Monday, January 28, 2008

on the OTHER hand

A couple of days ago, while I was waiting for my train, I got suckered into participating in a transit survey. A tired looking older woman asked me to map out my route from home to my end destination. Now, if you know me in real life and you've ever had to ask me for directions or watched me try to pretend that I know which way is north, south or east -- you know, that I'm hopelessly stupid about such things. And so, I tried to find my house on the map and demonstrate how I had found my way to the Broadway skytrain station. A couple of times she lost her patience and tried to hurry me up, "Don't you mean you're heading OUT of the city? Yes, well you've just mapped yourself heading into the city." Etc and so on. So, I was getting a little stressed out and embarrassed, followed immediately by a strong sense of indignation. After all, I'm the one who had taken time from my busy commute to aid and abet a transit system that I loathe.

But, as it turned out it was all worth it in the end. As I answered the last question, she started to fill in some of my personal information. I gave her my name and postal code and then she got to the little age boxes at the bottom of the page and without hesitation she checked off 16-24 years of age. I took a moment to fall totally in love with this woman and then laughed and said, "I wish!" She looked at me, erased the checked box and marked off 24-34 years of age. Oh, it was all too delicious! I indicated with a thumbs-up to keep going and she exclaimed, "Really?" And the 35+ box was filled and applied to yours truly. And I really didn't mind. I walked to the train platform cheerful, but tired. After all I had just aged a good 15 years in 3 minutes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to do it, but I can seldom resist bursting other people's bubbles. It is possible that the survey lady assessed your age at 16-24 because she assumed someone at 35+ would have the mental capacity to know north and south, in or out of the city... Ooooh I'm mean. You must understand that I frequently use the phrase 'look away, I'm hideous!' in casual conversation. I often seek to bring others down to my level of social exclusion.

1/29/2008 9:54 PM  
Anonymous bildo said...

To be the devil's advocate, you are probably blessed with the aging beautifully gene.

1/29/2008 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm; seems way too personal of a survey to be answering in public. But transit surveys never seem to cater to the transit rider. Still, a simple heads up; one ought to be careful if some young enthusiastic boys start trying to 'play the survey' card next time; they might just want to know where you live! : )

Thankfully though, this story has a happy ending. Nice.

1/31/2008 6:58 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

But you're not over 35, you are 35, so shouldn't you have been in the 24-35 age group? Are you actually 36? Does that mean I'm 35? What's happening here?

1/31/2008 5:37 PM  
Blogger ... said...

twas but a typo

2/01/2008 6:26 PM  

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