Some people don't get it. And even though they are clueless to the situation, I've got to be nice because I need their help. On our flight out here, Joe and I had mistakenly booked our seats such that there was one empty between us. It was a busy flight and that seat was soon taken.
When we got to the airport and to the desk at the gate, we approached and I asked if the attendant could fix it so we were seated beside each other. He looked at me, smirked and said, "I don't think you'll have any problems getting the other passenger to switch seats." In one way, I got what he was saying, it was a row of four, and moving one over made no real difference, either way the other passenger was going to be two in.
But the smirk was about my weight and about the fact that any passenger in their right mind would give up the seat next to me given the chance. I got the smirk, as I was meant to, and I asked again if he could fix it. He took our tickets and said, "I'll page the passenger and make the change but I know there will be NO problem in this situation." Smirk. Smirk.
When we were ready to board, he'd made the change. I said, "Thank you very much." I shamed him with politeness and it worked. He looked like he knew that he'd been an asshat and he knew that I knew it too.
Now I know that, at my weight, people would rather not sit next to me. God only knows that there are thousands of commercials and even more movies that have a scene about some poor, beautiful thin person being stuck between or beside fat passenger(s). Ha, ha, very funny.
But that's not the issue. I worry about getting someone who resents moving, who is angered at being asked to make a change, and whose reaction is negative and nasty. I worry about my physical and emotional safety. It's a real concern, I have a right to protect myself from it.
However, I don't want to explain that to the gate attendant. An attendant whose attitude towards my weight is a superior smirk that is the very example of the kind of shit I don't want to go through.
It was a fair request.
He did it for me.
People don't get my social world and the dangers that lurk therein. So thankfully, I do. I've learned that I need to take care of myself, in whatever way I can. And if I have to endure a smirk or two along the way, well, I'll do it.
Because I have a right to be safe in my world, because my world has nasty people in it, and I can't forget that because, they, unfortunately, don't.