Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Last night's trip home was long, but more than that, an exercise in validation. Whenever I ride the train with the kids, I'm consistently harping on the need to hold the railings and sit in your seat. (To the credit of the older two, the 5 year old gets the bulk of my carping.). If we stop suddenly, I say, you'll be glad you listened to me ...
Case in point, last night. Being slightly shorter, I can't reach the railing while standing. I have to use the strap. I was riding home with my current mentor, going over the events from the day. The train was between stops and going at a normal pace. We slowed slightly, then a little more (causing me to sway into him), when we suddenly stopped dead. I wouldn't say I was thrown into him, as I didn't let go of my strap. But I left my feet momentarily. And I kind if let a little scream out. Just a little one.
He buckled a little (he's very tall), but didn't fall. I can't say the same thing for the woman to my right. She fell into me, bounced off and landed in the head of the petite Asian woman in front of me. We picked her up, and the guy next to the Asian lady gave her his seat. A small red bump quickly developed over the left eye of said Asain lady, and the woman who hit her rode the rest of the way with her eyes closed and grimacing. This is the part where I tell you she wasn't holding onto anything.
My hand is a smidge sore from gripping the strap, and I kind of tweaked my back, but nothing major. I must say, this is the first time in many, many years of riding the train where I've been knocked into anyone. You stumble here or there, but I've never left my footing - if even for a moment. (Like a Heather piñata hanging from the subway strap!)
So gentle readers, hold onto the straps, and if you're tall enough, the railings. And like my mom used to say, stand behind the yellow line.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I got to the halfway point on my journey and was greeted by a sax player doing a kicking version of "The girl from Ipanema." Happiness on two levels.
My mom played the saxophone in high school, and she often talked about it. She wanted to play the clarinet, but she got the sax instead. Something about the luck of the draw in a small town and breath support between the two instruments. Her stories always involved her lugging it back and forth for band practice. Even though she didn't play around us (I'm pretty sure she'd had to pawn the instrument early on in her marriage), I loved listening to her stories.
Second, that song in particular is my own private elevator music when I'm bored by what someone is telling me/forcing me to listen to. (Some of you out there have heard my discuss this in the past.). It's like when the adults are speaking in Charlie Brown ... Instead of a wah wah, my brain plays "The girl from Ipanema."
Friday, January 24, 2014
I'm sure everyone is aware that it's cold in New England currently. Not regular winter cold, but really, really cold. The humans on the train are being uneventful due to the weather. It's too cold for the truly weird ones to act up. They're still out there, mind you, but they're conserving their energy.
Last night on the way home, a creepy guy with a Whole Foods bag and no gloves on was giving me the eye. I found this reassuring. Even dressed like Nanook of the North, I can still attract 'em.
Here's a female V for the weekend:
Friday, January 17, 2014
I worry that harping on some of the same train topics will bore you, dear readers. So, I sometimes debate with myself whether to post or not (pictures aside). If I have become repetitive, I beg your pardon.
What amazes me is the consistency with which larger men seem to think that it's ok to make it difficult for you (a smaller woman) to get around them or ok to squish you into your seat. Case in point:
The above dick with the black murse (man purse), refused to move so that I could both get past him and get to the empty seat he was blocking. This seat happens to be between two huge guys, both living large with full on flying V's. One made an attempt to reign it in so that I could sit, the other seemed to expand his base of operations.
Let's return to the aforementioned dick. During the last 10 minutes, he has continued to stand as close to my seated self as possible, just missing my knees:
I'm sure that this is being done in order to intimidate me. I openly took pictures of him.
I grow weary of this bullshit. I've been standing since 7:30am this morning. My knees are swollen, my left kidney is in pain and my back hurts from the base of my tailbone up to between my shoulder blades. I'm not moving from this seat. He could rest his crotch on my phone, and I'm going to keep typing.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
As I entered the blue line, I saw a guy sitting at the bottom of the steps surrounded by fellow travelers. He was clearly inebriated in some fashion. One well meaning lady was saying, "well he can't sit here. People coming down the steps are going to trip on him." Another more well meaning guy was saying, "it's safer here than by the edge of the platform. The danger is over there. He will fall in." The guy was looking slowly back and forth between the two, blinking even more slowly. Each presenting their case ... Him vs. Us.
Meanwhile, a gaggle of college aged girls was like, "what does it matter?" Let him stand where he wants to stand. Geez." Like the pick-a-little-talk-a-little ladies from The Music Man.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Here are today's public transportation rules to live by:
- do not stand at the top (or bottom) of the escalator, surveying the wonder of the world around you. Move. You are creating a log jam, and we are stacking up behind you like cord wood.
- do not leisurely stroll through the middle of the subway platform. (See above rule.). Do you drive in the middle lane just below the speed limit?
- do not shove me.
- if the train is full, do not assure the masses that "of course, I can get on" while pushing forward. We will chuckle, and then become irritated, as the door repeatedly gets stuck on your ass. You're making us late for work.
- tall people, be aware of your elbow placement. I don't want to take one to the face.
Thank you for your consideration, and thank you for riding the T.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Not a lot has been interesting on the train for the last couple of days. I believe it has to be due to the weather. It's so cold that everyone just looks tired and "done." You know what I mean. That perpetual look of disgust that resides on the New Englander face this time of year. "We" are not known for being overly happy. We realize that this is the way it's going to be for some time ... We hope for spring, but it's like a lot of us don't really think it's going to happen anyway.
I haven't seen any good flying V's in a while either. I think even the men are keeping their legs together to stay warm.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Thank you, God that ...
- my family is in a warm, safe home.
- that although I will grumble when the bill arrives, I can afford to heat this home.
- that the wind has been at my back so far this morning.
- that I have the common sense to be dressed appropriately for these temperatures. I continue to see people without hats or gloves. (It's not for lack of funds. If you can buy a $5 cup of Starbucks whatever, you can afford a knit hat. Yesterday, several people I work with told me they didn't want to ruin their hair. I will now question their other decisions.)
- that I work inside.
- that the public transportation I take to work is pretty reliable. If I were driving, I would be worried about breaking down in these temperatures. (If you've never experienced being stranded by your car in poor weather ... I'm thankful for that, too.)
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Boy can I pick the best seat mates! I side to myself, "Self, look ... Plenty of room by that guy." It wasn't till after I sat down that the extremely pungent booze and cigarette odor hit me. He had a newspaper that was open like 4 inches which he would reflexively open a little more and then close quickly. And every time I sniffled or shifted, he became adjutated and the paper had to be readjusted.
Now I'm sitting by a woman that smells like maple syrup. Mmmmm ... I may follow her to work.
Monday, January 6, 2014
I chose my seat this morning without realizing I wouldn't have the use of my right arm. It was completely pinned to my side by my seat mate. I was also afraid she might eat me.
After thankfully transferring to the next train, I continued to be amazed at the "grown-ups" that have to be reminded about train etiquette. We were jammed up against the door, and at the stop, the guy between me and the door refused to step off so we could let the passengers disembark. I looked him in the eye, "it's ok, we'll get right back on. We have to let them off." Then finally, the chick at my back who tried to push past all of us who were getting off the train. As though we weren't all going to the same place.
Oh people ... Sometimes you're exhausting.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
There's a woman standing in front of me on the crowded train who is periodically patting her non-existent tummy. As if to imply, "clearly I'm pregnant you should get up and give me your seat."
First, I would be happy to do so if she looked at all pregnant. Now, she may be (skinny jeans aside), but I'm thinking, not so much. Many times while riding the train pregnant, people offered up their seats to me, and when I was huge or very tired, I gladly accepted.
Second, use your big girl words if you feel that I don't understand your needs. "Excuse me, could I please have your seat. I am great with child and need the rest." To pat your tummy and not communicate to me is to be petulant.