This user suffered from a terrible accident, causing her to undergo knee surgery. She’s in pain and can’t stand up for long periods, so when an old woman asked for her seat, she refused!
OP (Original Poster) recently underwent knee surgery when this story was posted. She was in a terrible accident a couple of months prior, leading to her needing the procedure.
Stating the Not-So-Obvious
Although she has some problems with her legs, she wasn’t wearing a cast or anything “too visible.” Instead, she’s using a cane for support.
She added, “It’s excruciatingly painful for me to stand for extended periods of time.”
OP explained that she’d ride the bus home every day to and from work. The buses she rides are “usually packed” since she travels during peak hours or rush hours.
Thankfully, there wasn’t enough damage to stop her from continuing with her life. Despite everything that has happened, she’s still able to do her daily commute.
The day before this story was posted, OP was on the bus on the way home from work. The bus was already full since it was a peak hour, but she was lucky enough to get a seat.
Then, midway through her journey, an elderly woman who was in her late 70s boarded the bus.
OP noted, “She was not using any visible mobility aids, but she looked frail.”
OP was a “genuine believer” in giving up seats for the elderly, pregnant women, or anyone who seemed to be in need. However, though the bus ride was packed and no seats were available, OP couldn’t find herself to stand.
Hopes and Lost Causes
She was in pain and unsure if she could stand for the rest of her journey. So, she hoped someone else would offer up their seat for the elderly woman.
Unfortunately, no one did.
Out of All People
In a twist of fate, out of all the people seated on the bus, the elderly woman noticed OP. She approached her and asked if she could give up her seat for her.
Making Things Known
OP tried her best to explain her situation to the woman. She even mentioned her recent surgery and pain.
Close-Minded Old Lady
However, the woman just “scoffed” at OP and didn’t believe her. The woman said, “Young people these days—always finding an excuse.”
OP started to feel guilty but firmly held on to her seat. Much to her dismay, the rest of the bus ride was “very uncomfortable.”
She wrote, “People were shooting me judgmental glances, whispering about the ‘rude young woman who wouldn’t stand up for the elderly.’”
OP was so uncomfortable and humiliated that when her stop arrived, she immediately got off the bus and bolted as fast as she could.
However, she still heard a comment from the elderly woman saying something about the “lost manners of the younger generation.”
She couldn’t stop thinking about everything since the incident happened, still reeling and feeling guilty. However, OP’s family is reassuring her, saying she did nothing wrong, given her condition.
Even so, OP can’t help but feel like she was in the wrong. She wrote, “A part of me wonders if I should’ve just endured the pain and given up my seat. So, am I the a**hole for not giving up my bus seat to the elderly woman?”
In the comments, OP explained that while she had her reasons, the “optics of the situation” made her question whether what she did was right or wrong.
She said, “It’s a common social norm to give up seats for the elderly, as they may have physical conditions that make standing difficult. The elderly woman expressed her discomfort and displeasure, indicating she felt I was wrong in my decision. Even though I had my personal reasons, to an external observer, I might have appeared inconsiderate or rude by not standing up, especially since my injury wasn’t highly visible. I made the elderly woman and other passengers uncomfortable due to my decision, as evidenced by their judgmental glances and whispers.”
The Community’s Suggestions
For users, there’s no way that OP’s wrong here. She had a very valid reason for refusing, and it shouldn’t be held against her.
A top commenter wrote, “Not the a**hole. I’ve done a lot of riding on the bus and know the ‘rule’ about giving up a seat to the elderly and people with disabilities. I’ve always been very quick to give up my seat, even when I was tired, because I didn’t want to be one of ‘those’ people.”
The same person added, “You weren’t one of ‘those’ people. You had a very real condition, and you explained to that lady what was going on. What excuse did the other people around you, the ones whispering or giving you the stink eye, have for not offering her their seats instead? Did they have canes too? Were they all elderly? Why was it all on you, and only on you, when you had a cane for crying out loud? Why didn’t she ask someone who didn’t have a cane to give up their seat?”
Redditors also pointed out that if anyone should be labeled a jerk, it should be the old woman and every other stranger who judged OP negatively.
A woman said, “Not the a**hole; she was just a b****. Also, any other person giving you the side eye could have given up their own seat, but they didn’t.”
“Not the a**hole. Old people can suck like that. The entitlement is real, as is their inability to recognize anyone can have health issues that aren’t obvious. If she didn’t care about your surgery and the use of a cane, then she could walk off a cliff. That is rude as f***,” said another user.
Do you think OP should have endured her pain? What would you do if you were on the same bus as OP and the elderly woman?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Give Up Her Bus Seat to a Frail, Elderly Woman, Saying She “Needed” It. But the Woman Scoffed at Her, Saying She Was “Rude” and “Lacked Manners!” on Quote Ambition.