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Fatiquette…AKA The Etiquette of Size

A little bit of background:   I am a very heavy woman, 5’3” and 300lbs, in my early thirties. Because of my girth, I buy two tickets when I go to the movies. This way I can raise the armrest between the two seats without inconveniencing anyone by “spilling over” into their space.

Saturday night I went to a 10pm showing of “Sherlock Holmes 2” and bought two tickets as usual.  I tend to arrive about 40 minutes before the movie starts so I have time to pick up some snacks, settle in, and enjoy the previews. About 5 minutes before the previews started the theater was getting full. It was becoming harder and harder for people to find seats together. I was sitting on the aisle with the armrest up and my purse on my 2nd seat to my left. The third seat in the row, the one next to my two seats, was also empty. I can understand why someone would see this and think there were two seats open next to me.

A couple in their late twenties or early thirties approached me and asked if I they could have the two seats next to me. I replied. “I’m sorry, there is only one seat available. The one next to me is taken.”  The woman in the couple said, “You can’t save seats. The movie is about to start. If your friend isn’t here yet, we should get the seat.”  I smiled and told her, “Actually, I have the tickets for both seats. I like to have two seats for my own comfort. Sorry, but this seat is taken. The only one available is the one next to it.”

At that point the woman threw a screaming fit. She began cursing and yelling that just because I was a fat b-word, didn’t mean I could take two seats. She was there with her boyfriend. They should be allowed to sit together. And if I was so fat I needed two seats, I should just stay home where I wouldn’t disgust the rest of the world with my hideous fatness.

She then began a diatribe about my popcorn and candy. How it was no wonder I was so fat and obviously I had to attend the movies by myself since who would want to be seen with such a pig…

I wish I could say I stood up like an avenging valkyrie and let the woman know exactly how unacceptable her behavior was.   ,Instead, I’m ashamed to say, I turned bright red and had to choke back tears.

My response, after a few deep breaths, was “I bought two tickets, these are my two seats.”  The man pulled on her arm and said, “F-word this B-word. Let’s just find another place to sit.”  They then stomped up the stairs while I prayed for the ground to open up and swallow me.

My weight is due to my food choices and lack of exercise.  There is no one else to blame.  But, do my food issues mean I have no right to enter a public venue?  Does being fat give people a free pass to hurl verbal abuse at me?

To accommodate my weight, I am willing to pay for an extra seat at the movie theater, on airplanes, on trains, etc…   People shouldn’t have to deal with me taking up my seat and half of theirs.  But even when I pay extra to ensure their comfort and my own, this isn’t enough for some people.

Was I rude one for not letting the couple take the two seats next to me, even though I paid for one of them?  Does being fat mean I’m simply not “suitable” for polite society?   0103-12

A blog post on the subject of “fatiquette” has been a long time coming and today seems as good as any.   Given the extremely volatile comments on forums and blogs on the subject of how obese people affect their fellow traveler’s traveling experiences, it is with a teensy bit of trepidation and a word of caution that we’ll explore the issue of how we all should walk through this world together in as civil  manner as possible.

First off, OP,  those two persons were anything but polite so don’t measure what “polite society” is by their actions.   When people act like this, it is more a statement of their own frustrations at themselves for not planning better or being late.  So you become a more convenient, safer target than squabbling with each other.   I’m obnoxious enough that I would have introduced the couple to my friend “Mr. CoatAndPurse” who I had invited to sit next to me and whose ticket I had purchased.  Having bought two tickets, you were entitled to take two seats and have no obligation to strange bullies to give it up.

Here are a few ground rules.  It is absolutely no one’s business…

1.  …what another person weighs.  And this goes for whether the person is obese or very skinny.  You can speculate about it to yourself but if you say it aloud, you are a busybody and possibly a cad, too.

2.  …what other people eat, or in some cases, what they don’t eat.   Hovering over someone’s plate dissecting the contents of their meal like the food police is rude.

3.  …what another person’s health is.   I’ve heard rude comment about some0ne’s weight justified under the slim pretext of “concern” for their health.   Unless you are a spouse, parents or trusted friend or family with personal knowledge of someone’s health issues, you have no business speculating as to how weight is affecting that person’s health.

I’m sure there are a few more but off the top of my head, I can’t think of them.

The above rules apply to everyone, in every situation but there is a portion of the population that believes either the very thin or the very large are exempt from receiving these courtesies and rude comments are forthcoming.   I am a Big, Beautiful Woman and I’ve had my share of stupid things said to me over the years such as the rude stranger who commented on the ice cream in my grocery cart, not knowing that I dislike ice cream and it was for the husband.   Young men, in particular, seem to have no governor on their mouths when expressing their disdain for the appearances of a female that isn’t exactly to their specifications of perfection.

For the obese, the rules are simple.  Don’t inconvenience anyone.   You do have a physical condition that does present some limitations as to your mobility and your personal space is substantially bigger than the average person.  You must, therefore,  think proactively as how you are going to negotiate certain situations.  Within various cultures, personal space can vary in size but for most Westerners, that space is about a 2 foot zone around them.  When that zone perimeter has been pierced and as the  another person gets closer, the tension level goes up.  Some violations of personal space are to be expected such as standing in an elevator, bus, subway, long line, etc. but where possible, effort should be made to not intentionally or unintentionally infringe on others’ personal space.

Large air travelers must either buy two coach seats or fly first class where the seats are wider until such time as the airlines redesign their seats.   I know there are fat advocates who will disagree vehemently with me on this but  even my own fat accepting family has told tales of flying in coach seats where their significantly larger co-travelers have overflowed their seat into theirs, much to their discomfort.    I’m a BBW and I fly first class when I travel which is infrequently in recent years.  I want to be a good ambassador for the larger members of society and not insist that others must sacrifice their comfort to accommodate my size.  I see it as a win-win situation where no one is inconvenienced and I am quite content and comfortable in a roomier seat.

And for the record, one does not have to be fat to not fit into a coach airplane seat.  My petite daughter was once seated in coach between two very muscular, tall men whose shoulder widths were considerably wider than the 17″ seat.  Both of these men hogged the arm rests and spilled into her seat simply by virtue of being overly endowed with muscles.  My averaged sized husband recently dealt with a situation where a very large man overflowed into his coach seat taking over about 1/3 of my husband’s already small seat.   While he doesn’t mind getting close and personal with me, it’s an entirely different matter with a stranger.

It’s unfortunate that we have to even address this but I feel some blame lies with the airlines who have made the seats both smaller in width and more compacted from front to back.    I have a 24 year old photo of me seated in a wide body plane in coach holding my then infant daughter.  I’m a big woman but you can clearly see that the seats are much more roomier back then than they are now.   Even first class seats have shrunk over the years….you have to research seat sizes for different airlines and planes as they can vary by as much as 3 inches.   But there may be good changes coming.  Some airlines are redesigning their coach seats to be more comfortable:  http://youtu.be/hqV9sAL4fxg.

Large theater or movie goers should either sit with family who are quite happy to “cuddle” with the arm rest up or buy two tickets.   If there is a possibility that there could be backside spillage into someone’s space, I think there is an inherent obligation to not inconvenience others. So, plan ahead, get to the theater early and stake out your seat choice

Those are my thoughts this day.   Comment away, readers!




{ 136 comments… add one }
  • Stacey Frith-Smith March 12, 2012, 10:10 am

    Well said, Admin! Bravo! Here, Here! Courtesy certainly flows both ways, and no one should be an object of another person’s vituperative diatribe. Conversely, we all should strive not to inconvenience those around us.

  • Just Laura March 12, 2012, 10:17 am

    My weight is due to my food choices and lack of exercise. There is no one else to blame. But, do my food issues mean I have no right to enter a public venue?
    To accommodate my weight, I am willing to pay for an extra seat at the movie theater, on airplanes, on trains, etc… People shouldn’t have to deal with me taking up my seat and half of theirs. But even when I pay extra to ensure their comfort and my own, this isn’t enough for some people.

    This OP is my new favorite person. The OP accepts who she is, assigns no blame to anyone else for her situation, and accepts what she must do to comfortably accommodate herself and others.
    A “Rubenesque” woman who spills into my train seat (I am not a large person) is making my day unpleasant. However, a bigger person who buys herself two tickets has every right to those two seats – if that means she wants to use one for her purse only, that’s fine! She bought the tickets. If she wants to sit in both seats and eat the popcorn that she, herself, bought – that’s fine! It sounds like the OP has done everything she can to handle the situation appropriately.

  • Pixie March 12, 2012, 10:21 am

    She actually bought two tickets. That is all that matters.

  • vanessaga March 12, 2012, 10:22 am

    OP, you did nothing wrong-in fact, you very obviously were thinking of others or you wouldn’t have purchased the extra seat. What horrible people!

  • Bint March 12, 2012, 10:23 am

    I am totally appalled by this story. That anyone could be so stupid, so nasty and so angry to a total stranger amazes me. In fact, the OP’s size is only relevant because they chose to pick on it when insulting her for not letting them get what they wanted. She could have been skinny and just not wanted to sit next to someone, so bought two seats – they’d have yelled abuse at her for being a miserable skinny b*tch. Ugly, old, overgrown…just add in the first adjective you can think of, they’d have found one. Why she paid for two seats is none of their business. She did. That seat’s taken.

    What revolting people.

  • David March 12, 2012, 10:24 am

    The couple was incredibly rude to the OP. We even see rude people blow gaskets because they want the better seats that they haven’t paid for in assigned seating. It’s wonderful that the OP thinks ahead and I am sorry her movie experience was ruined.

  • Library Diva March 12, 2012, 10:35 am

    I’m sorry that the OP was subjected to this rude treatment, but it does indeed sound like this young man and young woman are perfect for one another and I’m glad they’ve each gotten the partner they deserve. Look at it this way, OP, you may be overweight, but those two are clearly horrible people. At least you don’t go through life like they do, full of venom for everyone who isn’t exactly like them and on a hair trigger at every minor inconvenience life presents. If cursing and hurling the nastiest insults they can conjure is how they react to having trouble finding two seats together at a movie, how do you suppose they’d handle job loss, diagnosis of a serious illness, or loss of a family member?

    I think admin’s response was perfect, and I’m glad she included the skinny folks in it. I have put on some weight and now look more “normal”, but I used to be really thin, and I used to get a lot of comments too. People asking me if I ever ate anything. People going on at length to try and determine my ‘secret’. People freaking out if I redid my hair at the same time I was using a restroom in a public place, convinced I was in there purging (I wasn’t). Waitresses giving me a hard time if I didn’t clean my plate, or saying things like “No wonder you’re so skinny.” And yeah, they were often using the ‘health’ angle too.

    I’m totally with admin about airplanes, too. The airlines wonder why they lose so much money — it’s because flying has become a more awful experience with every six months that goes by, as they introduce new ridiculous security measures to try to comply with, and take away more and more amenities, or charge for things that used to be included. Between the overweight, the tall, the muscular, the large-chested, and the left-handed, flying’s probably uncomfortable for about half the population. People built like Olympic female gymnasts are about the only ones who can fly in comfort.

  • Catherine March 12, 2012, 10:35 am

    I’ve never commented here but this story is completely revolting. I too am of a larger size and if I had been treated the way the OP was treated by those folks in the theater, I doubt I would have had the decorum and grace that she displayed and instead would have burst into a gibbering, tearful mess.

  • Micha March 12, 2012, 10:36 am

    I’m reminded of an old commercial, I think for a credit card or an airline. A tennis player kept buying one ticket and having to store his trophy in the overhead on the return flight, except it kept falling out and was hard to fit. So he started buying two return tickets and had the trophy in the second seat.

    Anyway, I agree that someone who buys two tickets has as much right to two adjacent seats as a pair of people with one ticket each. And LW was there first, so she gets first pick. You want to sit together, you get to the theater sooner.

  • Mary March 12, 2012, 10:38 am

    I agree with everything Admin says and the OP has the right attitude. She bought two seats, she has every right to sit there.

    Unfortunately, I have heard of many overweight people doing the right thing by buying two seats on an airplane only to have the airline overbook and take away their extra seat. These passengers do get a refund, but they still then face the wrath of the newly assigned seatmates for taking up too much space even though they tried to do the right thing in the first place and the airline is in the wrong.

  • livvy17 March 12, 2012, 10:39 am

    the issues is entitlement – the angry movie person thought (very wrongly) that she was entitled to sit next to her boyfriend, regardless of her lack of planning, or the perfectly reasonable, lawful arrangements of others. Did she yell at other people who wouldn’t move either? Or did she only decide to pick on the OP as one of the last classes of people that the world feels free to mock and degrade? I’m so sorry the OP had to go through that. Especially since she did everything right, to ensure her own comfort, and the comfort of those around her.
    There are others, though, who will take advantage – the brawny shouldered guys in the airplane who think because they are larger that they deserve your armrest, your footspace, etc. More often, it’s the battle for the overhead bins that seems to be the greatest source of rudeness and entitlement in regards to space.

  • Vrinda March 12, 2012, 10:39 am

    OP, you did nothing wrong. Don’t think you were the bad guy because of your weight problem. That couple are idiots. They think that by using progfanities and insulting people, that they are so smart and can get their way. I wish the ground would have opened up and swallowed them. Behavior like this cannot be tolerated or allowed to go unpunished. Shouldn’t the theater have been notified of those morons’ behavior? They could ban them from entering the establishment.

  • Phyllis March 12, 2012, 10:42 am

    I second Just Laura, I love this OP and her consideration for those around her. I, like Admin’s daughter, am a smaller person and many times have my personal space infringed. I have actually been told that I do not need a full seat because I am clearly annorexic. So thank you admin for realizing that the very skinny can be harrassed as much as those with a bit more to love.

    OP, please ignore this couple’s comments and those like them, and continue being comfortable with yourself and considerate of others.

  • Shoegal March 12, 2012, 10:45 am

    This story is appalling. The couple are classless and rude and they are the ones who have absolutely no right to enter into polite society. I completely agree with the Admin – people’s size, food choices and health are no one else’s business and shouldn’t be addressed. No advice or counsel or concerns should be discussed or issued.

    I agree with Bint – the couple wanted what they wanted and would have used any readily available insult to hurl. The Op had every right to both seats – why she bought 2 is no one else’s business.

  • ciotog March 12, 2012, 10:45 am

    I’ve never been to a movie theatre with a movable armrest. And I’d imagine that it’s hard to “prove” that one has bought two tickets when there isn’t assigned seating in movie theatres, generally. I’m sorry the OP had this experience. Those people sound incredibly rude.

  • Stepmomster March 12, 2012, 10:45 am

    I have faced this weird invasive “weight concern” before, I have 2 friends who are a story unto themselves…both are what you would consider high maintenance, and when we have one on one time between me and one or the other friend, they both feel the need to dissect the other woman’s appearance, mostly my thinner high maintenance friend (size 6) talking smack about my heavier high maintenance friend (size 10). I am heavier than either of those woman put together (size 18), yet my thin friend has no problem saying things like “Well, I only say this because I think she is lying about her size, she is a little too big for that shirt/dress/pants ext…it is not cute!”

    I normally respond with “Are you kidding? she is my goal weight!” or “Are we feeling insecure today?” She will normally check herself and laugh it off, then change the subject.

  • Jennifer March 12, 2012, 10:51 am

    May the people that were rude to you burn in e-hell!

  • --Lia March 12, 2012, 10:53 am

    You sound like a terrific lady who handled the situation beautifully. You stuck to your guns, and I applaud that. The only thing I would add if, (God forbid), there’s a next time, is that you could tell the rude, prejudiced woman to get an usher or someone from management if she has a problem. Then, if she did get someone in a position of authority (unlikely as the multiplexes don’t usually have anyone with that job description), you could show your 2 ticket stubs to him and let him explain. As for feeling bad, ask yourself if you really think she’s a happy person. I rather doubt it.

    When you say that your weight is due to your food choices and lack of exercise, are you sure? A doctor who specializes in the issue told you? I only ask because that’s usually the case for someone who is 40 pounds overweight, not 200. And even if it is all your own fault, you still deserve medical care, not just a lot of beating yourself up. We don’t tell people who land in emergency rooms because of reckless driving that they should be more careful if they survive. We give them the best medical help we can. I only mention this because you brought it up. I wouldn’t say a word if you hadn’t. In this case, it’s not a matter of blaming yourself or anyone else. It’s a matter of getting expert medical advice, treatment, and support from the professionals.

  • Kristen March 12, 2012, 10:56 am

    I am reminded of the snappy (and rude) comeback, “I may be fat but you’re ugly, and I can lose weight.” At least the OP (who rocks, by the way; I love her thoughtfulness to those around her!) can lose weight–it’s hard to overcome the massive and horribly ugly personality flaws of the couple in the story. The OP was absolutely polite and appropriate.

  • AMC March 12, 2012, 11:04 am

    OP, on behalf of decent society, I am so sorry this happened to you. It is extremely considerate and generous of you, IMO, for you to purchase two seats so as not to intrude on someone else’s space. Movie tickets aren’t cheap! Even if you hadn’t, nothing could excuse the behavior of the trashy couple who harassed you. I’m very surprised no one else in the theater had the guts to come to your defense or at least get an usher. I almost wish I’d been there so I could have given those people and piece of my mind and let them know that their bullying will not be tolerated in civilized society.

  • Amy March 12, 2012, 11:05 am

    I would like to give the OP a hug! Those two people were unbelievably rude and unkind, and showed the worst way to react when they can’t get the seats they wanted. OP, please know that you are in the right here, and that whether you decide to go all Valkyrie or not if (God forbid) this happens again, you should NOT feel bad or guilty.


  • D March 12, 2012, 11:36 am

    I am reminded of the line “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part.” They probably would have screamed and flailed no matter what was said to them though. Kudos to you for not giving in, OP.

  • D March 12, 2012, 11:37 am

    *AN not AND

  • Jay March 12, 2012, 11:43 am

    Good for you OP. You did the right thing, and took the right amount of responsibility for your weight issue by buying the extra ticket. I’d like to think that if I was sitting behind you, I’d’ve stepped in to help..

  • Sarah Jane March 12, 2012, 11:45 am

    I agree with Pixie. Even if Tom Thumb bought two tickets…he’s entitled to both seats.

  • ferretrick March 12, 2012, 11:49 am

    Don’t get mad, get the manager. And if you’re afraid they’ll take your seat if you get up, ask someone else to do it. And if the theater won’t remove patrons who scream verbal abuse at other patrons, inform that you will no longer be patronizing their establishment, and you’ll be explaining why to your 300 friends on social media.

    Very sorry you had this experience, OP.

  • Baku-chan March 12, 2012, 11:57 am

    Lia – The thing is, I’m not sure the OP is interested in medical help. Not every fat person cares about being skinny. Some are happy being the way they are.

  • Kirsten March 12, 2012, 12:00 pm

    If I were in the theater and witnessed two people acting so horribly I would have prayed that they did not sit anywhere near me.

  • m March 12, 2012, 12:04 pm

    The couple’s behaviour was inexcusable and they deserve to burn in E-hell for all of eternity. What surprises me most however is that no one stepped in to defend you.

    Had I been in that theater, I would have given them a piece of my mind so big and spicy I would have probably earned my spot in E-hell right beside them.

    Nothing gets my goat lik bullies (and that’s exactl what these people were) going against the weak and defenseless (not that you were OP: you were exceptionally classy in the whole situation, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they saw you as: their victim).

    Please stay strong and don’t let yourself be discouraged by scum.

  • Nicole March 12, 2012, 12:05 pm

    I think the OP did everything right, and those young people did everything wrong.

    This holds true in all areas of life. My grandparents have a dog with a thyroid and mentabolic issue that has led to her being rather sausage shaped. She is walked and run regularily, her food intake is monitered by a vet, and she gets special medicines to try to combat the problem. The dog loves people, but my grandparents hesitate to take her out in public because they have been publicly taken to task and told that they need to ‘stop feeding that dog because you are killing her.’ Nasty comments to them as the owners about overfeedign abound. Knowing their discomfort being taken to task for something they struggle to control, I can only imagine the OP being taken to task for something she acknowledges and has taken steps to accomodate.

  • Abby March 12, 2012, 12:28 pm

    I feel terrible for the OP. That classless, trashy couple ruined her day for no reason other than to shift the blame for their own lack of planning ahead. I’m sorry she had to go through that.

  • Miriam March 12, 2012, 12:30 pm

    This breaks my heart. Something is wrong with that couple; OP has beauty on the outside-in whereas it shows pretty skinny people not being beautiful within (which matters above physical appearance).

  • L.J. March 12, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I think you’re wonderful OP! Good for you for holding your ground. Stay strong 🙂

  • inNM March 12, 2012, 1:01 pm

    To the OP, I’m sorry that your movie going experience was prefaced by rude and boorish people who thought that the fact that they’re in love/on a date trumps simple things like getting to the movie early to get a good seat or good manners. Some people need to learn to accept consequences: you arrive late to an event that does not have reserved seating, you take what’s left over. If I’m at a theater, and I ask if a seat is free and I’m denied, I move on: I don’t need a reason or proof or to fight down anyone for a $2 seat (I’m unemployed, so I go to the dollar theater for cheap movies.)
    The next time that something like this happens, challenge them to get an usher involved. When the usher arrives, show him your two ticket stubs, and then let him deal with the rude people. You paid for the opportunity to watch the movie, not to go head to head with strangers in a prize fight. The usher can use his discretion whether to let the people stay or if to remove them (and ban them) from the cinema. Then when you get home, send an email to the theater’s management giving a detailed account of the incident, including the name of the usher, the date and time, the movie house, and any other relevant information, like if you appreciated the usher’s actions, or if you believe that he went above and beyond his usherly duties. This will be especially helpful to the usher if the couple decide to file a frivolous lawsuit and management is considering firing him based on one-sided and biased reporting from the offending couple.
    That’s just a suggestion as to how I would handle it in the future.

  • Sara March 12, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I’m totally appalled by the two people in the story, of course. But the fact that apparently no one in a crowded theater came to the OP’s defense is just as ridiculous to me.

  • Ashley 2 March 12, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Ew those people showed some pretty disgusting behavior toward the OP. Maybe someday when that lady and her boyfriend are older and wiser they’ll look back and be throughly embarrased at their behavior.

    It was pretty considerate of OP to go to such lengths as to buy another ticket so others would be comfortable. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that before.

  • Cat March 12, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I have one thought that I hold whenever I meet people who behave as these two did, “Thank You, God, that they are not my relatives and will not be coming for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.”

    As everyone has pointed out, you paid for two seats and you have every right to your two seats. You paid for popcorn too; did they expect you to share it with them?

    What amazes me is that the manager did not come to your aid and usher those two people outside with the message not to come back. I would certainly write to him and complain about being harassed in his theatre. He has a responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable experience for his patrons.

  • Rachel March 12, 2012, 1:55 pm

    If I had been near this exchange, I probably would’ve gotten an usher. There is no reason for such an outburst in a public place and I don’t like my leisure time to be interrupted with drama.

  • Michelle March 12, 2012, 2:10 pm

    You know what I would have done if I’d been in that theater and heard what was going on, OP? I would have come over and given you a hug and I would have said, “Hi, sorry I’m late! Thanks for saving a seat for me!” Then I, a complete stranger to you, would have sat down happily in that seat beside you until those two knuckle-draggers were gone. Then I would have put your stuff back on the seat and returned to my own.

    You were completely in the right, OP. There’s just no two ways about it.

  • N.H March 12, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Oh OP, I haven’t commented on this site before but I felt compelled to after reading your story! You did absolutely nothing wrong, and I am so sorry that the couple felt it would be appropriate to talk to you in such a manner. You bought two tickets, which displays consideration on your behalf, and as such you had the right to both seats.

    On the note of people being ‘size-ist’, I remember a woman from when I visited the United States a few years ago with my mother. I had a wonderful time there. Everyone, aside from this upcoming example, was lovely (and I didn’t perceive the population as being above or below the average weight of any other country). Now though I am of a healthy weight, I am very tall (6ft) and therefore appear slim. This woman thought it would be appropriate to approach me, declare very loudly that I looked too thin, and berate my mother for not feeding me enough and ‘letting your child become anorexic’. Not only was my mother upset, but I was very hurt as I was finally happy with my size after a very chubby childhood.

    No one should really comment on your size, much less insult you for it. I wish you all the happiness in the world OP.

  • sv March 12, 2012, 2:12 pm

    The OP bought 2 tickets. What she does with them is her business.

    Hats off to the OP for standing her ground in a terrible situation – I’m just horrified that none of the other moviegoers stood with you. Please know that there are many, many folks out there who would not stand idly by and let someone be abused in such a manner.

  • Shea March 12, 2012, 2:12 pm

    You did absolutely nothing wrong, OP. You bought two tickets, so you’re entitled to two seats, period. It’s wonderful that you’re so considerate of other people around you (having recently endured a flight seated next to a very large gentleman who took up all of his seat and a good portion of mine, I salute you). That couple were heinously rude and deserve to be cast into Ehell.

  • Wink-n-Smile March 12, 2012, 2:14 pm

    Three cheers for this OP! I love her!

    And I hope that couple was forced to sit behind a couple of line-backers through the whole show.

    Fat people, thin people, tall people, short people, every type of people there is, all have the same rights to being treated with civility, courtesy and basic human kindness. Yes, even these swearing and rude people have that right, too. Although I would like to slug them, I don’t.

    Sometimes when we’re attacked like that, we can’t think of the appropriate words to use. Instead of lashing out in a physical manner, which many people do, when they can’t think of the right words, you restrained yourself. Brava! Remember that you will most likely never see these people again, and they’re not likely to learn much of a lesson from you, anyway. You still showed your polite spine by not giving in and moving.

    And I’m sure that, had you allowed them to take your second seat, they would have annoyed you the entire time, complaining that you were taking up THEIR space.

    Brava, OP!

  • Katie March 12, 2012, 2:21 pm

    So sorry your cinema trip was spoiled by these nasty, obnoxious people.

    I also want to add that I disagree with some of admin’s comment that larger people have some kind of particular responsibility not to ‘inconvenience’ others because of their size. They have as much right to be in queues, elevators, etc as anyone else! Infringement of personal space is not necessarily connected with body size.

  • bansidhe March 12, 2012, 2:23 pm

    Ugh. And again, ugh. What that couple did went beyond rudeness and into cruelty and bigotry.

  • Wink-n-Smile March 12, 2012, 2:29 pm

    If anyone berates your food choices, and especially if they bring up the “health concerns” and say you shouldn’t eat that, because you’re fat, and that food will kill you, just remember that even the health gurus will die, eventually.

    I knew a woman who was quite trim, until she got an organ transplant. Then, she ballooned so quickly, do to her treatments, that you could see a difference each day. Yet, she was healthier with the new organ than she had been when she was trim. And if she wasn’t healthier, then she would have been terminal, and I say, if you’re dying, anyway, why diet? Enjoy what pleasures you can, while you can.

    My grandmother had food issues, and even while she was wasting away from cancer, continued to eat just salads, and then purge that. All because she didn’t want to get fat. She died at 85 pounds. I wish she had enjoyed more chocolate in her last months. She might have died happier.

    Your food choices, as your seat choices, are your own concern, and you have every right to eat what you want, when you want, for whatever reason you want, just as you have the right to buy a whole row, just for yourself, if that is what makes you most comfortable.

  • Laura March 12, 2012, 2:33 pm

    This post made me so very sad. I am sorry you had to go through that. What horrible people! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less of yourself because of your weight, or anything else for that matter. All I have to say about those two neanderthals is that Karma is a b—–.

  • Kate March 12, 2012, 2:33 pm

    The woman showed she was an entitled twerp right from the beginning: “If your friend isn’t here yet, we should get the seat.” How did this lady know the other person who could have occupied that seat wasn’t in the restroom or getting snacks of their own? I would have just said, “Sorry, trust me, it’s taken,” and urged them to move on. If they had the nerve to say anything afterward, I might explain if I felt like it, but truthfully, I would probably have just ignored them.

  • Wink-n-Smile March 12, 2012, 2:37 pm

    To those posters who said they were surprised no one stood up for her:

    I’m glad you were surprised, because that shows that you WOULD have stood up for her. And Yay for you! We need more people who will stand up for others.

    I, unfortunately, was not at all surprised. I was physically attacked on public transportation, and no one even said a word in my defence, let alone stopped the physical attack. Two men on one woman, and NOTHING.

    No, I wasn’t at all surprised. This is why it’s so important for us all to develop our own polite spines. The OP could have (and wanted to) go “Valkyrie” on them, and I admit, I’d have loved to see that! But she took the high road, and didn’t escalate the situation from verbal to physical. Sucking up the pain, while continuing to defend your position is really hard, and I really do admire it.

    Oh, and about my linebacker comment – I meant I hope they sit behind people who are large enough to block their view of the movie, but whom they would be too cowardly to attack. I’m sure the linebackers would be very nice, if approached politely.

    “Excuse me, sir. I’m short, and can’t see. Would you mind scooting down in your seat just an inch, please?”

  • Brenda March 12, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Going to the movie theater has become a trial, rather than a pleasure, because of rude people. People talk, use their cellphones for texting, games and talking during the movie, they dump their trash on the floor, etc. I’ve gotten to the point that I won’t go to see a movie until it has been out a few weeks and the number of people attending is down.

    I’m sorry the OP went through what she did. She recognizes her issues and arranges accommodations herself for them. That couple was, as noted by our dear Auntie, rude and obnoxious. They come in all packages. A few years ago, my ex and I went to see a movie we had been waiting for on Saturday night, opening weekend. We arrived very early, as we knew the movie would be popular. My ex smokes, so he will often get up once during a movie to go outside, so we always made a point of getting seats on the aisle. Just as the previews were starting, and we’d already been seated for at least half an hour, a couple showed up. The theater was quite full, but there were two seats next to me free. Do they take those seats? No, of course not. They ask us to move down. My ex and I stood up, and gestured them to the seats next to me. They again asked us to move. My ex, who is 6’3″, then loomed a bit over the couple and said, “No, we’re not moving.” They looked up, shut up, and took the open seats.

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