Serious Question: When Squeezing Past Someone For A Seat, Should You Give Them Crotch Or Butt?

October 18, 2012  |  


I’m sure you read the title and just happen to be thinking, “slow news day?” right now. But seriously, I really want to know, because I got put in my place about it at church of all places and didn’t realize that this was a form of etiquette and that I wasn’t possibly minding my manners.

So while attending Sunday services a few weeks back, I was seated next to a woman who was the last person in our row, close to the main aisle. Because I got to church a little late, it was the best seat I could get, and it was close enough to the aisle that I could make a mad dash to the door once benediction was over. Score! Midway into the service, it was time for altar prayer, and while headed up there to hear the deacon say, “Jesus…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. What’s his name? JESUS,” I was met with kind smiles and hands pulling me to get things off of my chest by talking to the Lord. But when I got to my seat and sat down, I was met with some disdain by the lady sitting next to me.

As the choir began to sing, and I walked past my pew neighbor with my butt in her face (not that close though) and with an “excuse me” sent her way. When I finally sat back down, she turned to me and said, “Dear, just so you know, when you walk past people to sit down, you shouldn’t put your backside to them like that.” She flashed me a quick grin and went back to listening to the choir. When I told my friend later what happened and asked if there was a right way to move past people, we both agreed that her etiquette lesson probably wasn’t all that necessary in the middle of church after I was in good spirits post-altar call. And oh yeah, butt is probably the best option. But then it made me think: what really is the right way to move past someone who is seated? Do I give them the crotch or the booty?

Both options aren’t that pretty either way. Give someone the butt and you can only hope that they’ll sit back and not be bothered, but give someone the crotch as you walk past and you run the risk of falling backwards and busting someone in the back of the head with your ample buttocks. Plus, how do you balance yourself when you’re walking…eh…crotch first? You have nothing to hold on to, and if you trip for some reason, the person you’re moving past will have another reason to have an attitude. It’s a lose-lose situation, but for years, booty first is probably the only way I’ve seen people move past one another in tight seated spaces. And in all honesty, if you don’t want my butt or my crotch in your face, why don’t you do us both a solid and stand up when I’m trying to move past you? Or at least help a sistah out and do the knee turn? As much as this woman wanted to set me straight about what I should have done when I came back from an emotional prayer, I could have told her to how nice it would have been had she made an effort to help me move through the pews without her knees pushing into my calves. But I didn’t. Why? Because it wasn’t that serious whatsoever, which is what I wish this woman would have realized. But hey, I did take a few things from her lesson. Maybe next time I move through a packed aisle at church, at an arena or a movie theater, I’ll be sure to get my flight attendant on and ask them what they’d like to view: Would you like a** or crotch today?

(Replace a** with booty in church of course…)

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