience recently, and the man wanted me to move into the window seat so he could have the aisle seat and box me in.”
“Every other seat was empty, including the seat directly behind him, which was an aisle seat.”
“He literally could have just sat down whilst facing me, but he was insisting I shuffle over, so I said no and just gave him the side eye for the rest of the journey.”
“It’s sock (as long as they weren’t stinky) I see not a problem.”- Thundercatmania
After reading everyone’s comments, the OP returned with an update, thanking them for taking the time to share their thoughts and giving some more insight into the situation.
“One thing pops up a lot, namely people being scared for me in that situation.”
“Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it!”
“I would like to address that: The situation was not scary.”
“I would say I am pretty good at listening to my gut, and it has served me really well so far.”
“But in this situation, my spidey senses were not tingling at all.”
“My impression of the dude was one of self-righteousness and some tinge of entitlement, maybe a bit of creepiness, but no hints of danger of physical violence.”
It would have been one thing if the OP was taking up four empty seats when there were no seats to be had.
But considering the OP made herself comfortable, well aware that she wasn’t inconveniencing anyone, and would have made space if people needed it, it’s hard to understand why this man felt this was a battle worth fighting.
The OP is indeed lucky that he only attacked her with his words.