Previously I posted about a pet peeve about which I’d been pondering since a Viking Cruise vacation. The peeve prompting this ponder…. Manspreading. You might remember Manspreading is the practice whereby a man adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart. Apparently the practice has been banned in Madrid since spread eagle sitting takes up too many seats on public transportation.
My earlier blog rant noted how girls are coached, even nagged by their parents to “always keep your knees together”. “Be ladylike when you are sitting”. “Keep your thighs, knees, and ankles in constant contact.” Moms of the 1940s and ‘50s must not have given their emerging men the same memo.
I posted photos taken on the pool deck of the cruise ship documenting this Manspreading mania.
But none of those photos made me laugh quite like a painting I discovered at a local art fair. I did a double take upon seeing the Waiting Room in artist Greg Freeman’s booth. I confess to feeling flush with validation. “Others recognize this behavior too! Going so far as to document it in oil?” Ok, so maybe I jumped the gun with my instant assumptions. The artist is a man. The painting is called the Waiting Room. Maybe manspreading was not his intended theme here.
Nevertheless, the painting demands one’s gaze gravitate to the bottom of the subject’s barely buttoned shirt to the zipper climbing up his ballooning belly and to the pale upper thighs exposed by his hiked up shorts.
Just because I’m belaboring this sight does not mean it is a welcome sight. But I’m choosing to see the irony in this painting. Humor makes most things more palatable.