That Just Happened: My Monday Morning Commute

Like most of you reading this, I am experiencing a pretty extreme case of the Mondays. However, unlike most of you, something happened on my commute this morning that was so awkward and embarrassing that I had to share it here. Hopefully, you will gain some enjoyment from my misfortune and it will make your Monday just a little bit brighter.

As you may or may not know, I use our nation’s capital’s wonderful Metro system to get into work each morning. Yes, this is the very same underground transportation system that Bart lambasted in last week’s Friday Five*. Monday morning commutes are usually fairly easy for me. I get on the train early enough that most people are still hitting the snooze, trying to extend their weekends by another 8 minutes. That means that the passengers will be scarce and the train will be quiet. On a typical Monday morning, not only do I get a seat, but I will frequently have the row all to myself**.

*That will come into play, just wait for it…

**It’s the little things in life that bring me joy.

There I was, stretched out, ready to get ahead on my reading for the week, and then I heard it:

Baby you’re a fiiiiiiiiiieeeeerrrrrrwoooooooooork

Come on let your cooooooooollllllors buuuuuuuuuuurst

Make em gowowowow oh oh oooooohhhhhooohhhh

Either Ryan Mattheus was about to enter a ballgame in my train* at 6 in the morning, or we had a DJ on our hands. I glanced around the train car and sure enough, a couple of rows ahead of me, was a young couple. The girl, probably around 19 (plus or minus 2 years, I’m terrible at guessing ages) had headphones in and the music was definitely coming from her direction.

*This reference is just for me. I’m assuming that the rest of you don’t know the entrance music for the 5th best reliever on the Washington Nationals. However, if you got this reference, kudos to you. Let me know and I’ll give you a complimentary wave of my cap.

At first I was impressed: I didn’t even know they made headphones that doubled as Dolby Digital surround sound speakers for anyone within a 2 mile radius. Then I was perturbed: as it turns out, it’s very difficult to read a book when Katie Perry is performing a concert in the seat next to you. Finally, buoyed by Bart’s inspiring words, I was defiant: I’m going to stand up for this entire car and say something to this insensitive jerk!

Visions passed through my head or great heroes in human rights. I saw myself as George Washington, crossing the Deleware. I pictured myself as Lincoln*delivering the emancipation proclaimation. I was Rosa Parks, refusing to take the tyranny of the transportation system so that all of my commuting brothers and sisters could enjoy freedom from the oppressive shackles of top 40 hits on their way to work**. In my imagination, I was getting cheered on by my fellow commuters as the hoisted me like Rudy*** and carried me from the train.

*The president, not the vampire hunter.

**It’s safe to say that I suffer from delusions of grandeur.

***The Notre Dame football player, not the PO Life blogger.

I reached over, tapped her on the shoulder, and politely asked her to please turn her music down. She stared back blankly at me and pointed at her headphones as if to say: “Sorry, my music is too loud, I can’t hear what you are asking me.*”

*Really, your music is too loud to hear me? I had no idea that your music was at a level that would drown out a fire alarm. Let me sit back in my seat and not bother you again.

I asked again, this time more emphatically and with hand gestures*. “Your music is very loud, I can hear it, please turn it down!” She gave me an apologetic look; glanced at her brother or boyfriend or whatever, no help there; and then looked back at me, helplessly.

*Not obscene gestures, just ones depicting that an airplane could be taking off next to me and I would still be able to hear your playlist.

My heart sank as the realization hit me. How much of a self-absorbed asshole am I*? If I’d taken maybe 30 seconds to really assess the situation, maybe I would have noticed the hearing aide on her right ear. Instead, I charged in all gung-ho to verbally assault the hearing impaired girl on the metro.

*Don’t answer that.

I sulked into a corner, avoiding eye contact and trying to get as far from Katie Perry’s mocking tones as I could. I spent the rest of the commute hoping that the rest of the train wasn’t staring at me and planning out this post. For all of you who are having a crappy start to their work week, at least you didn’t yell at a hearing impaired girl on your way to work.



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