And then there's the time I took Snoop Dogg's advice and almost got shived on New Jersey Transit.

5 years ago

I sometimes mistake myself for someone who’s gangsta. Like when I’ve had too much to drink and I start singing and dancing along to a Jay-Z song like every other white girl in America? Totally gangsta. I mean, I make the gangsta face and everything just so that people will know how hood I am. Or like when random, vaguely trendy phrases come out of my mouth like “true ‘dat” or “for shizzle?” Totally gangsta. 

No that’s not gangsta at all? You are correct. But in my defense, I only say those ironically. Except for the time I actually said “true dat” to Courtney in college because I thought it was cool and she still randomly texts that to me to this day and is like “Hey, remember when you aren’t cool?”
And so there’s that.
But then there are other moments in my life where the hood rat in me comes out full force, but instead of being all gangsta and threatening, it just comes across vaguely frustrated, repressed, and slightly school marm-y. 
Example: This commuting thing since the hurricane has really sort of sucked. But in the first few weeks post-Sandy, we all came together as a community, were accommodating and patient, and overall just behaved like civilized adults.
And then we got over it.
As weeks three, four, and five hit, people started cursing and pushing again and all was right with the world. Except instead of dealing with the hundreds of people per day you deal with during a normal commute, you’ve tripled the amount of people all using the same form of public transit and so it gets a bit dicey.
Which basically is to say that now all hell is breaking loose in very low level, passive aggressive ways that really grate on your nerves day after day. Like, someone throws an elbow to get ahead, you throw one back (subtly and very ladylike, of course). Tit for tat.
But where I draw the line is with the very clear, unspoken rules of humanity that say when you see a line of people waiting for a train that should only fit 100 people per car yet allows 256 people to get on, you wait your turn. It’s the law of the land. It’s how we operate and function without getting into fistfights on a daily basis. So when you cross that line, all bets are off.
Case in point: yesterday I was waiting on the platform with about 654 other people, conservatively, and we were all standing in self-imposed lines that indicated we’ve done this before and know how to properly push our way onto a crowded train in an organized fashion. And as the train approached, some woman around my age decided that the rules didn’t apply to her and that she shouldn’t have to wait in the 15 minute line behind us of people who got there before her.
So when the doors opened, she preceded to shove her way to the front of the line to get on the train.
Uh, homie don’t play that. Also, are the kids still saying that? No they’re not and never did? My mistake, let’s move on.

Me: Hey! Excuse me, you need to get to the back of the line.
Rude Lady rolls her eyes at me.
Me: No, excuse me, but do you see all of these people?
Motioning to the defeated people standing behind me.
Me: Yeah, they’ve been waiting for 15 minutes. You need to wait your turn.
Rude Lady: Whatever, bitch. 

And then she went to get on the train and I went outside of my mind.

Me: Excuse me? What planet are you from where you think you don’t have to wait?
Rude Lady: What are you, the train police?
Me: No! I’m someone who’s been waiting here with all of these other people while two trains passed us by.

“Ding dong – stand clear of the closing doors” 
She gets on the train. I get on next to her and all of the blood has rushed to my head because I don’t know how to process emotions properly.

Rude Lady: Too late now.
Me: You’re a terrible person.
Rude Lady: I’ll just have to live with that.
Me, ignoring her because now I don’t know what to say since that was the most I’d ever been confrontational with a stranger.
Rude Lady: Oh, you’ve got nothing to say now?
Me: Seriously? Who are you? You’re the reason people hate New Yorkers.
Rude Lady: I’m from New Jersey.
Me: That’s too bad.
Rude Lady: Why is that?
Me: Because I know a lot of people from New Jersey who are great, but you’re the reason everyone thinks New Jersey is just like the Jersey Shore.

Also, let’s keep in mind here that EVERYONE on the train is having to suffer through this mildly annoying confrontation between two crazy, stressed out 30-something’s. Also, I may or may not have been wearing myglitter shoes.

Rude Lady: You need to relax.
Me: You need manners.
Rude Lady: I’m fine.
Me: I’m just saying what everyone else on this train is thinking.
Rude Lady looks up at the guy squished up next to her who patiently waited in line: Is that true?
Squished Guy: Kind of, yeah. You should’ve waited your turn.
Rude Lady: You’re all f*cked.
Me: Nice. There are kids on this train.
Rude Lady: Go f yourself.
Me, turning around to face the other way while she mumbled vaguely threatening things about what she was going to do to me when I got off the train. And then I started to panic-sweat that I was going to get shived.

The good news? I totally didn’t get shived! The bad news? She walked behind me way too closely for, like, 30 seconds before I took a fake phone call from my mom.
You know, because talking to your mom on the phone for pretend is obviously the thug life thing to do. For shizzle.
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