No matter where I go, people find a need to tell me information about their personal lives, or provide unwarranted criticisms of mine. It’s what I’d like to call my curse. I’m very sorry to say this – but if I don’t know you, and you’re not an actual needy homeless person who will not eat today without my dollar – I do not care to speak to you. For that reason I now plan on wearing headphones in the following places as to not risk having to hear anything about anyone else’s day or, worse, their life.
1. Any Means of Public Transportation
Hello, commuters! I do not want to hear about your daughter who is about to graduate from Villanova and how proud you are, or your old lady sex life, or your ex husband who is now gay but you have a lot of love for him anyway and he pays for you to go on trips because he feels guilty for tying you down for 26 years of your God damn life. Newsflash: I might look friendly, but I am not. *Inserts headphones*
2. All Retail /Grocery Stores
If I’m shopping I’m either 1) trying to clear my mind and mindlessly looking around or 2) have an exact mission for something I need, and want to get in and out quickly. There is a 99.99% chance I do not need you to follow me around asking if I need help/giving me your opinions on what I should get. I have this really unique ability to walk into a store, look for what I want, and find it. It’s weird – it’s like I’m a grown adult human or something. Smh.
Recently I was at a clothing store, and I didn’t want to be bothered. When I asked the sales associate for a fitting room to try on a dress, she took it from me, saw it was a size Medium, and glanced me up and down. “Honey, you might want to try a size Large just in case.” The anger I felt at this exact moment was equal to the anger I felt watching the last episode of How I Met Your Mother (one year later and I’m still not over that highly unpleasant series finale). If I wanted to try a size Large I would have picked up a size Large, you evil, cruel, wicked old witch.
Grocery stores certainly apply here as well. If I want to buy a bag of pink frosted animal crackers because I’m feeling bad about myself today, I don’t want a comment from you like, “Oh, wow these look fun, but how many calories do they have? I never let my kids eat this kind of stuff.” Because, good thing I’m not your kid. Please bag my groceries so I can go home and do a bunch of other stuff you won’t let your kids do, like drink a jug of wine and not make my bed.
3. Every Family Event
It’s more socially acceptable for me to have an active case of Ebola than to be single and 28 years old. So, of course, family members are dying to thoroughly analyze this very strange phenomenon at every chance possible. At the 30 minute point of rehashing the many bad dates I’ve been on, I generally have to make a fake trip to the bathroom, and then, like a disgruntled teen, end up standing in the corner angrily texting my mom, “I need to get out of here NOW.” I realize if I’m donning headphones from now on maybe everyone will think I’m just super busy on international business calls. Then, at least they’ll have the distorted allusion the rest of my life is very much together.
Related: If I ever find the right man, I’ve already decided on wearing headphones at my wedding as well as to avoid talking to any distance relative of my husband’s. All guests will get a 30 second chance to speak to me, and then focus will divert to dancing and ignoring everyone.
4. Every Place I’m Walking Outdoors
The best thing about being in a car is it’s almost like a “don’t talk to me” machine. I think Henry Ford was probably all, “This first car model looks good, but let’s make sure the next version is completely closed in so the driver has the power to select which people can talk to him or her that day.”
When I’m alone, I want to be alone. So, for instance, if I’m by myself walking my small dog, I don’t want to hear your annoying comments about how you don’t like small dogs. I don’t like infants but would I walk up to a mom who is minding her own business strolling her newborn and say, “I would say he’s cute, but I’m not that into infants”? Answer: NO.
Just a quick walk from my house to my car? Yes, I’ll wear headphones. Because, I’d prefer to listen to the free U2 album than to give my neighbor even the slightest opportunity to wave me over to tell me about his garden patch.