Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On how not to make it out of your daily commute alive and why I'm very passionate about Facebook's management.

So today I had a conversation with a man on the train who begged me to punch him in the face. Which is super weird, because you’d think he’d totally know that I wasn’t the sort of gal who has ever punched someone in the face, and so he tried really, really, really hard to give me a reason.

First of all, violence isn’t the answer kids.

Second of all, sometimes envisioning your fist meeting someone’s face is the only thing that will keep you from actually losing your mind on public transit.

And I blame reality television – specifically the Jersey Shore cast and the Real Housewives of Anywhere in America – for this phenomenon. Because if you spend too much time watching any of those programs, you will determine that: (a) pulling someone’s hair while your underpants inexplicably become exposed from underneath your dress is a really good way to get thrown out of a bar and (b) fighting solves everything within 22 minutes.

But I’ve somehow gotten off of my point. Let’s get back to my mental fist-fight.

Usually, my commute is rather boring. It consists of me sitting or standing with approximately 150 other strangers for 5-7 minutes, listening to books on tape and, generally, just zoning out. However, today was one of those days where you have the Talkative New Jersey Guy standing next to you who clearly hasn’t gotten the memo that mornings are for quiet time and insists on commenting about everything he sees out loud.

You know the guy I’m talking about. He doesn’t necessarily have to be from New Jersey, though it helps. He could be from Staten Island, New York, Long Island, or hell, East Lansing, Michigan for all I care. He just has to have zero social boundaries, potentially a borderline personality disorder, and a penchant for being incredibly loud.

Today’s guest appearance by said guy all started with his observations of various individuals boarding the train.

Upon noticing that someone was wearing rain boots and carrying an umbrealla :

“Woah, someone didn’t get the sunshine memo.”

Upon noticing that there was an attractive woman on the train (shockingly, not me):

“He-l-oooo…..” and then creepily looking too long at the poor woman.

Upon reading the various news items that flashed across the tv screen on the train:

“They’re letting some woman run Facebook? Now I’ve seen everything.”

And that’s when I made the mistake of chiming in.

I KNOW, I KNOW! It’s my own fault and I take full responsibility for the mess that ensued. You can hold your commentary, I realize the error of my ways.

Me: Actually, I think she’s the COO. Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO.
NJG: Who?
Me: The guy who actually runs Facebook.
NJG: Oh right, the guy from that movie.
Me, staring blankly and realizing I should abort mission immediately.
NJG: The nerdy guy.
Me: Haha, yeah, I guess so.
NJG: Then who’s this chick?
Me: She’s the COO.
NJG: What’s that, like, the Vice President?
Me:  Kind of. She basically is in charge of running the daily business aspects of the company.
NJG: Why is a woman doing it?
Me: Wait…what?
NJG: Some Title 9 bullshit.
Me: Uh…I doubt it.
NJG: Of course, she’s one of yours.
Me: What?
NJG: She’s one of yours.
Me: One of my what?
NJG: One of your kind.
Me: Human?
NJG: Female.
Me: Right……but what does that have to do with anything?
NJG: Just that I’m sure they had a guy just as qualified to run the company but they wanted to look politically correct.

And then he paused and patted me on the shoulder.

NJG: Don’t be offended, sweetheart, I’m sure she was qualified.

And then he winked.

And then I lost my mind.

Me: First of all, please don’t call me sweetheart. My boyfriend doesn’t even call me sweetheart. Second of all, I think it has little to nothing to do with her gender and nearly everything to do with her qualifications.
NJG: Woah, relax sweetheart.
Me: I’m just saying that it’s unfair to assume she got the job because she’s a woman since you wouldn’t assume that a man in her role got it because he was a man.
NJG: Who really cares anyway?
Me: Apparently me.

Miss Piggy was my first female role 
model. But really less because of her 
strides for women's equality and more 
because I totally wanted to wear her boa. 
And then I nervously laughed because I realized that I probably sounded insane and engaged in a conversation with a guy whose opinion meant nothing to me. And also, I heard CB’s voice in my mind telling me not to get involved with people on the train because they might shiv me. 

We all remember the incident last fall where I got all Detroit on that one really rude woman and called her a “terrible person.”  

Them’s fightin’ words.

Anyway, I then came back inside of my own body and realized a few things.

  1. You really shouldn’t talk to me before I’ve had my first cup of coffee.
  2. I’m apparently very well-versed in the educational and professional background of Sheryl Sandberg.
  3. Once in a while, to everyone’s shock, I get completely fired up about something that really doesn’t matter.
  4. No, I’m not saying women’s right’s don’t matter. Just that they don’t matter when you’re talking to a guy who watches “The Soup” to get his news fix.
  5. I may want to really start thinking about working from home so I for real don’t get murdered on my way to or from work.
But ok, please tell me I’m not the only one who sometimes loses control of my own mind and words and will debate with anyone watching a subway television.


Happy Wednesday, everyone!  


  1. First off, I HATE those people on the subways in the morning. And since my boyfriend doesn't take the subway to work, sometimes when he is on the subway with me and he acts like one of those people, talking to me WAY too loudly, I want to pretend I don't know him. Is that bad?

    Second, I often dream of punching people in the face...glad I'm not the only one :)

    1. Hahahaha that's awesome. And you're definitely not the only one!

  2. Holy cow, Becky!! First of all, this is hilarious. Also, that picture of you and Amanda and Miss Piggy just totally took me back! When I was little, my parents threw me a birthday party and had Miss Piggy come as a surprise. Except she was the scariest Miss Piggy ever, which freaked me out and made me cower in fear while screaming until she left. That is not a good looking Miss Piggy!! Miss Piggy is pretty! That pig is creepy! Haha!

    Sometimes your stories make me want to ride the subway, just for the people experience. But I'm too passionate (and vocal) and I'd likely get into verbal wars too frequently, ending up shanked. This is why I stay away from New York, and remain in Tampa. Tampa is full of Midwesterners. When we offend, we apologize for 5 minutes, and feel guilty about it for the rest of the day, so we then spend ridiculous amounts of time attempting to atone. You can take people out of the Midwest, but it's apparently harder to take the Midwest out of people.

    Keep up the great work - I look forward to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays!!

    1. Thanks! And I'm so happy you like (and read!) the blog. Love that you knew what days I typically post.

      Right? Miss Piggy in real life is sort of terrifying. Also, so is the Easter Bunny.

      And I agree with the whole " you can take the girl out of the Midwest..." thing. I feel that way all the time out here...and I'm so glad I've still got it in me!

  3. Is it awkward to tell you that I'd like to hug you?

    Okay, scratch that. Tell CB that some random guy (not that random I'm a writer, a dad and I follow your blog, and I'm a teacher too) on the internet thinks that he needs to hug you, look you in the eyes and say he's proud of you. Seriously.

    There is ~nothing~ wrong with stepping up someone who vocalizes such extremely mysoginist and sexist things and to say "dude, no, that's not cool".

    I fight my kids every day on this front and remind that while it might have been funny for their dads to joke about over beers watching the game, it's not okay in ~my classroom~.

    In this day and age there is no reason to believe that any woman in a position of power got there because there was the desire to have "a woman run things". In fact more often than not, a woman is ~More~ qualified because they have to fight against all a-hats and jack-tards who still would rather see "someone they can relate to" in the office across the hall.

    Personally I'm shocked he was stupid enough to say any of those things out loud and I really do hope that as he continued on his way to work that not only did other people set him straight but that they made it clear he was better off walking to work if that's what he brought to the commuter table.

    Of course.. all of this should be tempered with the fact that I drive to work, alone.

    1. Oh, CB won't mind if a random guy (though you're a regular, so you get a pass) wants to hug me. Actually, he'd probably welcome it!

      I agree, I was shocked, too. And especially with the fact that it was delivered in such a way that he SO clearly didn't even know how crazy what he was saying actually was. Which is disturbing and comforting all at the same time.

  4. I would totally have flipped out at that guy. And I'm not good at confrontational situations like that. But that guys is obviously an idiot and once again, you are my hero for attempting to put him in his place.

    I say attempting because he's too stupid. And the last incident, you TOTALLY put her in her place.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I kind of realized I was fighting a losing battle, but by that point, I was too far gone.... :-)

  5. I usually let it go, just because the fight isn't worth. And also I cry when I get mad and that doesn't really help my debate skills. Good for you for sticking up for your kind--humans, that is!

    1. Thanks! Haha, let's go humans!!

      But trust me, I rarely "fight back." Usually I clam up and/or start to get nervous that I'm making a big deal out of nothing.

      But I'm not kidding - no coffee? NO filter. It's ON!

  6. Awesome! I would totally have gone off on him. Then again I go off on people all the time. I'm Irish, Liberal and from Detroit. Plus I'm almost 40 so I figure I'm allowed now.

    1. Hahaha I always thought the age was 80 - once you're 80, you can be as crazy as you want. But I'm thrilled to hear that it's 40, I'm only 5 years away!

  7. Oh yeah, I do that all the time. Someone says something ridiculously offensive, or offensively ridiculous, and I immediately whip out the soap box and start in. It's usually half way through my tirade that I ask myself "What are you doing? You don't even really care what this person thinks, their opinion means absolutely nothing to you" and I stop halfway through a sentence and walk off. I'm sure they think I'm insane.

    1. Insane or just very VERY afflicted with ADD.....

  8. There was some moron in our Walmart, before I boycotted that place that was making racist comments to my husband who was being surprisingly quiet. I finally couldn't take it anymore and started ripping this guy a new one at the top of my lungs. Dude looked genuinely scared of me, I just couldn't take his cramp anymore. My husband looked shocked because he's normally the one to take care of that crap with a few well placed comments. The guy practically ran from us, and to this day my husband still has not mentioned it.

    1. The best part is that your husband still has never said anything to you about it!