Thursday, April 23, 2020

Tight Spots

     You know the ones.
Not just the stereotypical elevator moments when you’ve settled into your own personal space, a good 12 inches away from your neighbor, and the doors open to another onslaught of humanity.

          Maybe that last trip on an airplane when you’re suddenly up close and personal with the crotch of a fellow passenger as he heaves his carry-on into the bin over your head. I still remember the 8+ hour flight from Italy when I found myself next to a twenty-something who, in spite of having an aisle seat, hogged every inch of foot room and arm rest for the entire trip, and in spite of being European-skinny, managed to even ooge over into my seat.

          Now that we have more personal space than even the most repressed WASP’s could wish for, I find myself almost nostalgic about those times we pressed the flesh.

          My most epic experience of sardining with my fellow man was a long-ago Fourth of July in Washington D.C. In spite of having grown up in Arlington, I don’t believe I’d ever been to view the fireworks right on the Mall on that most patriotic of days. My Guy and I, plus a friend, had poured with the rest of the crowd onto the Metro. Our subway car was already so full that I was grateful for the buffer of my 6’2” husband on one side, and Pete’s 6’4” bulk on the other. This had to be it, so when we pulled up to the next stop and the doors opened to another herd of people, I thought surely no one else would try to get on.

          Framed by the subway doors were two optimistic guys, an enormous cooler between them.

Our whole car exclaimed, “No Way, Man!”

Smiling back at us, they answered, “WAY, Man!” and magically wedged themselves into the car. We all sucked in every last inch of flesh as the doors closed on them.        


          What was your tightest spot?


  1. At a Neil Young concert years ago, once the gates were opened, everyone began to crush ahead trying to get in. I was squashed on all sides and felt a moment of panic before it all got resolved.

  2. Well, you have to admire their chutzpah, anyway.

    I remember riding the 6 train in NYC when it was so tightly crammed I could barely move. Had my wallet stolen on one of those trips, actually. When there's one body or another touching pretty much every square inch of your person, you can't tell when someone's fingers are in your pocket!

  3. I have had something similar in D.C. on those tight metros. The silver line is closing down all summer for maintenance soon! During the Women's March we had to walk all the way from Arlington to the Mall as the metro was so dangerously crowded.

  4. Ack.
    I struggle with close personal contact (with of course some notable exceptions). Mind you, a shorter than me friend, put my issues in perspective. She complained (loudly and often) that on crowded buses her face was often squished into the unwashed underarms of fellow passengers.

    1. True. Being height challenged definitely would compound the problem.

  5. walking through the crowds on Mardi Gras day in New Orleans then a hand shot out and grabbed my crotch. I have no idea who.

  6. "...managed to ooge over into my seat" this is because airplane seats are far too narrow so they can cram in as many people as possible.
    My tightest moment is all the time whenever someone is closer than two feet away. I like my space, back away.


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