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Who IBU? Very obese man on train taking up seat.

(188 Posts)
StackladysMorphicResonator Fri 02-Jan-15 20:42:30

Please settle a pub argument - we have been discussing who IBU for nearly an hour!

I went on a 2h30 train ride today. An extremely obese gentleman sat down next to me about five minutes into the journey. The middle arm rest was down, but his bulk was unfortunately spilling both under and over it. He then opened up a broadsheet newspaper, causing his arm to sit about 2 inches from my nose, and read it throughout the journey, causing his arm to be either right in front of me or squashing against my shoulder every time he turned a page.

I sat for the entire journey silently fuming, but didn't say anything to him as I didn't want to embarrass him in public. However, I had a pretty miserable journey and moaned about it to friends in the pub this evening.

The majority opinion here is that I WBU by not asking him to keep his elbows to himself, and I've only got myself to blame for my uncomfortable journey. My reasons for not asking him to butt out of my space is that I thought it would be really embarrassing for him, and due to his size he couldn't help it - of the people present, the majority opinion is that he should have purchased two seats if he couldn't fit into one seat, and certainly shouldn't have been reading something that caused him to practically elbow me in the nose every time he turned a page, and I was being a massive wuss by not saying anything.

So, wise denizens of AIBU: was I BU (and a wuss) by fuming in silence, and if so, what should I have done?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 02-Jan-15 20:44:34

Anybody who reads a broadsheet newspaper on public transport is a twat.

Didn't think there were weekday broadsheets anymore though

Oppugno Fri 02-Jan-15 20:45:07

He shouldn't have read a newspaper like he did but he has as much right to sit there. I would have said 'excuse me, would you mind reading the newspaper more your way?'.

LongDistanceLove Fri 02-Jan-15 20:45:11

You should have spoken up so yabu.

misskangaandroo2014 Fri 02-Jan-15 20:45:23

I think asking him to keep his paper out of your face would have been reasonable and increased your comfort.

dexter73 Fri 02-Jan-15 20:46:25

I wouldn't have said anything to him but I would have moved seats or gone and stood in the corridor if none were left.

Loletta Fri 02-Jan-15 20:47:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Fri 02-Jan-15 20:48:31

The Telegraph, Alvi.

I'd have quickly pulled my arm up at the right moment, thus whacking his out of the way.

Ds and I booked seats in December, nice table. Unfortunately, we go there and a couple with a baby and half the contents of their house had decided to take up all 4 seats, plus the table. There was no where else for us to sit, so we ended up spending 2 hours with their parcels piled up on the table and under the table so there was no room to move. I'm still swearing (in my head).

Bonsoir Fri 02-Jan-15 20:48:34

Obese people who take up more than their share of public space deserve no sympathy, nor are normal sized humans who do not invade other people's space responsible for admonishing the obese.

I don't understand the lack of shame some people demonstrate when they violate other people's boundaries...

Quitethewoodsman Fri 02-Jan-15 20:49:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarchEliza Fri 02-Jan-15 20:49:57

I'm afraid I think your friends are right. The issue was not so much his size as the inconsiderate way he was reading his paper, which is just as annoying when anyone does that, regardless of bulk.

I'm another silent seether though so would have done the same as you in you predicament whilst being completely aware how unreasonable I was.

WooWooOwl Fri 02-Jan-15 20:50:07

Were there any other seats you could have moved to? If that was an option, I'd have taken it, but I presume you would have too.

I'd like to think I'd have asked him to keep his paper out of my face, but whether I would or not depends on what sort of mood I was in that day. If you were at the point where you were fuming, then yes, you should have said something, because unfortunately you can't rely on everyone not to be a rude selfish arsehole, and people like that deserve to be embarrassed by their behaviour.

DejaVuAllOverAgain Fri 02-Jan-15 20:51:53

You could have pointed out that he'd nearly elbowed you in the face and asked him to be more careful.

CatsClaus Fri 02-Jan-15 20:52:45

you should have ostentatiously read his paper...and held onto the page if he tried to turn to the next one before you had finished

it really is the BEST way to get someone to put away their paper. People are very territorial about their news.

TattyDevine Fri 02-Jan-15 20:53:07

Just one of those irritating things that happens on public transport.

He was being unreasonable with his paper, his girth isn't that public transport friendly but there's not something magical he can do about that in the short term, and long term, well, its not a crime.

LadyLuck10 Fri 02-Jan-15 20:56:00

His totally inconsiderate way of reading the paper would have made me lost any feeling of wanting to embarass him. I would have asked to be moved.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 02-Jan-15 20:56:22

If someone invaded my body space so that their arm was 2" from my face (and bear in mind the OP was there first), I'd cough/sneeze on his arm.

And why should the OP be forced to move or stand in the corridor for 2hr 30?

Y'all need to come down to the London Underground, any social niceities get drilled out of you there wink

I've had mens' armpits in my face, someones backpack whalloping me , and the number of people who push on while people are trying to get off......
I'm mild to the point of wuss, but you need elbows sharpened and balls of steel to survive !

Eltonjohnsflorist Fri 02-Jan-15 20:58:06

Men taking up more than their fair share of train seat space is very common, obese or not, and is infuriating. I would've pushed myself into my full seat passive aggressively!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 02-Jan-15 20:58:38

grin I'll try the reading the paper thing "What's Boris up to" as I stop them turning the page "How much for that house" ?

StackladysMorphicResonator Fri 02-Jan-15 21:00:49

No other seats I could move to, there were people standing in the aisles unfortunately.

It seems the consensus is that I should've said something to him about his elbows, but even sitting normally his shoulder and upper arm were pressing into me no matter how much I shrank into the opposite direction.

I'm clearly a coward sad but I can't help feeling that the chap next to me couldn't have been very happy in himself and I didn't want to make him feel worse or more embarrassed.

Bunbaker Fri 02-Jan-15 21:01:37

I travel on a fairly regular basis between Sheffield and London. The train is always* full. Moving to another seat in my case wouldn't have been possible.

alsmutko Fri 02-Jan-15 21:02:43

I've had really obese sitting next to me who've made great efforts to not invade my space. This cockwomble has clearly made no such effort. He deserved a loud sneeze on his arm. I loved the idea of reading his paper!

Aeroflotgirl Fri 02-Jan-15 21:03:26

As soon as he opened his paper, I would have said 'excuse me'

StackladysMorphicResonator Fri 02-Jan-15 21:03:48

70isaLimitNotaTarget I live in Central London! But I cycle everywhere, I hate strangers touching me/my nose being next to someone else's armpit so avoid public transport as much as possible.

EmpressOfJurisfiction Fri 02-Jan-15 21:04:13

Yes to coughing or sneezing if you don't feel comfortable saying something, or if asking nicely doesn't work. Or hold something of your own up to read that physically gets in the way of his arm.

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