On the second leg of my flight, I had two “grumpy inducing” things happen. I would like to tell you about one of them, And how it seems to be a recent pattern.
While contemplating my impending 90 minutes of wall-watching, my thoughts were interrupted by a loud guffaw. Yes. A hearty belly laugh with a tinge of slight femininity. I ignored it the first time, as we hadn’t even departed yet. But by the third recitation of Madame Chuckles soliloquy, I had to find out what the deuces was going on. I glance a peek behind me, and observed a youngish woman, staring at the in-seat screen in front of her. She was evidently watching a comedic program, because I saw her gasp, let out a bray of joy, and point to the screen so her unfortunate seat mate could share in her mirth. This occurred roughly every 3.82 seconds of our flight, give or take 10 minutes.
The next day, while walking with my significant better half, on the streets of downtown, our conversation was interrupted by a couple walking and discussing her patients and how she teaches them proper breathing techniques. This Doctor has a voice so penetratingly loud that I pictured various ways to stifle her breathing. Yes, I contemplated murder, but I would have had a solid defense, as she made me grumpy. And lest you think I was being sensitive, due to my recent exposure, even my SBH noticed and made a comment in line with how being aurally assaulted seemed to be a new trend for me. Within the next 30 minutes of walking, this happened several more times, as various people let me hear about their new car, the travails of finding a good vegetarian eatery in the city, and weather or not the current boyfriend “truly appreciated” her. I don’t begrudge people their conversations, but it truly is exasperating to have to listen to random, private, conversations conducted at stadium volumes.
For this last example, I need to tell a story first.
On many days, I take a train, in addition to the subway, on my commute. One phenomena about the train out here (I’ve not ridden it anywhere else) is the existence of a “Quiet Car”. For those who don’t know, the Quiet Car is a designated car in the train, (normally the one closest to the engine) where talking is expected to be minimal and at a whisper. I normally have never had to deal with this, but the one time I took my mother on the train, we ended up in the quiet car. I did not realize I was in that car, so I didn’t think anything was amiss when my mom started her normal running commentary of the ride at her normal speaking voice. A tired looking man felt it was his duty to inform her of the special status conferred on the particular car we were currently occupying. One other key fact: mother is not a native English speaker, and a VERY literal person, so if she doesn’t understand what is being said, she just believes what she heard is what was said, and sound the conversation into absurdity.
So this was the conversation:
“Excuse me, this is the quiet car” said the mildly perturbed man.
“What? I don’t know where they have wine” said the confused mother.
“No, it’s the quiet car” repeated the slightly confused, perturbed man.
“Why would I know where the wine is?” Said the offended woman.
“Quiet car” repeated the thoroughly confused, angry man.
“Why do they serve wine in this car?” Said the thirsty woman.
“Mom, they said quiet” said the slightly grumpy blogger.
“Wine?” Questioned the confused unsure man, regretting his life choices.
“Quiet car? Why do they call this a quiet car? I’ve never heard of a quiet car? You aren’t allowed to talk? Why? That is made up.” Said the decidedly NOT quiet woman.
“Let’s just move seats” Said the grumpy blogger.
“I still don’t understand you Americans, why do you want to sit on a train and not talk to everyone” Said the woman at a normal volume as we gathered bags and exited stage left.
This morning, I discovered there is an opposite to the quiet car. Apparently when you ride the same train every day, you become familiar with your fellow riders. I don’t normally ride this train, so I was able to observe, rather than participate in what I call the “talk about anything boring at a loud volume the entire trip-car”.
it seems that someone’s sister in laws parents sold their house during an expansion of an interchange and were able to buy a nice home in the country. That segued into a discussion of ways to keep deer out of gardens, and then somehow into a conversation of the merits of different colleges.
This spate of overly loud conversationalists has forced me to wonder that if karma is an equalizing force in our world, what have I done to cause these attacks on my mental calm? Whatever I have done, I truly apologize!