The saga of the fat woman on the Boston T line rages onward. Now, someone has written a new Craigslist missed connection post claiming that the woman herself is the bully, because she allegedly sat on a “kind, older woman” and the original douchebag target, effectively pinning them both down.
Here’s the new Craigslist posting, after the jump:
I can understand the frustration you must feel from observing the end of an extended disturbance that occurred on the T. I feel the moral duty to offer a factual account of exactly what transpired that day in an attempt to allow you to better understand what led up to the situation that has evidently caused such a public controversy. You see, I happened to be present during the entire incident and observed 100% of said interaction from beginning to end from a few feet away. From what I can deduce, you saw about the tail end of it. As a person who derives a sense of satisfaction people watching and being attentive to my surroundings from a sociological standpoint, this particular interaction is quite vivid to me. In fact I reenacted the story to my girlfriend later that night after it happened, well before it was on the cover of Boston.com, so my memory is quite detailed. Though I don’t blame you for your visceral reaction of disgust after seeing what this man did, allow me to recount the entire event so that you have an objective, non-bias view from which to assess the situation and formulate your opinion and judgments.
As per my daily routine, I was entering the Orange line at Downtown Cross. This is the time of the day where most people are burnt out from the long day at work. Most of us just want to mind our own business, and get home comfortably to unwind from a long day at work. Given my familiarity with the station and the T, I have established a routine as to where to stand in order to align myself with the opening door of the T as it comes to a halt while allowing enough room for those exiting the train to step out first. As the door opened, to my utter surprise, the woman in question rushed the door before allowing a single passenger to leave the train first. However, the overwhelming force of the crowd rushing out first, naturally pushed the woman back out with them. I reflected on how inconsiderate and disrespectful her behavior was, but being a daily T user I had seen it all….or so I thought.
Those boarding the train all made their way into the T. As is expected for this time of day, the seats were occupied to approximately 80% capacity. For anyone who takes the Orange line, you know that seats are made just a bit too small to fit one average body per seat. So civilized Bostonians show respect toward their fellow man’s personal space and practice an unspoken rule that for every 3rd seat or so there is one left empty to allow for some breathing room for limbs.
This woman saw the opening of a seat that was half occupied with the bulk of the people sitting to their side. It is important to note at this point that this lady was more portly proportioned than your average individual. Alone, this seat was not sizeable enough to fit the average sized commuter. She honed in on this sliver of a gap and forcefully pounded her way in-between two unsuspecting passengers, whom judging by their facial expressions, were quite taken aback by the audacity of this lady to squeeze in without so much as an “excuse me” or “sorry” or “can I just squeeze in please?” From an observer’s point of view, it certainly did look inappropriate and signaled to me that this woman had a blatant disregard for social etiquette, especially in light of her previous behavior while boarding the train.
To the left of her sat who appeared to be a kind, older woman and to the right was the gentleman whom you have described using an array of creative fecal adjectives. This woman and gentleman were, and I don’t exaggerate when I say this, WERE SAT ON. They were, for all intents and purposes, pinned down by this woman and would need a good deal of maneuvering in order to get up. Visually perturbed by what had just happened, they both wiggled out from under this larger sized woman, who herself would normally require a seat and a half to be comfortable. The older woman, unable to restrain herself from the violation she had just incurred, voiced her discontent, shocked that another human being would be so disrespectful and inconsiderate. “Who does something like that? Can’t you see we are sitting here? Don’t you think maybe you don’t fit?” The gentleman on the other hand, listened in and was patiently tolerant and biting his tongue to avoid confrontation. Call it a bit of Boston pride, but none of the three would move from their seat to relieve themselves from the tight squeeze or as a gesture of objection. The middle woman, the one you advise in your post to ‘keep your head up because it’s not about you’ was sitting there in defiance and not a care in the world. I recall the thought of how pleased she looked of herself, and far from ashamed from ruining these two people’s day.
To add insult to injury, after about one stop, she pulled out a Nintendo DS (she wasn’t reading a book, she was never reading a book) This woman proceeded to play her Nintendo DS, not with earphones on but with the system speakers set at a selfishly loud volume. To me this was becoming surreal and potentially escalating to a point of intentionally provoked confrontation. She seemed to be deriving great satisfaction from the discomfort she was causing those around her. If there was ever a way to instigate confrontation on the subway she was doing a great job. The gentleman to her right, no longer able to contain himself, said “Can you please turn that down?” To my utter excitement ( I admit it, I had front row seats and this was pure entertainment) She TURNED THE VOLUME HIGHER like a defiant, petulant child would, to purposely anger him. Subsequently, as though it couldn’t get worse she physically shoved both her elbows into her neighbors in a blatant show of further undeniable violation of personal space.
My first thought at this juncture was that what I was observing could not be this woman’s first incident of abusing strangers. The kind, older woman was flabbergasted and exclaimed for her to not elbow into her like that. Around this time the seat next to the victimized lady opened up and she quickly shuffled one seat over to get away from this maniac. The gentleman continued to stand his ground. After a few more stops, the guy, who at this point was both mentally and physically abused by this stranger while he was just trying to get home in peace, stood up, cleared his throat and addressed this woman VERBATIM with this line “Two things: Either learn a little respect, or lose some weight,” a reference to the way this woman so maliciously forced her weight around by sitting on them and elbowing them. Immediately the woman who caused all this carnage started balling. I have to assume you were the kind woman who looked in her early 30s came to console her. You left after about a stop or so. Another woman in her early 20s came to console her as well. Me and the kind old woman looked at each other, knowing that she was not innocent but rather ironically “the abuser” garnering sympathy as “the victim”. Using our judgment we both refrained from offering our opinion knowing all too well the potential scene that could arise from a woman with so much egregious hostility and vile contempt.
I actually took it upon myself to catch up to the second woman in her early 20s to explain to her the whole story as I just laid out here. Her response was “She told me she was innocent, I didn’t know she did that”. I found it important for her not to leave with the wrong impression and an inaccurate perception towards a member of the general public thus tainting her faith in mankind. I also find it important to clarify the story to you for the same reason. I think it is important to note that this man was the victim in all this and was merely reacting after being pushed to the brink. He was physical and mentally abused, and his instinct to take action kicked in and he stood up for himself. How you feel about how he reacted is for you to judge, but I feel in light of all this, his parting comments need to be taken in context and not as an isolated incident.
Sadly, I don’t find it hard to believe this version of the story — if this version, or either version, are actually true. People really are rude.
But I still do not think what the douchebag said — either way he has been quoted saying it — is in any way humane or normal. ”Either learn a little respect or lose some weight” is not acceptable to say, full stop. All of us, I’m sure, have squeezed ourselves into seats or onto buses or trains where we didn’t quite fit. This woman just happened to do so with her larger body. Maybe the woman was ill, pregnant or tired; maybe she has a physical disability that we cannot see that required her to sit. Yes, if this version is true, she was rude, especially by elbowing an old lady, but her manners can’t be improved by losing weight (or being publicly fat-shamed to do so). This guy isn’t the fatness police. While maybe he should be commended for being brave enough to speak up to a rude person in public, he failed to accomplish anything good here. He just didn’t.
I also think it’s absolutely ridiculous to suggest the douchebag guy was “physically and mentally abused.” Really? Why, because some large-sized woman squished him on the subway? That’s called riding the subway, people. We all get shoved and elbowed at some point and while it’s not pleasant, it’s also not an assault that constitutes “abuse.”
This whole story is getting to be too much. Everyone needs to grow up.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.