Personal Space Invaders

June 10, 2008 at 9:06 pm 6 comments

After reading an article about subway etiquette in Bust Magazine about leaning against the pole (and thus taking up all hand-holding space for other commuters), I too must list a concern of mine:



As the summer gets hotter (and my commute downtown gets longer), I can’t help but notice all the sweaty man-thighs that I find pressed against my person. It’s not like they don’t have space of their own. I take up the allotted seat given to us on all 1,2,3, N, R, Q, and W trains. Yet I still find men spreading their legs, hands clasped between them, ignoring the fact that their knee is literally crossing the Olivian Meridian.

I know what you’re thinking, but I’ve experienced this when old men, dudes, suits, and tired workers. It’s not like you can really cop a calf-feel. It’s more like a power struggle. A struggle where I grugdingly give up what little space I have. I’ve tried shifting uncomfortably, coughing, rotating my body, and sticking my purse in their space (an action that sometimes yields results). I am at my wit’s end here, people!

So tell me people, is this an anatomical requirement? Is that why men can’t just sit with their legs straight on the subway? Is that why they have no problem assuming the thigh-master position at the expense of my comfort level? I need answers, and will camp out here in DC where the subways are benign and calming until I get the solutions I need.

photo courtesy of nikolaifailla


Entry filed under: Miscellaneous Musings, Olivia. Tags: , , .

Shorts Gone Wrong Meat in My Sandwich

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim Cameron  |  June 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I can’t speak for all men on this one, since the PSA’s I was forced to watch as a kid have given me an innate terror of physical contact with any stranger. I therefore shrink up like a salted slug as soon as I accidentally brush against someone on the train, hot chick or no.

    However, I must admit that it’s more comfortable to spread one’s legs. There aren’t many places for a dude’s dangly parts to go, you know.

  • 2. Betty  |  June 11, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I am still skeptical that the >60 degree angle is really necessary though. I’m convinced it’s a territorial thing.

  • 3. parkrangerolivia  |  June 11, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    honestly, I agree with you betty. sometimes I will give the guy a look like “is this really necessary?” only to be met with a cold hard stare of “yes, it is, and what are you going to do about it, huh?”

    it’s frustrating, and really makes my commute something i dread.

  • 4. Tim Cameron  |  June 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Oh, you wait. One day you’ll wake up with balls, and then it will all make sense.

  • 5. Obnoxious Subway Behavior « Googly Eyes  |  September 23, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    […] issue only when the car is moderately crowded, and something Olivia talks about in great detail in this post, is when (typically) men feel the need to spread their legs as close to 180 degrees as possible, […]

  • 6. Tyrone Hed  |  September 23, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Boy, I’m a man with a pair of balls but I agree completely with you. Being that I’m 6’4″ and 220, I generally can get these leg spreaders to quit. Though men have balls, you can discretely lift them and you’re fine. Only lazy asshole men demand to keep their legs spread.

    But I must confess what really pisses me off are the people who come into a train car where there are 20 people reading their books, not bothering anybody. And then some pair of assholes or one on a cell phone comes in and–oblivious to all the readers, commences to have a loud, stupid conversation. Why is it that people cannot understand the simple principle: if everybody is quiet–everybody can live in peace. I generally will endure it for a while but if they persist I will ask: “Excuse me, is my silent reading disturbing your loud, obnoxious conversation?” The educated folks get it and pipe down. There are always some who think they have a right to be rude. My advice to them: if you want to start being rude–don’t start something you can’t finish.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Googly-Eyes on Flickr!

%d bloggers like this: