Saturday, February 15, 2014

Me vs. The Space Hog!

If you read this blog with any frequency, you know I hate space hogs. A person who takes an extra seat on the train or bus for his totebag or backpack, causing others to stand, is at best rude and at worst a thief. (Did he buy a fare for that totebag or backpack? No? Then how is it different than taking two loaves of bread from the store and only paying for one?)

The place where space hogs annoy me more than public transportation is the gym. It's simply wrong to take up the entire bench in the locker room with your water bottle and iPod and towel. A bench is for people to sit on. Likewise, it's rude to drape your belongings on an exercise machine to reserve it when you're doing something else.

So on Friday, I removed the towel from the leg lift and started doing my exercises. The offending woman came barreling over to me, telling me I didn't have to throw her towel on the floor.

I patiently told her that I didn't "throw" it, I "removed" it, and she has no right to try to reserve machines. She kept yelling at me, and I kept repeating the same thing: "You're not supposed to reserve the machines."

She stormed off to the showers saying, "I'm leaving now. You can use any machine you want."

"My," I called after her, "how good of you to give me permission."

After she left, one of men who was also waiting for one of the three (3!) machines she'd draped her belongings over came over and gave me an "atta girl" for "confronting her with common sense."

I felt like a cross between Emily Post and Rocky Balboa, fighting the good fight for common courtesy.

BTW, this woman is at least 45 years old. I don't know where she gets this sense of entitlement, or why by this point in her life she hasn't learned that we all have to inhabit this space together and we should respect one another.


  1. Well done! Sometimes even grown-ups have to be taught their manners.

  2. I wonder if what you said sank in with her or if she was too indignant to hear you.


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