This morning I was standing on the overly crowded 6 train and a woman sitting down said to me, “Can you be more careful with your backpack”. I had become disoriented playing the game Snood on my sister’s Ipod Touch [my Ipod broke, wahhh] and didn’t realize the backpack was almost hitting her in the face.
“Sorry,” I said. She continued doing her crossword puzzle. I smiled and turned away from her, then started crying.
Tension between commuters on the 6 train was high. “If I was claustrophobic, I would be freaking out right now,” I thought. I don’t blame the woman for asking me to be more careful. I too would have asked the alleged back pack user to not hit me in the face. When she said that to me though, I got the twinge of resentment that comes with getting scolded. I remember feeling the exact same way in grammar school when Sr. Maryann, our 8th grade teacher/nun, yelled at me to “stop talking”, or “put your book away”, or “take off that fedora, they’re not in style yet”. You get mad that this person has authority over you and can command you to do something, in front of 32 of your peers.
“This fedora expresses who I am,” I told Sr. Maryann. She locked me in the closet for the rest of the day.