It was one of those packed subway days where I was lucky to get my preferred commute location - standing in front of the doors on the non-open side for the express commute. This is the best location. You don't have to hold onto a pole, you are out of the high-traffic areas, and you can spread out to read your paper. Well, usually you can. Last week my primo location was compromised when a giant-purse-wielding hussy wedged her way into my consciousness.
So as I understand it, the polite thing to do when entering the subway with a giant purse, backpack or baby in a stroller is to fold them up and rest them on the floor (the babies especially love this.) Put another way, if anything you are holding has the potential to poke someone in the eye or sack them like a quarterback, you should remove it from your shoulder and find a less dangerous place to store it during the duration of the subway ride. Apparently this bristly gal didn't get the memo. Her giant purse had me cornered. I gave up reading my paper altogether. And when her sleuth moves threatened to fill the tiny gap between us, I balked! I asked her (somewhat politely) if she could move her bag. "It's got me cornered here," I said, good naturedly as I pretended to be boxed in.
She snarled. "You're on a subway. Get over it." She didn't move her bag.
Not to be outdone, I mumbled, hand on hip, eyes full of disdain, "The polite thing to do would have been to move your bag." Thanks for stating the obvious. What a comeback. It was one of those moments where you want to be pithy and precise, but just. Can't.
Anyway, the moral of this story is, I bought a smaller bag. I don't want to be a purse whacker or a bag bully. I just want to stand in my corner and read my paper.