Monday, June 29, 2009

Too Luscious for the Hampton Jitney

For the past 13 years I’ve been riding the Hampton Jitney to visit my mom in the bucolic sea side town of Sag Harbor. The Hampton Jitney for those of you not submersed in the Manhattan / Hamptons culture is a coach bus that shuttles self important travelers (moi excluded) from the Upper East Side to the Hamptons for double the price of the LIRR. During the ‘season’ the bus is riddled with swankers and hipsters smacking people upside the head with their oversized Louis Vuitton duffle bags as they trudge down the aisle while screaming into their cell phones, “What, What? I’m on the Jitney. The JITNEY? What? Who’s at the house? WHO’S at the HOUSE?” However I being the consummate Jitney passenger travel light, check my bags under the bus and enter demurely only with my purse, an ipod and a black berry set to vibrate. Once on the coach I always choose the perfect window seat, halfway between the stench of the rear bathroom and the subzero air cooled temperatures of the driver’s area, then tuck in for my 3 hour ride.

It’s odd then when you compare my very considerate behavior combined with the fact that I do not spread out an entire NY Times, Dean and Deluca picnic, or any other flotsam and jetsam onto the seat next to me to thwart others from claiming it as their own that I am ALWAYS the last one chosen for a seat partner. People will glance at the very empty seat next to me then as their eyes scan across to me they immediately retreat to find a more acceptable seat partner. “Acceptable Partner” could be the guy sleeping with his laptop and full briefcase on the adjoining seat, or the girl traveling with her yorkie, or really anybody that is not me. True it is nice at times to be the ONLY passenger on a packed bus to have two seats to myself but it’s disturbing after 13 years to still be declared “Too Fat” to share.

My bottom is juicy; it’s one of my three best features (so my fans have attested to) however I do not SPILL into the adjacent seat nor do I take up more room than any other size 16. I don’t hog the arm rest, I’m well groomed and dress more appropriately than the majority of the passengers, I don’t eat, drink, or even get up to the use the bathroom so the only reason I have found to explain this attitude towards me is that fat is contagious.

It is 100% certain that I will be the last chosen on the Jitney however every time I am left alone it still amazes me. Just last Friday after the driver secured the cabin for our 100 mile journey out East I actually stood up and scanned the entire bus to see if I was just paranoid or if I was truly the ONLY person left with an empty… and yes once again the cheese stood alone.

I know I shouldn’t allow other’s actions to affect my own image – and truly I do not respect or admire these strangers nor would I ever want to trade my life for theirs or the lives’ of the faceless tools on the other side of their cell phone conversations – however it’s never nice to be unjustly singled out. It’s funny though when I took the bus down to DC I was one of the first to be chosen as a travel partner and my seat buddy was a young charming international playboy whose parents were delegates at the UN, so that either means that people who take the bus to DC are less discriminating or my under 21 buddy liked him some “junk”.

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