Tuesday, June 26, 2007

And then there’s this

The early morning flight to Detroit wasn’t crowded.

So I was more than a little surprised when an older, gray-ish woman stopped next to me in the aisle and angrily announced:

“I BELIEVE you’re SITTING in my SEAT!”

Now I’m no rocket scientist, so I usually check and re-check and re-re check my ticket to make sure my ass is where it’s supposed to be come flight time.

“28B?” I say, having memorized it on the jet way.

“28D!” she says with triumph, then confusion.

“28D is over there,” I say, pointing across the aisle.

“OH,” she says, obviously flustered now. “I thought I was in an odd-numbered seat.”

She was angry. She was wrong. I pointed it out.

And she responded with nonsense, rather than an apology.

It happens all the time.

Most recently with Large Marge and her “I’m having surgery” retort after being told to shaddap on the train last Friday.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, this anger followed by idiocy thing.
And then there’s this.

I used to be good at it. Telling a story from one perspective and then switching over to the other side of it to offer a guess and a glimpse into why people do the bat-shit crazy things they do.

But this time, I can’t.

I’ve tried putting myself in the shoes of that mean, sad woman from the Friday train. I’ve tried to feel just a sliver of sympathy for Loud Large Marge.

But I can’t.
Like Jim said, it would’ve been great if the story had ended with her shutting up.

But it didn’t.

She cried. Hard. And she was obviously stressed over what happened.

It is troubling that she responded that way. It is troubling that everyone on the train smiled over it.

I’ve been replaying this extraordinary event over and over again to figure out what it means when an entire train car of people can’t muster any sympathy for a fellow human being.

Are we that angry and jaded? Is it public transportation that makes us respond differently?

Did she deserve our sympathy after the way she acted?

I'm judging again, aren't I?
Nope. Still no sympathy for her.

Here's the thing.

If Train Hero had said, "Hey LADY, SHUT the FUCK UP!" it would be easier to understand Large Marge's angry and outrageous response.

But Train Hero was, well, a hero. He was polite. And patient. He said please. More than once.
What about that angry idiot ‘I’m-having-surgery’ thing, Hedy?

Utter nonsense. And here’s why.
  1. If the surgery was weighing on her so heavily, why didn’t she mention it in any of the three conversations we heard prior to the Brotherhood of the Train Solidarity Moment?
  2. If she had been talking about her impending surgery at the top of her lungs, perhaps we would've been a little more sympathetic.
  3. If the surgery was indeed serious – and by serious I mean cancer-related – I'm certain she would’ve said so. You don't say "I'm having surgery!" You say "I have [insert terrible affliction here]!"
  4. Does having surgery – any type of surgery – make it okay to be rude and mean to others?
  5. I’m guessing it was gastric by-pass surgery.

Yep. Still no sympathy. Can someone, anyone set me straight here?
I am listening to: Sleeping dog breathing
I am reading: Nothing; finished 19 Minutes last night. Bleh.
And I am: Bleh



Hard to say, Hedy! Asfar as Large Marge goes, perhaps the best approach would be pity. Pity that someone like LM has no train skills, zero social skills, to help her cope with life. One moment she's a bug eyed foaming at the mouth freak, the next, a bumbling sobbing llama. Pity the ones that have a difficult time with emotional management. I wonder if she's married?

Your blog postings ROCK!

phatdoggy said...

No sympathy required for Large Marge. As for explaining why she did it... well, some people are just that way. Some people don't consider others in their daily quest, and some people don't even know they're rude.

I did find it funny that today you said what MsMoo and I pondered over a fine meal last night... was she going in for a gastric bypass?

-Mr. Uk

Posolxstvo said...

Some people are just stupid and mean. Some people have real, genuine, doctor diagnosed personality disorders. Some people are just irrational and crazy.

It's pretty clear to me, she was trying to make you all feel guilty. And the fact that you are asking these questions makes me wonder if she didn't succeed -- just a little bit.

Hedy said...

I forgot about that. Chicks use crying for sympathy. If things aren't going our way, we'll break out the waterworks. I think that's the answer. Thanks, posolxstvo! And thanks to everyone for great comments on this!

anybody but hillary said...

what I find interesting, is how much this has been on your mind????......why???...why is it affecting you so much? I don't think you were mean to anyone. These idiots put themselves in the position to be ridiculed and/or chuckled at.

mean...is when the people around you LOVE to see others fail. I work with a few dolts that are bored outta their minds, (creating Zero) and nothing excites them more than when someone breaks a leg......or gets divorced...or crashes a car...or gets a d.u.i. or just gets humiliated in general. It makes me puke to see their heartbeats skyrocket when someone fails. To them, nothing is better than making fun of someone else's misgivings.

I can't wait for the day that they fall on their faces! Am I mean for wanting them to fail???

Posolxstvo said...

"Chicks use crying for sympathy." When things aren't going our way, we all have our own ways of dealing with it. I've known a couple of guys who have used crying for sympathy. But, chick or dude, doesn't matter -- it still speaks volumes for the relatively low level of resiliency in them.