And Yet I Love Gatherings

So here I am, back in New York after a lovely two weeks at the Cape, where I did very little except read crappy mysteries and grow freckles. (If I could turn either one into a new career, I would.)

Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to go away, because by the end of it, you’re ready to get back. Even the stuff that drives you crazy about your day-to-day life seems awesomely nostalgic when you’ve been on vacation for two weeks. So it was with a certain amount of grim joy that I encountered my first post-vacay twat-nosed Brooklyn parent of the damned.

He was a father in his 40s, with two girls who looked to be about 4 and 6. Neither one of them appeared to be physically disabled or weakened in any way. Which is why it seemed so odd to me that their father pushed so hard to get them seats. He didn’t ask, mind you. He just stared and snuffled and gave looks. Well let me tell you something. If anyone is going to be passive-aggressive around here, it’s going to be me. Me and no one else.

Also? I need the seat. I truly do. I’m old, I work all day, I’m old and I work all day and the job that I work at involves sitting very still in an unnatural position while tapping at a keyboard, something any chiropractor will cheerfully tell you we aren’t meant to do, and I have a slipped disc as a result, and I’m old. So when the twat-nosed yuppie-dad gave me the look – the “aren’t you going to get up and give us your seat?” look – I sighed loudly and went back to reading my book. It was a crappy mystery, leftover from vacation. There was still sand in the spine. Sigh. Turbo sigh.

Twat-nosed Dad had no choice but to seat the girls on his lap. Apparently little Hermione and Matilda didn’t like this much, because they kept wriggling around trying to escape. They didn’t, but Matilda’s elbow did, right into my book.

Loyal readers of this semi-regular blogging experience are now sucking air through their teeth in consternation, but don’t fret: I did not, in the end, beat up a child today. Nor did I say what I wanted to say to the little dears, which was, “Your father is a dick. He’s a dick. He’s a large bag of tools, and also a penis, and also a male organ of generation. My point is that he’s not too bright, has no discernible manners and little to no grasp of the social contract. He’s bad at being a person. I want you to remember this when you’re teenagers. For now, just keep your fucking elbows to yourself and try not internalize any of his behavior.”

All this I said in my head. To the outside world? I just sighed some more, and turned my pages jerkily. I hope I got sand on them.

Passive-aggressive subway riders, unite!

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

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