Monday, May 04, 2015

Loud Lady On A Train, Plus Other Stories

Yesterday? Was busy.  BUSY. First, in the morning, there was my fit friend, who is still trying to kill me by dragging me on long bike rides.  We biked 12 miles (well, that's long to me, darn it); and she insisted on talking about signing up for a century this year.  A century - 100 miles - which, last time I checked, is WAY longer than 12.

Usually, this is a fun ride.  USUALLY...
Then, it was time to hop a train into the city for Listen To Your Mother DC.  Normally, I enjoy long train rides.  They give me time to knit and people-watch, 2 of my favorite activities.  Unfortunately, during this particular ride, I was sharing a car with The LOUD Family.  Everything the mom said seemed to be uttered for the benefit of not only her children but also everyone else seated in the car. We all had to listen to her take a vote from the kids on which museum to see.  Then we were all privy to an extended discussion concerning what was in each museum, a discussion conducted in those irritatingly didactic tones used by adults when they are trying to show onlookers what great parents they are.

I swear to you, I was ready to garrote myself with my 40-inch circulars only 15 minutes into this ordeal. And then, for some reason, one of the kids started asking for definitions of words, definitions that were then also given in the loud, fake teaching voice (my teeth are on edge, remembering it). "Daddy," the little tyke said (loudly), "what does 'courteous' mean?" "Well, honey," he said, his voice resonating throughout the car, "it means being considerate of other people."

Irony, folks - it doesn't get any better than that.

Funny - he doesn't LOOK like a mom...

So! LTYM was fun, although again it felt as though I was the only person who showed up alone.  I can't seem to get any of my IRL friends interested in this blogging/story-telling scene.  I sat there, with my knitting, and acted as though I were just waiting for someone to show up.  That's right - I "saved" the seat next to me.  It made me feel better.

After the show, in an unwonted fit of extroversion, I even tried to go hang out with the cast and audience at a nearby hotel bar; but, once I walked in there, I realized I had no idea how to order a drink in a crowded bar.  I mean, I just wanted to circulate with a Coke in my hand, but how did I get the glass of soda in the first place?  And how was I supposed to pay for it?  Was I supposed to elbow my way to the bar, where people were already sitting?  Was I supposed to sit at one of the tables and wait for someone to take my order?  WHERE WAS THE CASH REGISTER?

So I left.  I am such a loser sometimes. Really.

Old-fashioned GPS, I guess

Then it was time to find my childhood best friend, who happened to be flying into DC that very afternoon, for business.  Now, I probably haven't mentioned this, but this was the same friend with whom I flunked orienteering in 6th grade, because we couldn't count steps and use a compass to save our lives.  So here we both were in DC, equipped with GPS on our smartphones, STILL having trouble meeting up.  It was like a game of Marco Polo, only a lot hotter and more tiring.  We finally ended up on facing street corners, waving madly at each other as if we had trekked across Africa to accomplish this meeting.

I got my Coke at her hotel. It was less confusing there.

So, yup, a busy day, during which I am sure my poor abandoned children subsisted (happily) on potato chips and chocolate chip cookies and my overworked spouse enjoyed some peace and quiet, without me there to ask him just WHEN he was going to remove our cartop carrier from our tiny townhouse backyard.  Which is totally another story, but I've rambled on long enough here, you poor people.  I'm going to leave you now and try Googling for proper customer etiquette in a crowded upscale bar.  That way, I'll be all set for LTYM 2016.

[Metro image: Wikipedia]
[LTYM photo: Dad Or Alive]
[Compass image: CSP Forestry]


  1. I'm proud of you for going to LTYM alone. I probably would have stayed home because no one would go with me. I'm also proud of you for not stabbing the loud parents on the train -- although, come to think of it, I'd probably be proud of you for stabbing them.
    Hopefully someone will come through and educate us all on bar etiquette. I'm clueless.

  2. I think it's ironic that you didn't want to listen to the mother on the train while you were on your way to Listen To Your Mother. :-)

  3. I totally feel your pain about your whole LTYM experience...going alone...pretending not to be alone....then being all courageous like those "other" types of people and going to be social....only to find it awful and slinking out in shame. I am totally done ALL of those things...both as a teenager before I figured out that even though I am friendly, I am actually an introvert, and, I have tried it as an adult...because, sometimes I like to pretend I am one of "those" kinds of people. :)

  4. Amy's comment made me chuckle! And I know the exact tone you are referring to. It makes my skin crawl when I hear loud people "parenting" their children for all the world to see and hear. I always feel bad for the kids...hopefully those parents are less obnoxious when they don't have an audience.

  5. There is so much in this post that I can relate to! But first, bravo to you for doing LTYM!

    I wish I could have gone with you. I would have loved it. Then after the story-telling part, we could have supported each other in our introverted sorties toward the bar.

    At one time, I might have been that loud parent on the train. Not in the sense that I am loud, but in the sense that I have been a pedantic parent.

    When I was a kid, whenever we went camping I knew we were the Loud Family, with my Dad getting up at 6 AM and crashing around the campsite to cook breakfast on the camp stove.

    One time I completely failed to meet a friend in DC at the Dupont Circle metro entrance, when she waited at one end, and I waited at the other entrance, a mile away.

  6. Ha ha! Garrotting--a brilliant alternative use for a circular needle, LOL.

  7. I WILL GO WITH YOU NEXT YEAR! You don't know me, but I do believe we were separated at birth, so it's okay.

  8. How cool!

    (And now I am reminiscing about meeting up with you in DC--you definitely click with directionally-challenged people it seems!).

    We have chosen to drive to Colorado in a few weeks versus flying--one reason I pushed for it is knitting time. I am becoming more like you with each passing day it seems.