Thursday, April 08, 2010

Some days are just weirder than others

This morning on the ACE train, a charming lady sat across from me and proceeded to carry on a lengthy conversation with me. We were having a lovely time. I was a little confused and maybe even a tiny bit irritated because I really would have rather plugged into my iPod and zoned out while knitting on the Sock In Progress but hey.

She was a nice lady, lovely to talk to, and I liked her hat.

Then suddenly she looked at me from across the top of her commuter mug, did a double take and said, "Oh my heavens, dear, you're not Carol!!"

By golly she was right. I was not Carol. But I was sitting where Carol was sitting, one car further down.

We laughed so hard about that I was afraid they were going to throw us off the train.

On the bus shuttle between ACE and BART, the generously-sized lady who sat on next to me kept apologizing for squashing me as she continually wriggled her hips and squashed me more. "I'm so sorry!" {wriggle-squash!} "Oh, can you breathe?" {wriggle-squash!} "You're so little, am I totally sitting ON you?" {wriggle-wriggle-squash-squash YES, STOP MOVING!!} "I'm just going to get my book out of my bag, I'm so sorry…" {gak…can't breathe…seriously…no book, no book, just SIT STILL…}

I really wish the people who design seats on public transportation would cotton on to the fact that we are no longer the same size we were back in 1930{mumble}. Seriously. I'm pretty petite. I'm only 5'3" (when I stand up straight) and precisely in the middle of the weight chart – well above "too skinny" well below "getting fat." And my backside hangs over either side of most of those seats. Add a jacket or sweater to the mix and I'm definitely encroaching on the seat next to me…and whether we like it or not, America, I am not in the majority on that "exactly right" weight thing.

Build bigger seats, dammit. She really was embarrassed (although I do wish she could have contained her twitchiness) (and gotten her damned book out before she sat down), and I really was squashed. She shouldn't have to stand because she's heavy, and I shouldn't have to because I'm not. BIGGER. SEATS. THANK. YOU. FOR. YOUR. IMMEDIATE. ATTENTION. TO. THE. ABOVE. PUBLIC. TRANSPORTATION. DESIGNERS.

Then on BART, the man sitting across from me kept fiddling with his iPhone. I didn't pay any attention to him – people are always fiddling with their phones on BART.

Then suddenly he leaned across (invading my personal space juuuuuuuust a smidge) and said in a rapid-fire singsong, with the biggest grin you've ever seen on his face, "Excuse me very much please, but I am hoping you do not mind me sending these pictures of you to my mother in India – she will be very much amused as she is also knitting and does not think Americans are doing such things. Indeed."

He had been videotaping (iPhone-recording?) me knitting a sock on BART. So he could send it to his mother. In India.


Then a man behind me got on his cell phone and started talking to his girl friend. In (ahem) very colorful terms.

Yeah, uh, dude? TMI.

Then just as he shut up, the man sitting next to me – who was definitely old enough to know better – decided that hey, you know what would be fun? Making a similar call to his main squeeze!

Awesome. Thank you for having this conversation with her right here next to me because I was just thinking this morning, You know what? I really wish I knew more about the sex lives of the random strangers around me…

But the weirdest thing of the day…well. Therein lies a bit of a tale. Which I will tell you now.

I made two tactical errors today that worked together in a most unpleasant way. The first was that, having had my stitches out yesterday and having experienced a fairly 'good' day yesterday with the whole tooth-pain thing followed by waking with only mild-to-maybe-bordering-on-moderate discomfort, I decided I didn't need the prescription pain medication anymore.

I'm fine. I'm awesome. This barely hurts at all! I'll just take a few Advil and I'll rock on

Yeah. Halfway through the Altamont hills, I was already regretting that decision. How your mouth feels right after you woke up after a night's sleep in a stationary bed v. how it feels after you've been bouncing along on a train for half an hour are two very different things.

By the time I'd finished two hour-long train rides and the fifteen minute bus shuttle between them I was practically in tears.

Undaunted, I tried to carry on with my lunch plan which involved solid food. I haven't had much of the stuff for a solid week now. My pants are literally falling off me today, and I'm what might be termed a bit peckish.

If "a bit peckish" means "hungrier than a newly-wakened bear."

Now mind you, I didn't bring a shoe-leather casserole on a bed of rusty nails with a rock salad. I brought nice, soft food that required minimal chomping to get down. Overcooked rice, diced chicken, cooked beans. Piece of cake.

No really, I brought a piece of cake. From Eldest's very late birthday party last weekend.

Well. Turns out that even minimal chewing is a bit beyond me right now. The pain had settled down in the three hours between getting off BART and heating up my lunch – it erupted anew and refused to settle down. It scoffed at Advil. It took over my whole life. I could think of nothing else but how much my mouth hurt. Argh, I thought I was PAST THIS…

I sat there cradling my jaw, trying not to laugh (which is hard – I have a fun and funny team of coworkers at this job, they're always cracking me up), trying to make it to 3:45 so I could begin the homeward odyssey – which at least had a prescription bottle at the end of it with my name on it. (Literally. Right there on the bottle. Along with permission to take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed. Mmmmmmmm, pain relief…)

Then I realized I wasn't going to make it. I just wasn't.

Now my options are a bit limited. The ACE train has three (3) trains a day. I catch the middle one usually; there's one an hour earlier, and one an hour later, and that's it.

So, big deal. I can leave an hour earlier. Ooooooooooo, aaaaaaaaaah.

But I took it. Oh yeah. I took it. I grabbed my stuff and split at 2:30. And I went into Starbucks and had them fill up my Contigo with an extra-hot mocha for the ACE ride home. Because the next best thing to Vicodin? Caffeine, and cocoa.

As I was heading down into the BART station at Embarcadero, I noticed a news truck sitting in front of our building. Hm. Whatever.

The station was crawling with extra security and…extra bodies. Lots of people, for 2:40 on a Thursday.


The train was fairly full. And it turned out that a big old protest was planned at Embarcadero, starting at 3:30 with the "festivities" to begin at 4:00 sharp.

You know, right when I would usually be trying to catch my train?



I found myself sitting on the BART train, lovingly patting my sore and slightly swollen jaw thinking, Thank God you were killing me, Tooth #30…

Now, y'all know you've fallen down a rabbit hole when you're intensely grateful that something hurt so bad you decided to give up your hourly income for the rest of the day, pack it in and go home.

Although I'm a little afraid to actually go home. On a day like this, and given that my home is kind of…ahem…other directed on "normal" days…goodness only knows what awaits me there tonight…


Science PhD Mom said...

What a strange way to end your odd day! But at least it was on an up note, right? Missing out on the protesters and chaos that would have taken Misery to a whole new level was a thankful sort of thanklessness. I hope the pain meds have made you happy again, and you've gotten some solid food into your system at last!

PipneyJane said...

Sometimes the Fates get it right. :o) Sorry about the pain though.

I just had to leave a comment when I saw my word verification, "mulit".

- Pam

Holly said...

Be kind to yourself - take the meds, have more coffee and get the tribe to wait on you....

Anonymous said...

Re: seat size. My problem is that I have really broad shoulders--never needed shoulder pads. If I sit next to a guy we clash shoulders.

Ms. Packrat said...

Major lesson - prescriptions go *with*!

Steph B said...

We must be related. Must be. Our family attracts weird like manure attracts flies. (Just sayin'.) Hope the pain meds kicked in and you're happy as a coon in a corn patch right now! :-)