I was asked this question on August 19th when I boarded a crowded shuttle bus in Rocky Mountain National Park. The young woman from Michigan was willing to give up her seat next to her husband. At first I was taken aback. I had never been asked this question before by a young woman. Did I look like a senior citizen or someone with a disability who needed to sit down? I turned down her generous offer and politely thanked her. Instead, I asked if the young children belonging to the family standing in front of me could have her seat. She said yes and those two little ones cheerfully took her seat.
Then I saw the sign by the window about priority seating, which is reserved for seniors and the disabled under Federal Law. It said riders should give up their seats. After reading the sign, I still didn’t know what to think.
First, I believe the offer to give up one’s seat on a standing room only bus is a gracious and selfless act. Second, I’m wondering why the husband didn’t offer his seat. In the past, men were usually the ones offering their seat to a woman or an elderly person, not a young woman. Third, when did I start looking like a senior citizen?