Nosy, Annoying and Just Plain Rude.
I was at a bus top, clutching a bottle of wine, minding my very own business when this man, who I had to pass as I arrived, turned and said.
'Which bus are you waiting for?'
'Oh, the 15,' says I.
'There should be one along any minute.' Says he, taking enough steps closer to invade my personal space. 'I think the heavens are going to open. But sure maybe you'll bring a bit of luck.'
I did that polite smile people do.
He blew a lot of cigarette smoke over me. 'I'm going to a barbeque in Donnybrook, in the rugby club. We could do without the rain.'
He then smiled at me-yellow teeth, waiting for me to say something.
Now I'm a country girl, born and raised in an era and area where it's rude not to speak when spoken to. But to be honest I didn't want to be stuck in conversation with this man. He had disgusting yellow teeth and he was smoking and worse he was FORCING me into a conversation I neither invited or wanted.
Naturally politeness won out.
'Hopefully it will hold off.' I said.
Then I made it my business to look away. I watched traffic.
'You out for the night?'
I glanced back.
'I'm going for dinner.'
I did pause at this. None of your business was the correct response, but again I capitulated.
'Sutton!? Jesus that's a long way out, how are you going to get back from there?'
This time I frowned at him. This time I wasn't going to answer.
'Will you get a taxi?'
'I suspect so.'
'Meeting the boyfriend?'
'Do you have a boyfriend?'
I looked at him. Fifties, balding, leering. That right, leeering.
'What does he do?'
I pretended I didn't hear him and squinted in a really stupidly over-actingly way at a passing car, as though I thought I knew the person.
'What does he do?' He repeated.
'He's a Guard.' I said.
And then I was saved from making up any more lies or from letting my brow drop further by the appearance of our bus. Despite his best attempts I insisted he get on the bus first-namely so I could see where he was sitting so that I could make sure I didn't sit near him.
I sat down the back a few seats behind him and seethed all the way to Rathmines-where he got off.
What was I seething about?
I don't bloody know, but I do know. Why did I lie and say 'guard'? Why had I answered his questions? I don't like being forced into conversation, why, when it was a clear as the nose on my face that I didn't want to engage in any conversation, did that annoying man persist? Why didn't I say 'Excuse me, I don't believe where I'm going is really any of your business"? Nor how I was going to get back from where I was going.
Where is the line between being polite and allowing yourself to be interrogated?
Making a mountain out of a molehill? Or is it?
'IPod.' the paramour said when I told him. 'Don't ever go on a bus without one.'
Fine, but I shouldn't have to insulate myself with technology to enjoy peace and quiet though.
Demanding information /conversation, I am against it.