Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Girl on the Subway

Subway, New York
When you get on the subway, you have only a few seconds to select a seat. I live just far enough out in Brooklyn that there may be several empty seats when the train arrives, but if you consider your seating options for more than five seconds, you'll be shit outa luck and standing.

So last Friday, I chose quickly and got a seat, but boy, did I choose wrong. Or right, since I'd clearly stumbled on a situation so blog-worthy that I was tempted to pull out a notebook and start writing on the spot.

At the end of each subway car there's seating for 4 people facing each other. In this spot, there were two girls, let's say in their mid-teens since it was the middle of the morning and they didn't seem to have to be anywhere. They were sitting opposite each other, one with a shopping bag on the seat next to her, the other with a crumpled McDonald's bag on the seat next to her. I sat next to McD's girl. I assumed they were not together because usually when people are together they sit next to each other so that they can keep talking to each other when the train fills up.

I was mistaken.

At first, I was able to ignore their conversation, because it was drowned out by the smell coming from the McDonald's bag. It smelled like the ghost of artificial maple syrup, so I guess she had one of those egg/pancake sandwiches. But then the smell was banished by the Tourette's-like squeals she punctuated her conversation with.

First I listened more intently to make sure that she didn't actually have Tourette's and that she was just making annoying teenager noises. Secondly, I thanked all the interested deities that I didn't have a headache, because that would've suuuuuucked. Thirdly, I considered screeching out of the blue to show her how annoying it was. But then I realized that she was clearly the sort of person who would decide that *I* was the crazy, annoying one and I was not about to spend the rest of my ride listening to her go on and on to her friend all the way on the other side of the train about how rude I am.

And then I heard her say this gem:

My teachers tell me that I have to read if I want to write, but no, I don't. I've only read 2 books. I read A Child Called It all the way through. I don't even like to reread what I wrote myself. That's why I'm going to get a professional editor.

In retrospect, I should've handed her my card and quoted my rates for editing.

You know, I honestly don't know whether to be appalled at her sense of entitlement or impressed by it. I mean, is it a sign of feminist progress that girls now think that the world owes them accolades just for showing up? Yes, it's delusional, but is it progress that such delusion is no longer solely the domain of male privilege? Obviously, it would be better if no one had their head up their ass, but isn't equally distributed idiocy a slight improvement?

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