Yesterday, on the PATH train, I spotted a male individual who was clearly scheming up some bullshit way to strike up a conversation with me. At the first stop, a seat behind me freed up and he took the opportunity to speak to me by informing me of the seat’s availability.
I thanked him and placed my ass down. He was now hovering over me and I could tell by his facial expression and eye movement that he was searching his brain and external surroundings for further material to talk to me about. At that point, my best bet is to make myself look as unapproachable as possible. As it turns out, though, I am terrible at looking unapproachable, despite my best efforts.
So what does he do? He opens his mouth asking questions about my arm piercings and even asks to touch them. (I don’t understand people’s compulsion to touch my arm piercings. What do they think will happen?)
At the next stop, the seat next to mine freed up. Of course, he then sat next to me and continued speaking to me. He asked where I work and the standard line of questions.
He mentioned that he travels a lot for work, so I shouldn’t look for him on the train in the next couple days because he’ll be traveling to Poland. I stated that I can barely find the exit/entrance at the PATH station, let alone worrying about finding strangers.
Finally, at the last stop, he asked for my number. I knew this was coming, but he had been very nice and respectful so I felt bad turning down the request. However, I also did not want to allow for more annoyance on my personal phone. I balanced the interests and decided I’d give him a business card – ya know, keep it LinkedIn-level friendly.
Of fucking course, he immediately texted my work phone — which I check sparingly during non-work hours. The texts were mundane. Then, this morning he asked why it takes me so long to respond to text messages. I responded that I am not tethered to my text box.
The reality is, before I met this stranger on the train, my life had its fair share of text messages. In fact, on my personal phone alone last month, I used 7,192 texts. Moreover, while he is a nice and seemingly a decent, responsible human being, he is not hot. Now, you may argue that is superficial. You are wrong. That is, in fact, a very deep consideration because human beings and other animals are internally wired to assess attractiveness of a potential mate based on external appearance.
So now, the only logical solution for me is to change my work number and relocate.