My new self-improvement goal is to stop bitching about stuff that I can’t change. I’m trying really really hard to adjust my own reaction to things when people are impolite or the world doesn’t do exactly what I’d like it to. Last week when I saw someone throw some trash on the ground at the bus stop, instead of giving them an earful, I just picked up the wrapper and tossed it into the trash can. Minimal stress, maximum results. And because I didn’t confront the person, she had no reason to be offended, and even looked slightly guilty when I glanced back at her. Results.
So even though I’m all peaceful and free of bitch these days, there’s a bus-related annoyance that’s been getting worse and worse: people listening to their music out loud. Yes, sure, sometimes it’s just overflow from crappy headphones. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when they simply blast some obscenity-laden thumpfest from their iPhone, loud enough for the whole bus to hear.
It’s especially frustrating since I try to use the bus as quiet time. It really harshes my mellow.
This morning, though, I witnessed a moment of someone fighting back against this epidemic, and that man is my new personal hero. When two men boarded the bus accompanied by a screeching mariachi soundtrack coming from a pocketed radio, the driver said nothing. It was so loud, guys, there was no way he could have missed it. The music turned all my fellow riders into sad, unwilling guests at a bad Cinco de Mayo celebration. Honestly, I’m not up on my Latin Top 40, so it could be the new hot track, but it felt like at any moment someone was going to break out a sombrero full of tequila.
My hero was sitting at the front of the bus, trying to focus on the ‘Liberalism’ textbook on his lap. He started to shift in his seat uncomfortably and then attempted to shoot the men the, “death stare.” When that didn’t work, he raised his voice and said, “Guys, I can’t hear myself think. Could you turn the radio down?” The men said nothing, and a little old lady suggested that maybe they didn’t understand him. So this brave young man stood up and walked over to them and said IN SPANISH, “Please, your radio is very loud.”
He returned to his seat and the music continued, now punctuated by the angry voices of the men, who obviously weren’t too thrilled about having been asked to turn off their jam. This poor kid, he was just trying to study, and now they were obviously making fun of him in Spanish. He lifted his head from his book and said something to them, in Spanish, that I didn’t catch, but his inflection suggested that he’d said something, like, “I can understand what you jerks are saying about me.”
At that point the driver intervened, the radio was silenced, and young man went back to his book. If I knew who he was, I’d give him a hug.