Monday, July 14, 2008

Tales from the Bus

Woman and man behind me are talking. It is clear they have just met; they are chatting about how he has a game night every week and likes to spend time with his friends and how she is reading some book about the mind/body connection and getting healthier.

Man: "My name is Steve."
Woman: " name is Carrie?" Her voice goes up at the end, as if in question. I believe she has made it up. Maybe I am Sex in the City obsessed, but I imagine Carrie Bradshaw is her muse.
Man: "So, Carrie, would you like to have coffee with me sometime?"
Woman: (abruptly). "No!" Small pause. "But thank you for the offer."

Two blocks later.

Man: "It was nice talking to you, Carrie."
Woman: "See you around."

I turned around to face the woman. "Nicely done. You did that without really hurting his feelings."
She thanks me and I move on, proud of a woman who was polite, but capable.

NGS is reading a book on a nearly empty bus. Glory in Death, if you must know. I like the early books in the JD Robb series. I like the slow introduction of characters - Peabody, Mira, and Mavis, in particular. Roarke is a bit of a dick, but not as much as he seems to be starting in Vengeance in Death. ANYWAY, I'm reading.

Some guy butts up right next to me, violating all bus norms. I mean, there are plenty of seats empty - go sit in one that doesn't have someone sitting next to it. He stares at me, as I pretend to continue reading.

Eventually he gets up to get off the bus. As he stands up, he pokes at my shoulder. I glance up, almost a bit frightened, and he says, "you're beautiful," as he gets off the bus. I smile because what else are you going to do? I continue reading. I am not so proud of myself here. How have I become polite, but not capable?

Later that day, I ask Biker Boy if this is normal etiquette. Do you normally invade a girl's personal space to show you are attracted? He assured me that it is not normal behavior for the male species. Does my shiny wedding ring not give me the protection I have been thinking it does?

A little girl, maybe seven or eight, comes on the bus with her mother. The little girl is not interested in sitting by her mom, but sits by some lady and starts chatting her up.

"Where are you going?"
"What's your name?"
"Do you live here?"
"Do you have any pets?"

The lady looks startled, but eventually is charmed into answering the questions by the utter guilelessness of the child. The mother apologizes profusely, but everyone on the bus has fallen under the spell. We all stare at her and listen as she tells us stories about swimming at the park and going to the library.

As I get off the bus, I smile at the imp and say, "nice shoes." She looks at her red ballet flats with the little bow on them and then looks at my red ballet flats with the little bow on them, and says, "thanks, you too."

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