Category Archives: my uber-confrontational personality

Do You See?

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard, my uber-confrontational personality
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This morning, a woman ambled out of the bus and onto the sidewalk in front of me without checking to make sure she wasn’t cutting anyone off. I wasn’t in a hurry, but she was walking so-o-o-o-o-o slowly that I couldn’t bear to match her snailish pace. She walked in the middle of the sidewalk, though, not leaving room to pass her on either side. Just as I was stepping off the sidewalk and into the street to get around her, she decided to cross right in the middle of the street, cutting me off again. I was like, “Ohhhhh, no,” and excused myself as I sped around her, hoping she’d notice what a dick she was being but realizing she probably wouldn’t.

And I realized then that that’s the thing I really hate about New York. I can deal with tiny apartments that cost twice what whole houses do elsewhere, and it’s worth it to have to brave subway altercations to not have to drive anywhere, and I’ve learned to cope with having to shop at three different grocery stores because a single one isn’t big enough to carry everything I need.

But I can’t stand feeling like I’m invisible. When that woman stepped in front of me not once but twice, I wanted to yell at her, “DO YOU SEE ME?” When I’m crossing in front of someone and she’s crossing in front of me, and I hang back a second and let her go ahead because she’s wearing some five-inch heels and I realize that my life is much better than hers, and she doesn’t acknowledge me, I want to yell at her, “DO YOU SEE ME?” Or when everyone is waiting in a line to go up the stairs from the subway platform, and one guy comes from the back and cuts right in front of me, I want to tap him on the shoulder and yell at him, “DO YOU SEE ME?”

It’s like the episode of “South Park”, a riff on the movie Manhunter, where the killer ties Cartman to a chair, Clockwork Orange style, and shows the boy a projector slideshow so Cartman can see “all the things he has done”. You think the killer means all of the murders he’s committed, but the slides are all of the man at the Grand Canyon, at Niagara Falls. “DO YOU SEE?” the killer asks as each slide is displayed.

South Park, Cartman's Incredible Gift

Because my being invisible has to be the reason for these crimes against humanity, right? The only other explanation is that these people somehow think they’re more important than I am, that they have somewhere more pressing to be. And maybe this is why people get mean living here. How many times can someone step in front of you just as the train arrives before you start doing it back?

The Time I Lost My Cool After the Biggest Jerk on the Bus Called Me Fat

Filed under funner times on the bus, living in new york sucks so hard, my uber-confrontational personality
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The last time we left our hero (yes, me), I had accidentally been engaged in a fight with a man so feebleminded that the only comeback he could produce to my most snide comment was, “You need to go on a diet!” I suppose he was one of those men who thinks the surest way to offend a lady is to insult her weight, but little did he know that I’ve achieved my current level of pleasant plumpness by enjoying dinners at the very finest restaurants in town with my beloved. I thought about returning the insult:

“I could lose weight, but you can’t lose ugly.”

“I could lose weight, but you’ll never get back your hair.”

“I could lose weight, but you’re stuck with that tiny–” Brain. Tiny brain.

But I figured that someone who isn’t clever enough to argue without immediately attacking outward appearance–pointing out that someone is black or gay or handicapped as if that person doesn’t realize it–isn’t worth my time, and I really didn’t want to lose any more of my cool, so I just said, “That’s very adult of you.”

“Keep stuffing your fat face, lady!” he called back from four rows away. “Maybe it’ll at least keep you quiet.”

I laughed, because at that moment, I was eating a low-carb, low-fat nutrition bar. It couldn’t have been more ironic.

Read the “exciting” conclusion here!

The One Time I Didn’t Speak Up on the Bus Pays Off

Filed under funner times on the bus, living in new york is neat, my uber-confrontational personality
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In theory, I love everything about public transportation, but in practice, there are those days when I just plain want to be left alone, when every sound anyone makes annoys me, when friendly conversation going on around me seems as grating as an alarm clock at 6 a.m. One of those days was a couple of months back, when a gaggle of older women were clucking around the front seats of the Select M15 bus, where I like to sit, finding something to say about everything. This one’s hair. That one’s purse. This one’s son. That one’s dog.

And then a lady from Australia or New Zealand (sorry that I can’t tell you apart, Aussies and Kiwis) got on the front of the bus and tried to use her MetroCard with the driver to pay, not knowing that you have to pay outside at the fare collectors on the sidewalk. The bus driver told her to stay on the bus to save time and to get off at the next stop to pay, and that set the ladies off on a race to determine who could say the most negative things about the way the Select Bus Service runs. I’m so used to riding the Select bus and being able to pay outside and enter through all three doors that I get confused as to why everything seems to be running so inefficiently when I find myself on a local, non-Select bus. Why are all of these people entering through the front door? Why are they all stopping by the driver, and why are we sitting for minutes at a time at every stop? Ohhhhh, right.

But after a year and a half of SBS service, apparently these women were still having a hard time coming to grips with the ease of use of the thing and took the opportunity to unload onto this poor, unsuspecting woman who nodded understandingly to all of them in turn and consoled them in her charming accent. I was going to speak up and ask them to pipe down, but I decided not to add to the hullabaloo and just quietly put on my headphones.

Then, just as we were pulling out of the bus stop one night this week, the woman in front of me turned and said, “Your hair is looking really good. I like it that way.” I said, “Oh, you see me on the bus often?” And then I realized that it was one of the ladies. The loudest one, the alpha complainer. I said, “Actually, I recognize you, too.” She asked, “You get on at 23rd Street in the mornings, right?”, and I told her my actual stop. “So you’ve seen me in the mornings?” I asked, adding, “I’ve seen you at night, but I’m always in such a trance in the mornings.” “Oh, please, I’m always still asleep,” she said, “but I sometimes see you, and you seem very nice.”

Read the rest here!

And This is Why All Dogs Should Be Kept in Strollers

Filed under my uber-confrontational personality, super furry animals
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Kamran and I had failed to reserve a bigfancydinner for Saturday night, so we were doing a very romantic load of laundry at 10 p.m. in the basement of his apartment building. We stepped onto an elevator that already had two women and a little dog on it, and I smiled at both of the humans, and neither of them smiled back, but it’s sometimes hard to make your mouth muscles work in the two seconds you have between the time you notice someone smiling at you and that person looking away, so I didn’t hold it against them. They made some mundane talk behind us while Kamran and I chuckled over the fact that his laundry bag was splitting down the side seam so badly it was a wonder the thing could hold any clothes at all. (I tell you this little detail because it shows that I’m able to talk and laugh with at least one person in the world while I’m not busy abusing animals.)

I could see out of the corner of my eye that the dog was rarin’ to get out of the elevator, but Kamran and I were nearest to the door, so I let him step out first and then followed him, a little bit pleased at myself for making the dog wait. I feel the same way whenever I get into the bus in front of an overeager child who’s trying to go out of turn. I just need the excitement taken down a notch, you know?

But as soon as I stepped out of the elevator, the dog let out this horrendous howl/yelp/yip noise that hurt my ears, and I thought it was upset at me for cutting it off, so I turned around and just stared that thing down. I’m a little bit proud of how cold I can be sometimes, and I put every bit of cruelty I have into that glare. I wanted to show that little mangy rat who the alpha dog was. And it barked at me! It was kind of thrilling. I really felt like I’d threatened the thing and that it had felt it.

The elevators in Kamran’s building are rigged so that you take one set down to the lobby and another set down to the lower floors, so I stepped across to the other bank, where Kamran was already waiting. The owner of the dog told the other lady, “She stepped on his foot.”

I said from the other elevator, “No, I didn’t.”

She said, almost apologizing for me, “It was accidental.”

I leaned out the elevator door and said, “NO. I didn’t.”

And our elevator doors closed, and we rode to the laundry room in silence. While we unloaded the bag into the washers, my blood was still boiling, but I had this sudden, overwhelming feeling of guilt. I was only wearing flip-flops, so I’d think I’d feel a dog paw under my foot, but what if I hadn’t? What if I really had accidentally stepped on that dog, scrawny and yippy as it was? On one hand, Kamran’s building is overrun with dogs who get treated better than people and are allowed to sniff and lick whomever they want on the elevators at will, and it was the owner’s job to keep her dog back until the path was cleared, but on the other hand, I handled the situation so badly.

It would’ve been so easy just to say, “I really don’t think I stepped on the dog, but please accept my apologies just in case.” And the woman might have thought I was clumsy or reckless, but at least she wouldn’t have thought me a total DOG-HATING BITCH.

The Voice, Erin Martin, and Why I Should Be the Judge of All Things

Filed under a taste for tv, music is my boyfriend, my uber-confrontational personality, stuff i hate
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Did anyone else see this singer on “The Voice” and feel really, really betrayed by the judges?

They claim that this is a completely new sound, but if you heard (and were annoyed by) Macy Gray in 1999, Erin Martin’s voice shouldn’t seem the least bit exciting to you. And they, the music professionals, should recognize that. Instead, they pressed their buttons in awe, they stood up in their seats, they said things like, “THAT is cool!” She has foot-high hair, a foot-long skirt, and a headband on her forehead. Not. Impressed.

Now, I actually like “different” voices. I love being able to recognize a vocalist. Jack White, Chris Cornell, Andrew Bird, Thom Yorke, Rufus Wainwright, Neil Young, Beck, David Bowie, and of course Adam Levine—these are voices you know in an instant no matter what they’re singing, and I love them all.

Last season on “The Voice”, Dia Frampton was a huge hit with her whispery vocals, and I thought she should’ve won:

The difference is that Dia’s voice sounds genuine. I get really tired of voices that sound “put on”. Like, I can sound exactly like Macy Gray and Erin Martin if I try. By forcing myself to sing with a baby voice while purposely mispronouncing letters.

It’s the same thing with Duffy, Eddie Vedder (although I think I like Pearl Jam because they got to me at an age when I was still an innocent non-hater), and basically every single person who auditioned for “American Idol” this year after of the success of vocal-weirdos Haley Reinhart and Megan Joy Corkrey.

I know different people have different tastes and that Erin Martin will probably do well on “The Voice”, but I wish the judges would just call a baby-voiced spade a spade.

Secret-wish-to-be-a-rockstar-fueled rant complete.