But what I do not love is people, more specifically people on Metro North, and, even more specifically, people on Metro North sitting next to me. I get it, it’s a train—people need seats; they just don’t need the seat next to me.
I’m not an intimidating person. Exactly no one has ever been intimidated by me. I would say I’m slightly more intimidating than cotton candy and slightly less intimidating than scarves (scarves can choke you). If I were an animal I would be a turtle—the tiny type you illegally buy from Chinatown and your mother immediately makes you return. And when someone is looking for a seat they scope out the turtles (yes I’m going to carry this metaphor through) and your Kim Kardashian size bag perched in the seat next to you isn’t going to stop them.
So if people ever sit next to you and you don’t like it here’s what to do and if they sit next to you and you do like it you need more help than I can give you:
1. Cough, sneeze, wheeze, blow your nose, whip out your thermometer, bandage your head, moan about your syphilis, discuss your recent herpes outbreak, draw red dots on your forehead, shake. If you don’t know how to look sick just imitate a hipster trying to dance, as it looks strikingly similar to a person with flue symptoms.
2. Call your mom or your dad or someone who has to love you and discuss consulting. It doesn’t matter if you know anything about consulting just say the word consulting over and over and over again. No one wants to sit next to someone who is talking about consulting because consulting is boring. If the choice is between sitting next to someone who is talking about consulting or standing people will choose to stand.
3. Bring food. I’m not talking about a sandwich. I am talking about an eight-course meal, which you will eat on large serving platters. Use children’s chopsticks. Why, you might ask because they’re fun.
4. Chew gum, as in put two packs of gum in your mouth and chomp. This is a financial investment (I would know since I spend $15 a week on gum. The man at Rite Aid refers to me as that Gum Girl, a not altogether flattering nickname). But remember that putting that much gum in your mouth can be a health risk (I would also know since I have a choking scare about every five minutes).
5. Cry: silently, loudly, it doesn’t matter since there is nothing Americans hate more than public shows of emotion in confined spaces.