Wednesday, October 24

twist and shout

Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to lose my head

Uh huh ha ha ha

It's like a jungle sometimes

It makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under

don't mess with my mom

When I first moved to Toronto, I was a bit intimidated by the subway... okay - hugely intimidated by the subway. Weekends and evening were fine - it was the crowded rush hours that made me shit my pants.

The mass of hostile commuters was completely overwhelming for a small town gal like me. How all these people could relinquish their personal space each and every day, just flummoxed me.

Seven years later, I'm completely over it.

Now you can call me the Queen Sardine. Queen Sardine with pepper.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I just got into a screaming fit with a "lady" *ahem* - I use that term very loosely - who was about four times the size of me and looked like she wanted to crush and have me for lunch.

Why did we scream at each other without any love in our words? Because the fool pushed me off the subway to the platform.

Apparently, I wasn't moving fast enough for her - even though the car doors weren't fully open yet.

Call me weird but I like to step off the train when the doors are open - it makes it easier.

Damn woman - you just don't do that people, especially motherbumper.

(i) do not touch motherbumper unless invited
(ii) do not push or tell motherbumper to do something obvious - like stepping off the train - she will rebel even if it was what she intended to do
(iii) do not touch motherbumper - this is so important, it must be said twice

I feel a teensy bit bad for yelling at her. I don't feel completely bad because I didn't use profanity (a major accomplishment for the queen of potty mouth), I did not react physically by pushing her back, and DAMN - she pushed me - what's there to feel bad about?

I hate yelling at strangers even though she totally violated my personal space, body, and the fact that she pushed me all because I didn't move fast enough.

Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she was in a super rush and my inability to squeeze through the half-open doors in a flash was going to delay her day just that much more.

Oh screw it - no matter how you cut it, her behaviour was inexcusable.

Instead of road rage, this woman had commuter rage. Anyone else out there deal with this kinda crap often - if so, how do you deal with it? Do you push back? Do you scream and yell? Do you take it, and then exact revenge on someone smaller? Do you lay down and cry? Do you even care? Tell me oh universe, how do you deal?

riding the rails since birth


SciFi Dad said...

In truth, I have never had to use the TTC subway during rush hour, so it may differ, but I have experience with the STCUM Metro in Montreal (yes, all the trains and buses say "St. Cum" on them... heh).

However, since I am (I assume) substantially larger than you, I have never had such problems. Occasionally people would shove, but I would not move in response.

To quote a guy I knew in university that I once guided through a large crowd when he was so drunk he was barely able to stand, "I'm like a wall, except I move."

b*babbler said...

Ooh, unacceptable (her, not you!) How in the world did you refrain from cursing? Because seriously? A well issued WTF would have probably sprung from my lips.

I'm thinking you need a pair of spurs for your next subway ride. That would make that woman think twice about pushing someone off the subway again!

Cakabaker said...

Wow, totally uncool of her!
I am going to New York in two weeks, I hope I don't have any problems on the subway. This small town girl in the big city, I'll tell them to "F" off! (They'll never see me again right?)

Oh, The Joys said...

K commutes everyday to and from work on the subway. He says it is the number one cause of the erosion of his faith in humanity.

nomotherearth said...

I have had so many run-ins on the subway that I'm starting to think I'M the problem. (Nah, it's everyone else...right?).

I have been pushed and shoved. I have been flat out walked into (because I'm apparently invisible). One beeyotch actually tried to push me down the stairs - while pregnant - because I wasn't walking fast enough. I'm a pretty fast walker, too.

Usually I make derisive comments under my breath (so I don't get beat up). BUT, if I'm in a really bad mood I will confront the person directly.

Mouse said...

I most definitely would have stopped in my tracks. As per your rules, you want me to go? Now I won't. OK, not for very long, but I don't think I could have suppressed an exasperated "Seriously?" at the least.

Trillian and I know we're prone to sidewalk rage, so we pick routes that can avoid the most crowded areas.

Alley Cat said...

I have no control over my reaction when someone touches me like that. I know that "WTF" would be the first words out of my mouth. I'd probably push back too. It's pure reflexes.

something blue said...

I have been pushed randomly and another time a rude woman directed unnecessary insults my way. I reacted by refusing to use the subway. I drive to work because it is more convenient and easier to deal with. I like being in my bubble. I take comfort in not driving an SUV.

Assertagirl said...

I was intimidated by the TTC in general for the first little while I lived in Toronto, too. People who do things like that are nuts. Be proud you spoke up! I'd probably have just been annoyed but not said anything.

Don Mills Diva said...

Ya - I would have freaked. I'm don't look for conflict but I am not afraid of it, expecially if my son is near.

metro mama said...

I think I would have yelled too. Unless it was a crazy person, in which case I would have ignored (the crazies scare me).

kgirl said...

I am a rule-follower when it comes to transit - you get up for someone that needs your seat, you don't rush the doors, and honey, keep your grimy paws off me. Or I pounce.
Very recently a woman behind me didn't think I was getting on a very crowded car fast enough, and started pushing me with her whole freaking body. I just turned around and said in a very authoritative (or bitchy) voice, 'You need to move away from me right now.'

stupid transit.

Janet said...

The behaviour you describe is exactly what I hated about the subway when I worked in T.O. I always felt like I was one obnoxious, rushed person away from becoming track grease.

kittenpie said...

That's just not cool. I generally am wiling to push back if it's not a big shove, and I am good with an elbow, which tend to give people the message, but in that case? I would have shouted at her, too. Pushy bitch. (literally)

Mamalooper said...

I do the push back/elbow in a way that it isn't really clear to them if I am doing it intentionally or not.

If it is a guy getting a wee bit too close and rubbing up against me, I will say in a loudish voice "stop touching me".

When I first moved to TO about 6 years ago, I was intimidated by the PATH and the subway - seemed like waves of endless people. Now it seems normal. Gah....

mothergoosemouse said...

I once dropped an f-bomb on a very large man who invaded my personal pregnant space on the New York subway. And I dropped another on someone who shoved Herman Anne at the Yankee Stadium subway station.

So you've got me beat in terms of civility.

Laural Dawn said...

I LOVE when people yell at people on the subway. It's the highlight of a commute for me.
I once yelled at a woman on the GO train. Everyone gasped. That doesn't happened on the more civilized suburban rails!

motomama said...

When I was visibly very pregnant and riding the subway here in my NYC, I never was offered a seat. People are just rude. And with so many cultures here most people do not share the sam idea of personal space. So always be a defensive commuter. But being touched is a big No-no (unless you are in Tokyo and the "pushers" squeeze you into the subway from the platform.) and in this case let them know loudly and matter of factly. HEY, DO NOT TOUCH ME!", or HEY, DO NOT PUSH ME!" this pretty much gets to the point. They do it because they get away with it and kindness and politeness or the ocourance of anyone but themselves doesn't cross their don't tip-toe and be nice back. You would want Baby Bumper to do the same if on the playground. Use your words!

Ruth Dynamite said...

NO ONE bumps Motherbumper. No one.