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Saturday, February 12, 2005

National Elisa Thinks You're Taking Up Too Much Space And Going Too Slow Day

Well, not YOU - just everyone who commutes in and out of Boston each day. Of course, this most certainly does not include you, you, you, or you!

My question for you dear readers, is this: why doesn't anyone else seem to realize this? And even more to the point, why do the people standing near me seem especially ignorant of the fact that maybe, just maybe, I'm really not interested in having their ass or bag in my face*?

I commute with a relatively large bag and my lunch tote virtually every day, but that doesn't mean that I feel entitled to all the damn space in the world, on the train, in the station, on the bench, or in the stairwell. I make a concious effort to keep my bags very close to me at all times, and not just because I'm worried about getting my wallet lifted (I'm actually NOT worried about that, although I probably should be). I pay attention to how much space my bags take up because I realize that I'M NOT THE ONLY F*CKING PERSON ON THE TRAIN. I never walk down stairs in the middle of the stairwell if I can get further to the right side (because you should always walk as if you were driving, and that means get over to the goddamn RIGHT SIDE. Grr...) and I always allow people to get off the train before I push ahead like a bull. And if I'm the person trying to exit the train and someone is bulldozing their way on without letting me off? Well, get out of my way because I'm going to square my little shoulders, walk right into you and never even say excuse me because you deserved it.

I wonder what it is that causes people who have been standing nose to armpit in a crowded train to get out at the last stop along with many other people and just stand right outside the door as if all the shoving they did to get ON the train, and all the jostling they did to get the EXACT spot that they wanted was with the sole purpose of standing on the platform at the train station just keeping everyone else from getting off.

You know what I say to those people? F*cking move. No really, that's what I say. Sometimes I only say it in my head, but you can bet your sweet bippy I think it really loud.

I've also developed a New Englander's sense of what I feel is reasonable weather to wait outside in. I take a shuttle from the T station to my work, and every morning, especially during the winter, unless a shuttle is already waiting curbside, there is always a gaggle of folks waiting right inside the station entrance for the shuttle to show up. Not me. I march right past all those silly waiting folks and stand outside regardless of the weather, and yeah, I'll admit it, it makes me feel a little superior. I think things like "Where did they grow up? California?" and then I scoff at them. And no, a little frostbite never hurt anyone.

Selective hearing seems to be another handicap that afflicts the Boston commuter. I swear that people can hear the train from miles away, but they can't hear me when I say "excuse me". All I want is to manage my commute without getting into a brawl. All I want is a little bit of kindness, or at least a grudging shuffle out of my way. Is it too much to ask of you, especially as you've had your crotch in my face for 25 minutes?

But here's just one small piece of advice for you before I go. If you've ever ridden the T, or really any subway at all, ever, then you realize that in order to get from point A to point B, the train must move. So hold on to something, okay? Because your balance isn't as good as you think it is, and each time the train stops, the possibility that it will start moving again is Very High. All you do when you let go of the railing or the bar or whatever is piss me off because now not only do I have to keep myself from falling on whomever is standing or sitting around me, but I've also got to prepare myself to catch you when you lurch off balance and fall, limbs all akimbo, into my arms, as if the concept of a suddenly moving train never occurred to you.

*Although, if I am forced to choose between the two, I'll take the bag any day.


  • At 7:14 AM, Blogger Lauren said…

    you said akimbo :) that is just too great! I take the subway nearly everywhere in DC, and it is the same as Boston... asses, bags, armpits... all of that. I hear you, girl... I hear you.

    Hope you have a nice weekend, and stay away from the T for at least one day :) *hugs*

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger maryse said…

    thank christ you didn't mean me....phew...

    and like lauren, i like the word "akimbo" ha!

    although you did allude to did not come right out and say it (and maybe that's because you don't ride a line with lots of students) but ..FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY!!!!PLEASE PLEASE REMOVE THE FUCKING ASS HUGE QUASIMODO-ESQUE BACKPACK ON A CROWDED TRAIN!!!!!!!

    one of these days, i'm going to hit someone over the head with their own big ass backpack -- seriously i will.

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Bookish Wendy said…

    Um, yesterday I had the crotch of a man who negleted to pull up the zipper on his pants. I'm still sick over it!

    7:15! Ha! You know us too well.

  • At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Colleen said…

    Or the guy that SPIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIN! I had to get off after that happened.

    Ever have your knitting grabbed by some stranger? It's like "who the HELL are you, and where the christ have your hands been?"

  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger melanie said…

    akimbo is a terrific word.

    I'd just like to express some gratitude to you and the rest of your boston commuting commenters for reminding me that there is an upside to my boring job...the upside that I do not have to deal with the horrific metro-boston commuting world. Thank you.

  • At 10:54 AM, Blogger Rossana said…

    DC's not much better. As a matter of fact, one of my friends is going to start a blog about commuter pet peeves. Kinda like Letterman's top 10 list. Anyway, good for you for speaking up and squaring your shoulderss. Some folks are just clueless.

  • At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Oh jebus. I remember! I rode the DC metro for YEARS...between the nasty colds you get from "the tube of infection" during the winter, the people who blatantly run you down to get a "good" seat or the jacka*ses who REEK to high heaven, or the tourists, g-d save me from the tourists! None of it is good, unless you are stuck in beltway traffic that moves about an inch an hour. that blog about commuting, I for one would love it!


  • At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hahaha...i love it! I hated taking the metro into work every day but traffic in my car isn't much worse. I think I could add:

    "national megan thinks you should use your turn signals and do not drive on the shoulders to avoid the traffic we all have to sit through day"



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