On my way home from work, I was stopped by a young man waiting beside me on the platform for the Canada Line. I’m guessing he was in his later twenties, seemed to be dressed appropriately, so I thought nothing of it. Mistake.
The following is a list of things not to do when talking to someone on public transit.
1. Do not start off a conversation with ‘So, do you take the train often?’
2. Do not comment that you have noticed me at the skytrain station before. If you had reflected on this point before point 1 – point 1 becomes irrelevant, don’t you think?
3. Do not point out that I have ‘sharp’ features. I realize that I have a pointy nose, but when you identify that you think I’m Eastern European because of my ‘pointy’ cheek bones and chin, forgive me if I don’t leap in to your arms.
4. When stepping on to the train, and I’m attempting to put my ear buds in – it’s for a reason. Don’t tap me on the shoulder and start talking; asking me if I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing for Halloween. We aren’t friends. Don’t make it seem as though this was a topic we had previously discussed, or that your plans will ultimately be decided by what I’m doing. And no – I don’t care that you are having a hard time picking the right costume. As you mentioned, you’re not creative, but sorry buddy I’m not good at pretending to care.
5. Don’t ask me where my car is parked – now it’s weird. You have not only freaked me out with the previous conversation topics, but now you want to know where I’ll be going after this glorious train ride that we have shared together.
6. Did you seriously ask me why I wasn’t a model? I’m 5’2 on a good day.
7. As I leave to get off the train (and fail to tell you that you’re on the wrong train – cause you’ve parked at the mall, and this train is going to the airport; but you don’t know that) do not follow me. As I leave and say ‘mmm okay then, have a good one’… and you try and stop me at skytrain car door to say ‘WAIT! Can we be friends? Want to be friends?’ I’m not going to stop and say ‘Okay good, I thought you’d never ask’.
For future reference, when you ask people to ‘be your friend’, in this day and age, you should probably clarify whether you mean to be friends in real life or on facebook.