If you can sit down, that is. The subject of this post? SEATS. Seats on airplanes, theatres, restaurants.
Lately there has been a lot of hullabaloo about overweight people on airplanes feeling discriminated against because they are forced to buy more than one seat, or in Kevin Smith's case, actually kicked off the flight because of being too heavy. It isn't just the embarrassment of not fitting in the seat or not getting the seat belt to fit around you. The cost of flying, just like health care, is going up because heavier customers mean more fuel. Larger seats mean less customers can pay to fly. Heavier cargo is a flight risk, and I am speculating here, but do you think the reason we have to pay to check our luggage now is because the airlines are trying to recoup some of the lost income they could be making? Or that if we are forced to pay more people will bring less things meaning the weight distribution will just even out?
The seat issue also extends to theatres. Now, granted, most theatres here in New York haven't been updated since the twenties, and we were a much smaller nation back then. City Center is getting a face lift, complete with new larger seats to accommodate the girth of their clientele. The new seats take up more room, so ticket sales will probably go up to cover the lost revenue.
I work in a place where larger folks are not as easy to accommodate. The booths are not very large, and the restaurant is narrow. I always feel bad for larger clients because they are knocked into because their chairs poke out into the walkways. Thinner customers also get banged from time to time, but being bigger has it's disadvantages here.
My first restaurant gig was when I was 18 at Red Lobster. We had one gentleman that would eat there several times a week who was really large. The restaurant had one chair in the place with no arms so that he could sit down without the arms cutting into him. Did he order the steamed salmon and the garden salad, hold the bread basket? Nope. The Admiral's Feast, at 1,060 calories and 52 grams of fat.
I sound like I am hating. I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BIG BIGGER. I was a size 18, I was berated by my family about the things I ate, I felt depressed and angry at my size. I worked really hard to get where I am now and to be able to feel okay about myself. And there are days when I don't.
What is frustrating is that the warning signs are EVERYWHERE, and yet we choose to feel persecuted, not inspired. Everyone is picking up the tab for the unhealthy lifestyles of so many. The epidemic grows and when will we take responsibility? Do we have to impose taxes on junk food to keep us from buying it? Staple our stomachs, wire our jaws shut, take horrible medications that cause so many side effects?
WHEN DOES IT END?
It's not about aesthetics. It's about life quality AND quantity. It's about our children making smart choices so they have every advantage in school. It's about us being good neighbors and friends and making each other wake up and take care of each other.
It's not the seat's fault. It's not the airline's fault. It's not the theatre's fault, or the restaurant's fault (okay, maybe the last one- I am watching you, TGIFriday's). It is your fault. And we got to change. How will you be the one to start?