May 3, 2013

Um, Excuse Me, Sir!

Generally, my life is pretty easy. I am in good health, I have a loving family, and there has never been a time when my basic needs haven't been taken care of. I have more happy days than sad days, and my cat likes me (usually). 

But let's get real. I have terrible metro karma.

I think it's both because I'm a petite person and because I look friendly. When people are cramming into the metro, looking all grumpy-faced and scowling at each other, I'm the one gazing out the window with a goofy smile on my face, daydreaming about the National Basilica and farmers markets. So it makes sense that when given a choice between the woman with the piercing crazy eyes and an oversized, stained sweatshirt and the woman with the smile and J. Crew cardigan, people choose to sit next to me.

But it's not just any people who make this choice. 

It's the crazy people.

Inevitably, I get trapped in the window seat by smelly homeless men, smelly drunk men, and smelly weird men. All. The. Time.

You guys. I'm serious. Stop laughing.

I don't know what it is about this invasion of personal space that seems so obvious to me and so nonexistent to others. I start out sitting right in the middle of my seat, my Kate Spade purse perched on my lap, and my Starbucks bag holding my lunch to my side. Then the smelly man stumbles into the aisle seat next to me, his flapping arm knocking into my purse, and 4 seconds later, I am pressed up against the window while SeƱor Smelly now takes up exactly 1.33 seats. 

Excuse me, sir! I am a tad uncomfortable with this arrangement! Oh, what's that? You're intoxicated and now unconscious? Okay then. I'll just stay here. I didn't need a full seat, anyway. 

The other night when I was coming home from work, I was feeling pretty good. The hubs had just called to say he would walk me home from the metro station (what a gentleman!), I was reading a really good book... and then Mr. Intoxicated Middle-aged Man appeared. We did the usual fumbling, awkward shifting around routine, the once-neutral air now perfumed with the sweet scent of his bourbon, and Mr. IMaM soon fell into a drunken slumber. 

But because I have bad metro karma, it didn't end there.

Mr. IMaM, his body now incapable of sitting upright due to his very very high blood-alcohol content, began to fall over. Not onto me, as my karma apparently was trying to make a comeback, but into the aisle. Not just once. Not twice. Not thrice. Six freaking times. I'm not talking those slight little twitches, either. I'm talking full-on, head flopped over, shoulders reaching for the ground, arms flailing, near-falls.

Naturally, the rest of the metro car began to stare at him. And after they started to stare at him, they started to stare at me, too. You poor, poor girl, their looks seemed to cry out. You're trapped! You're uncomfortable!

Yes, folks. Yes, I was. 

I know I could just switch seats. I could remove myself from those situations and finish out my commute somewhere else on the train. But I don't. I should, but I don't. After all, my bad metro karma might make me feel uncomfortable and awkward, but it gives me some pretty good stories. That makes it worth it. Almost. Maybe.

Or maybe I should just switch seats.

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