Perhaps it’s the spring weather that has finally shown its face, but I’m not feeling too shabby these days. Granted, things aren’t perfect, starting with the fact that my boss returns from vacation tomorrow which may mean that things could get a bit hectic as I have a lot on my plate to do from my recent work trip to just regular work in general.
But it was prior to my leaving for the work fair that had me thinking about a billboard I saw while driving. I can remember it was for VW and probably for their bug cars, the updated bug and how they’re so cheerful which is why the banner on the ad made so much sense: Misery has enough company. Be happy. I’m not sure that’s exactly how it was phrased, but you get the gist. And not that I enjoy being miserable, it’s just that I can get irritated all too quickly. A trip on the train reminded me of this on departure day for London.
I sat on the train inspecting my nails. I scored an oh-so-cheap manicure that morning which was fantastic because they went quickly, did a good job, and were, as previously stated, cheap. Sure it wasn’t totally therapeutic, but I needed a quick job as I had to leave and so there it was.
Bub had the car, so I was minutes from our place to then call a cab and be on my way to the airport. A Chinese couple who I wasn’t sure was from the area sat across from me. And then confirming my observation, the Chinese woman asked the train driver (or whatever their proper title is) for directions: which stop do they get off at. I couldn’t really hear and the woman sat down next to me as I think she was worried about missing her stop. She kept a close eye on her husband in case they had to make any quick moves.
And then, bam. This woman out of no where starts huffing and puffing her way to the door, train pass in her mouth, one plastic bag hanging around her wrist. You’d think she had walked 40 miles to her deathbed; she looked terrible and the nastiness that was to come would solidify the entire grouchy character she wore so well on her sleeve.
These trains are bad enough as it is. UNCROSS YOUR LEGS. I look up and yes, she’s looking at me. Is this now a crime?
Well, remember how I said that I easily become irritable? I wasn’t about to let this go without so much as a reply. She’s passed right on and is close to the door, even closer to the Chinese woman on my right. And so here it comes from my mouth without so much as a thought that maybe I shouldn’t have said this, but she WAS rude: That was quite rude. Since when is it wrong to cross your legs on a train?
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it wasn’t the old grouch who replied, it was a man hollering far on my left: If you weren’t a woman, I would do something about this! You’re a NASTY, OLD LADY!
And there it was.
The woman got off the train and acted as if she didn’t hear us or couldn’t care less.
And I thought did I do the right thing? Was that classy? Should I have stood up for myself like that or was this woman just clueless about life, people, walking on trains?
And then I hear the soft murmur on my right. The Chinese woman, she was still on the train, her husband in tow, where she left him. And her reply was so simple, so intelligent, so easy.
So lady, I guess I forgive you, but if you’re going to walk around and be miserable then of course there are going to be billboards that tell you otherwise. And perhaps you should look into purchasing a VW bug to cure you of your misery.