WTF?! Wednesday-ish

Yeah, so obviously it’s not Wednesday.  I could have tinkered with the posting date, but why?  No need.  Who am I to manipulate time like that?  Last night I sat here with the post screen open and couldn’t bring myself to write anything.  It’s been a long few days.  But apparently the world doesn’t go on “Dawn’s exhausted, let’s act normal” hiatus when things are hitting the proverbial fan.

I went back to the hospital after work tonight, and at about 9 pm, Mom sent me on a “hot tea” run.  The cafe is open 24 hours, so that was clearly my first choice.  In I went, and there were only three other customers in the cafe.  All three were off around the side of the counter to pick up orders they had put in (they worked in the hospital.  I could tell by the scrubs.  I miss wearing scrubs.  But I digress…).  The cafe is relatively large–three “U” shaped bars that easily fit about 25 people each.  So I sat down to wait to order the tea, and after a few minutes another customer came in. 

Where did she sit?  74 empty seats in the entire cafe, and where do you think she sat?  That’s right.  She plopped down right next to me.  No empty seat between us, not across the big U shaped bar, but right next to me.  Who does that?!  I seriously don’t understand what could compel someone, when given the choice between all of those seats, to saddle up right next to a complete stranger.  I don’t think she even thought it was strange!  I was startled that she sat there, and so I assumed I probably knew her, but nope.  I looked at her, she looked at me, and I had never seen her before.  So I turned back around and waited for the server to take my order, utterly confused by this strange behavior.  What made it worse was that I noticed that she was staring at me.  Staring at me!  A complete stranger.  Staring.  I honestly felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.  I was too tired to even question her behavior and decided to walk over to the side counter just in case her brand of crazy was contagious.

It’s a behavior that makes me nuts, and it’s not relegated to hospital cafes only.  The other place it always seems to happen to me is in a movie theater.  When a friend and I went to see Ice Harvest, we were the only two in the entire theater.  We had the perfect seats–3/4 of the way up the stadium seating, directly in the center.  Perfect!  Just as the previews were ending an elderly couple decided to sit directly in front of us.  Not a few rows down in the same seats, not even staggered so there was any space.  Right in front of us.  They had an entire theater to choose from, but they decided that they needed to sit right there.  It was so ridiculous that we couldn’t control our laughing, and it certainly didn’t help that Ice Harvest was a really dark comedy.  We found ourselves openly laughing–probably much harder than we would have if the other couple wasn’t there–and when they wouldn’t laugh, we found it even funnier. 

I’m sorry, but there are unspoken rules about these things.  When you enter a public place first, you have dibs on where you want to sit.  There’s a buffer zone that you anticipate, and rightfully so!  Filling up public spaces is like Minesweeper.  Think about it.  It’s true.  When other people don’t abide by these rules, it becomes a complete distraction.   Have you ever been on a bus or subway car that was empty except for you?  Have you ever had someone get on at the next stop only to sit beside you when there is an entire vehicle of open seats?  Yeah.  I have.  That’s why I make a beeline to the individual, anti-social seats.  For the rest of the ride I sat there in a state of confusion and astonishment.  Everyone knows that that kind of behavior is weird.  That means that the people who do this are either completely socially inept (and possibly crazy), or they are doing it intentionally to see what kind of response they’ll get.  I don’t like either of those two options, quite frankly. 

The next time someone does this, I’m going to ask them why.  Is there a memo I missed?  Is there a secret game going on that I don’t know about?  Have they recently been released from being held prisoner in a cave, or were they possibly just separated from their Siamese twin and are lonely?  Whatever the reason, I’m demanding an explanation next time. 

Write well,


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