I take the metro in to work. I only require only two things when on the metro: A book (be it the reading kind or the writing kind) and an mp3 player.
The book keeps me occupied for a half hour, and the mp3 player (which I should just go old school and call it a walkman) does two things. It blocks out the metro noise and is an awesome buffer between me and Tom Tourist. Because Tom Tourist seems to think people want to hear where he's from and what a great city we have here. Not my city, Tom. But thanks for sharing.
But, sometimes, the mp3 player offers a third thing. Passive-agressive irritation.
Now, I'm not the type to jack the thing up so loud, my metro neighbor can hear it. No sir, I'm not that guy. I set it at a reasonable level, just loud enough to drown out the particular noise, and no higher. And, in all honesty, that's enough for me because I can't read when the music is too loud. I also have two types of music stored on the player: reading and writing music. Reading music usually consists of someone like Nouvelle Vague, Death Cab for Cutie or various soundtrack scores. Writing music usually consists of Rage Against the Machine, Disturbed or trance. You get it.
The other day I got on the metro and I was listening to Cyndi Lauper's newest. Shut up. It's pretty damn good. Plus it has two Sarah McLaclan tracks and Sarah is my girlfriend.
Anyway, I take my seat and pop open my book. A lady gets on and sits behind me (putting her 3 bags on the seat next to her so nobody will sit there, which automatically grates my nerves. Of course I want a seat to myself, but I'm not ignorant about it). She then makes a phone call and starts talking in her outside voice.
Now, these are the times when you must make a decision. Do you say something and cause a scene, or do you handle it another way? I knew immediately that if, God forbid, I ask her to pipe down, there would be attitude, thus a scene. Contrary to what people think, I'm not a fan of making a scene. Okay, maybe I am for my friends' benefit, but not so much on my own.
So I handled it another way.
I pulled out my player, selected Disturb's catalogue (and, really, the whole catalogue is good) and turned to 11. Why 11? Shame on you for asking.
I didn't get through one song before she turned around to look at me (which I pretended not to notice), grabbed her bags in a huff and made a big show as she moved to another seat.
When she sat down at her new seat, she gave me another look. This time I was looking at her. And, so she knew that I knew why she moved, I smiled.
I was a little upset that she didn't return my friendly smile with one of her own. Instead I got a scowl. For shame.
Passive-agressive, yes. But I'd like to think me smiling takes a little of the passive out of the passive-agressive.
Afterwards, I went back to my girlfriend, Sarah, and my book.
Sometimes it's good to start the day on a high note.