Monday, January 19, 2015

New Year, New Peeves

All right! We're into the swing of 2015 and it's time to dig back in with some brand new peeves. It's been a few weeks since I returned to work from an extended and relaxing vacation, and that's enough time for me to regroup and re-establish commuting irritants.

It seems that many of you have done the same, because several of you have written to me with your own peeves. I'm excited to share them with you. Remember Octavius? He alerted me to Rackophobia and the Aisle Shimmy. Reader Mike G reminded me of Wednesday Travelers.

Rackophobia. Rackophobia is heartbreaking. I feel bad. For ME. The Rackophobic is terrified of overhead storage. It doesn't matter if he's carrying a fanny pack, a laptop computer, or a compact refrigerator. He will not place his parcels up on the rack. He places his 32-inch television under the seat. When he does this in the six-seater and I sit across from him, where am I supposed to put my feet? I can't extend my legs because his home entertainment system is there. Perhaps I need to sit like a "pretzel."

When I was a kid, the term was "Indian-style." Given that "sitting like a pretzel" is far less offensive, the teachers at my kids' schools use that term instead. I have no idea from where the term "Indian-style" came. I would imagine that people of all races and nationalities sit that way. Why should anyone have a lock on a way of sitting?

Sorry, I'm deviating from topic. Resolution #829 abandoned.

The Aisle Shimmy. I'm guilty of this particular action. People often arrive for the train with seconds to spare. When this happens, they may walk through the train to get to their desired cars. No big deal, right? Well, the problem is the narrow aisles. When people approach one another from opposite directions, they have to shimmy by one another. If you're in the aisle seat where these two meet up, you're going to get a face full of front or back nether region. In the crude drawing, you'll see that Shimmier "Green O" is about to give Sitter "Green X" a close-up, and the same goes for Shimmier "Red O" and Sitter "Red X."

No one likes a face full of front or back nether region, unless it's on his own terms.

Wednesday Riders. Wednesdays are "matinee" days on Broadway. This means that retirees are coming into the city. Retirees are not interested in the rules. When I'm a retiree, I may be the same way. But at my current age, I need to avoid the retirees. Why? Because they sit together and talk. And many of them don't hear very well, so they're loud. The concept of a quiet car is completely lost on them.


A dropped call won't stop the conversation. Roberta will call back.

"ROBERTA, WHAT HAPPENED? OUR CALL MUST HAVE DISCONNECTED. GIVE MY LOVE TO BLANCHE. WAIT HANG ON, BEN WANTS TO SAY HELLO." Then her husband gets on the phone to speak to Roberta. Meanwhile, I'm considering jumping out an emergency window to walk to work.

Those Who Have No Interest In Personal Space. You're sitting in the window seat of a three-seater, and the middle and aisle seats are occupied. The train reaches a stop and the person on the aisle gets up and off the train.

The person in the middle seat stays put.

Seriously? You don't stay put. You move over! I've been in that situation next to the window, and I don't like it. How could this person not have the sense to move over? Are you kidding me? MOVE!

At this point I wish hard for an intense allergy attack to force the guy to disgustedly move over as I have a sneezing fit. It never comes. My neuroses won't allow me to deal with that situation for very long, so I switch seats when it happens.

Every time I write a blog post about peeves, it's cathartic for me. Getting these peeves off my chest is a good thing. Maybe I'll go sit with my daughter on the sofa and watch TV. For some reason, she wants to leave a seat open between us. I guess everyone needs personal space.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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  1. I suppose my biggest pet peeve is the people who carry on conversations across several seats. They don't want to sit next to each other, but they do want to talk. Seriously?? That's even worse than the people who want to talk on the 4:30 AM train. Unless you're planning a funeral there is NOTHING that needs to be discussed at that early hour. Heck, even Amish farmers aren't talking at 4:30 AM.

  2. I don't take the 4:30 AM train ever, unless I'm coming home after a long night. Even if you're planning a funeral, it can wait until at least, say, 5:15 AM.