Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"I'm a MONSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
A four year old got on the train this morning and ran up and down the aisle yelling "I'm a monster." It was amazing. Then his brother, who had just rubbed his hands with hand sanitizer followed up and down the aisle, asking strangers to smell his hands.

They were lemon-y fresh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Drive-by parenting

"You should be careful. You can feel your knee on the seat in front of you," said the man with the SUPER bad hair piece.
I had just been scolded by a stranger. (cringe).

Really? Really? I apologized. He got off the train at that very stop.

Now, I understand that it is a tight train right, and I also understand that I have very long legs. I noted that my legs were not, in fact, even touching the seat in front of me.
Ladies and gentleman, if someone is bothering you during your ride, say something at the time of the event. Do not wait until there is no possible consequence to your criticism, yell at someone and quickly exit the train.

I don't need someone to parent me on the train. Really.

And don't ever wear a hair piece.

The conductor with the 'stache is back. Only now it's a goatee. Niiiiiiiice. Doesn't take the edge of the creepiness at all.

There's a man that gets on the train at the same station I do every day. He has to be at least 6'5" tall, almost as wide as he is tall. He ALWAYS has some weird banter in the morning, whether it involves how close he is to the the exact spot where the train door opens or some rude or obnoxious comment toward some fellow commuters. Today I even saw him smack another commuter in the belly, obviously intended as a friendly gesture...if you were twelve...but no one on that train was twelve this morning.

Please sir, I beg of you, keep your comments, gestures, and overall extreme friendliness a little lower key, for everyone's sake.

Did I mention he enters the train from the left side of the stairs every morning, only to cross in front of everyone and turn right from the far left staircase. Every morning. Maybe he would catch on by now, noting that he had trouble getting to his seat due to high traffic flow (caused by him) but no, he remains oblivious to the amount of cutting others off he does. Let's be courteous. Take the right hand side of the stairs if you intend to enter the car to your right. It just makes sense.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am not a wide person.

I can still sit comfortably between my two grown siblings in the back of the car (I call the middle! With my feet on the hump!). Some people need to buy two seats on a plane, or take up the entire bench on the train. I do not. I'm quite average. A little tall, but not a little wide.

That said, picture the following:

I'm sitting near the window on the right side of a bench seat of the train (these benches can comfortably seat two without infringing on elbow room even.) Halfway through the ride, the train fills up thus making it necessary to move my bag off the seat next to me to make it available for another passenger. I sit with my bag in my lap and continue to mind my own business and look out the window. A gentleman sits down next to me. Every time I shift my weight or unzip my bag, he stares at me almost in horror. He then proceeds to sit as far to the left as he can, pulling himself even farther over by holding onto the seat in front of us. I don't know if I give off this "Don't come near me or I'll freeze you with my icy stare" vibe, but I feel I seem quite harmless. He was very determined not to take up anymore than a quarter of the seat, and to watch me in shock and horror any time I unzipped or zipped my bag. Then I took my sweater off just before exiting the train. I think that scared him even more.

This morning started with me being invisible, though, but that must have worn off before the end of the train ride (weird standoffish anti seat sharing man proved that). I got out of the car to board the train, and, seeing as how it was a torrential downpour that had lasted almost 12 hours, everyone had an umbrella.

I walked toward the train stairs, and someone closes their umbrella and shakes it off AT me. Thanks. So glad I was there to catch your EXTRA rain. Way to go recycling! As if it weren't wet enough, now rain is coming at me from someone ELSE'S rain gear. That's a great way to start.

The same man, I noticed, has what I've decided to label as "Bayonet Umbrella Syndrome" (BUS). Walking out of the train station downtown, the same umbrella shaker man was walking in front of me. I'm pretty sure if I didn't have good reflexes and survival skills to survive the jungle of wild commuters in their habitat I would have lost a limb.

Okay, maybe not a limb, but at least have had a bruise shaped like the end of the umbrella.

BUS occurs when one walks with their umbrella as a weapon. It is angled anywhere from 45 degrees to the ground to being completely parallel. In the natural arm swing that accompanies the momentum from walking, the umbrella begins to swing dangerously fast in a Norman Bates knife like action. Avoid commuters with BUS. If we lived in Arizona, this problem would not have developed, but alas, this is Chicago after all. We get bad storms. T-storms.

The phrase "T-storm" bothers me. Just say "Thunderstorm." It doesn't take that much more effort.

There was a lady sitting in one of the awkward seats at the front of the train. You know, the ones that always have to face the opposite direction because they're attached to the wall? Well, when you sit there, you KNOW that towards the end of the ride someone will sit directly across from you sharing your legroom. You have no right to be annoyed, as you have set yourself up for this.

Well, this lady was annoyed. Two or three times I caught her rolling her eyes at the lady who sat across from her. Her glare grew increasingly stern and hateful. I found myself judging her for judging the lady in front of her. Then she bumped her head when she stood up. A small, vindictive part of me felt she deserved it.

The man next to me continued to scoot almost completely off the seat. I didn't realize I was so intimidating. I'm a hygienic person, but he definitely wasn't. So, maybe in the end it was a blessing.

I've joined the ranks of the creatures of habit. I sat in a different train car yesterday and felt SO out of place, as I no longer recognized anyone in the train car, or their habits. The familiarity of the commute was gone, so much so that I had to fight the impulse to run back into the other train car. I made it through, but today returned to my normal spot. Sigh. I'm sorry to say, but I've grown attached to that train car.

Even when people don't want to sit by me.