Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: spaceheatersusan on January 17, 2013, 06:39:57 PM

Title: Close your darn legs!
Post by: spaceheatersusan on January 17, 2013, 06:39:57 PM
Those of you who ride the bus, I'm sure you've encountered this.  A guy sits down next to you, and sits with his legs spread wide open like this
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bettyx1138/3797292170/
taking up all of his seat and encroaching way into your territory.  You're then force to scrunch your legs together to try to avoid rubbing legs with some strange man.

Is there a polite way to say "Please close your legs!"
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: TootsNYC on January 17, 2013, 06:43:55 PM
Oh, I hate this! I even have wondered if there's something in the male body structure that makes it really uncomfortable not to sit that way.

I usually say, "excuse me, could you move your leg?" and just point to the ONE leg that's in my body space.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: MrTango on January 17, 2013, 06:47:42 PM
Oh, I hate this! I even have wondered if there's something in the male body structure that makes it really uncomfortable not to sit that way.

I usually say, "excuse me, could you move your leg?" and just point to the ONE leg that's in my body space.

Yes, in fact there is.  It's the very part the body that traditionally defines one as male.

With that said, it shouldn't be necessary to have one's legs so widely spread that it encroaches on others' space.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: squeakers on January 17, 2013, 06:51:02 PM
Oh, I hate this! I even have wondered if there's something in the male body structure that makes it really uncomfortable not to sit that way.

I usually say, "excuse me, could you move your leg?" and just point to the ONE leg that's in my body space.

There actually is a male structure or 3 coming into play.  It can be physically uncomfortable for a guy to squeeze his legs shut for an extended period of time when sitting.  TMI: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_guys_sit_with_their_legs_open
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: JenJay on January 17, 2013, 06:52:30 PM
I'd probably not move my leg beyond what was comfortable for me and then, if necessary, say "Please stop touching me."
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Addy on January 17, 2013, 07:05:04 PM
Gah! I was in the middle seat of a plane once with two men on either side, both doing that! And to make matters worse, one of them was also hogging the arm rest.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Yvaine on January 17, 2013, 07:10:12 PM
Oh, I hate this! I even have wondered if there's something in the male body structure that makes it really uncomfortable not to sit that way.

I usually say, "excuse me, could you move your leg?" and just point to the ONE leg that's in my body space.

There actually is a male structure or 3 coming into play.  It can be physically uncomfortable for a guy to squeeze his legs shut for an extended period of time when sitting.  TMI: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_guys_sit_with_their_legs_open

Ah, but I think there are some guys who purposely spread out more than they need to, to give the impression that their structures are comparable to the Empire State Building.  >:D
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: DottyG on January 17, 2013, 07:10:25 PM
Quote
Gah! I was in the middle seat of a plane once with two men on either side, both doing that! And to make matters worse, one of them was also hogging the arm rest.

In that situation, I don't think a "Hey guys!  I'm squished here!  Give me a little room, wouldja?!" with a smile would be rude.  They may need to "air out" a bit, but they don't have to take so much room that someone in-between them can't breathe.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: oceanus on January 17, 2013, 07:21:51 PM
Yes, it’s annoying and I see nothing wrong with saying “Excuse me, could you move your leg?”

However, sometimes when they twist around and sit wide-legged they spread out in the aisle, which makes it hard for people to pass when getting on/off.  Several times I’ve said “Could you move your feet, please?”  This gets me an eyeroll or they take their time moving – rarely do I get a “sorry.”
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Emmy on January 17, 2013, 07:52:27 PM
I was visiting a friend in the city on a weekend and we took the subway to get places.  There was one guy with his legs spread so far apart, it was almost a 180 degree angle.  He blocked 3 full seats.  I don't know if he was rude because the subway was not crowded and nobody needed to sit there.  I had the misfortune of being right across from him and it was awkward to look at him.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Cami on January 17, 2013, 09:07:20 PM
Oh, I hate this! I even have wondered if there's something in the male body structure that makes it really uncomfortable not to sit that way.

I usually say, "excuse me, could you move your leg?" and just point to the ONE leg that's in my body space.

There actually is a male structure or 3 coming into play.  It can be physically uncomfortable for a guy to squeeze his legs shut for an extended period of time when sitting.  TMI: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_guys_sit_with_their_legs_open

Ah, but I think there are some guys who purposely spread out more than they need to, to give the impression that their structures are comparable to the Empire State Building.  >:D
  They're probably like those guys who drive the huge pick up trucks with the oversized wheels, aka Compensatory Vehicles.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Sophia on January 17, 2013, 10:06:34 PM
You don't have to actually squish your legs up.  Just don't give them that space.  It isn't rude to keep/claim your own space, and they won't think you are.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: TootsNYC on January 17, 2013, 10:56:37 PM
But in my experience, they won't move their legs so as to not press on yours. They'll just let their legs press up against you pretty hard. THEY don't mind.


I do sometimes leave my leg where I want it, and then say "excuse me," and point to their leg.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 18, 2013, 03:33:02 AM
Ugh, that is so annoying.

I once got nowhere by making a fuss and he was hurting me so I pushed and he made a stupid "woooo" noise like a little kid.  I'm still annoyed about it!
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: suzieQ on January 18, 2013, 07:24:16 AM
Reminds me of being on the bus at Disney. I was between DH (who is a large man) and an even larger than him woman. I cringed inside when I saw she was going to sit on my other side, and sure enough, it was an uncomfortable ride. DH did close his legs but the sheer body mass  of both of them squished me all the way up, not just my legs.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: spaceheatersusan on January 18, 2013, 07:27:20 AM
But in my experience, they won't move their legs so as to not press on yours. They'll just let their legs press up against you pretty hard. THEY don't mind.


I do sometimes leave my leg where I want it, and then say "excuse me," and point to their leg.

Exactly.  I squish up because I don't want to be pressed up against a stranger.  I'f I'm coming or going from class, I'll wedge my backpack between his leg and mine and that helps a bit.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: 25wishes on January 18, 2013, 07:42:58 AM
I remember running into this once in a movie theater. A leg was encroaching on me and I kept shifting away. When I looked down and my two legs were as far to one side as possible and the leg was still after me, I realized I was dealing with a pervert.  So I switched seats with my date who was sitting on the aisle, on the other side of me.

 Really, who tries to perv up a girl with a date? And at a Marx Brothers movie?
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Ginger G on January 18, 2013, 07:59:51 AM
I encountered this on a plane on my last business trip, so annoying...there's so little room as it is on planes nowdays.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Twik on January 18, 2013, 08:24:21 AM
Really, who tries to perv up a girl with a date? And at a Marx Brothers movie?

Well, a perv. They're not known for their sense of appropriateness.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: MindsEye on January 18, 2013, 08:38:18 AM
I encountered this on a plane on my last business trip, so annoying...there's so little room as it is on planes nowdays.

Me too.  I was in the window seat and the guy in the seat next to me was so spread out that he had his foot on the bag that I had under the seat in front of me.  (No one gets to rest their feet on my carry-on but me!)  So I kicked him.  Then I crossed my legs so that the sole of my shoe was planted firmly on his knee/shin.  Which is what finally got him to reluctantly (with a lot of pouting and angry glares) move his leg and foot out of my space.  The whole thing was this strange silent pantomime since he was wearing headphones and pretending that he couldn't hear me, and was also refusing to speak to me.

(He ended up pivoting slightly so that he could spread out into the aisle instead.  Karma occurred later in the flight when the attendant ran over his foot with the drink cart.)

Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Venus193 on January 18, 2013, 09:23:25 AM
Ah, yes; spider monkeys are infamous for their display.  This drives me bats on the subway.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Giggity on January 18, 2013, 09:28:21 AM
"Excuse me, please don't touch me."
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Thipu1 on January 18, 2013, 09:44:18 AM
Just like everyone else here, I hate this.  (maybe not with the fire of a thousand suns, but it's pretty bad.  I gets even worse when the guy decides to sit with legs spread and hands on hips. 

It seems like the offenders are mostly young men and teenagers. 

I read somewhere that subconsciously, men are conditioned to take up as much space as possible while women are conditioned to make themselves as small as possible.  That's one reason why teenage boys often try to 'beef up' while teenage girls may go on crazy diets. 
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: TootsNYC on January 18, 2013, 09:45:50 AM
Really, who tries to perv up a girl with a date? And at a Marx Brothers movie?

Well, a perv. They're not known for their sense of appropriateness.

Also, they don't want to date you. They want to invade. It probably ups the ante that your already "taken"--their sense of power goes up.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Venus193 on January 18, 2013, 09:48:21 AM
I agree with that assessment.   It's a swipe against your date because you are not perceived as anything more than his possession.

This stuff gets on my last nerve.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Tea Drinker on January 18, 2013, 11:24:25 AM
I once had a man try to shove my leg aside on the subway so that he could spread his wide, and he insisted, loudly and explicitly, that he was entitled to the space because he was male. I didn't move. Note that there was nobody on his other side, so this wasn't about a physical need to avoid squashing his equipment: it was explicitly "I am male and you are female, so I am going to take space that you were already using."
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Giggity on January 18, 2013, 11:26:07 AM
I once had a man try to shove my leg aside on the subway so that he could spread his wide, and he insisted, loudly and explicitly, that he was entitled to the space because he was male. I didn't move. Note that there was nobody on his other side, so this wasn't about a physical need to avoid squashing his equipment: it was explicitly "I am male and you are female, so I am going to take space that you were already using."

"Excuse me, please don't touch me" would work just as well here.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: snowdragon on January 18, 2013, 11:39:59 AM
I once had a man try to shove my leg aside on the subway so that he could spread his wide, and he insisted, loudly and explicitly, that he was entitled to the space because he was male. I didn't move. Note that there was nobody on his other side, so this wasn't about a physical need to avoid squashing his equipment: it was explicitly "I am male and you are female, so I am going to take space that you were already using."

I would not care if he had someone there and was risking his equipment. If it's that much of a problem, he can stand.  He does not get to shove me into a corner just because he's male - I  have told guys "Get your body parts off me and leave me alone!" - It usually attracts attention from more decent men and that's what jerks like that don't want.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: kherbert05 on January 18, 2013, 11:41:19 AM
4 steps (I live in Houston we don't have public transport to speak of so this happened on planes)
1. Please move your leg
2. You are in MY Space please sit in your space
3. (Said loud enough to get attention from others) Stop touching me NOW.
4. (Continued in a loud voice - You are being inappropriate (because it is them asserting their power over my space) STOP NOW.
Title: Re: Close your darn legs!
Post by: Kari on January 18, 2013, 01:29:04 PM
This happened to me yesterday! I decided to put up with it because it was a crowded bus and the man was very large: His took up all of his seat and half of mine. I chose to sit and accept the situation rather than stand and block the pathway, since I was only riding a short while.

But if the guy isn't larger than the seat he's sitting in, I have no sympathy; he's either being a jerk or clueless. Most men can certainly sit in a seat and open their legs for a bit of comfort without rubbing up against their neighbor. To spread their legs wide open as if they were airplane wings is just ridiculous and inexcusable.

I like the previous responses that advise to firmly tell the offender to back off. I've handled it differently in the past: I've found that the guy amazingly realizes that his equipment allows for his legs to draw in a bit more when I suddenly start getting very into the music I'm listening to and start bouncing my leg up and down.