I ride the same bus to and from work every day. (Quick digression: Yes, this is another completely random story about riding the bus. And yes, this is supposed to be a Twins blog -- more or less. And yes I haven't written about the Twins in a month or so. But I am going to change that. Soon. I swear. I have a plan. Granted, me having a plan is kind of like a drunk person having to take a piss. Sure, it is going to happen at some point, but nobody knows when, where, how long it will take, or how big a mess it will be. Point is, it will happen. More importantly I am going to write about the Twins tomorrow. True story. And yes I just compared my blog to a urinating drunkard.)
As I was saying, I ride the same bus to and from work every day. So it is only natural that I would begin to recognize the people who happen to enjoy the same daily bus routine as myself. And I have.
Now, I had never spoken to any of these people for two reasons: 1.0 because I am far more likely to grunt at or punch anyone who tries to speak to me at 7 in the am than I am to have a conversation. And 2.) I really just don't like people.
Basically, bus conversations? Not my cup of tea.
But, like I said, having a daily routine is going to lead to, if nothing else, recognizing bus faces. And, after the first month or so of riding the bus I began to realize that one of the girls who rides my bus also works in my office. Now seeing as how I am slow, it took me far longer to make this connection than it would the average gent, but eventually I pieced it together.
Again, I had never spoken to this girl before. Until this week.
As I was leaving work on Tuesday I ran into bus girl as I was getting on the elevator. So, being that I am at least semi-capable of pretending to be nice I say hi and introduce myself and she does the same. (Note: For the sake of anonymity -- and by that I mean I forgot her name -- I am going to to call her bus girl.)
So bus girl and I have the basic small-talk conversation you have with anyone you meet for the first time. I call it the "freshman talk." You know, that conversation you have with everyone as a freshman in college? "What's your name? Where are you from? What's your major?" Granted, the questions in the conversation change at different stages of your life, but the same principle applies.
So we continue to talk as we get to our bus stop, and all the while I am thinking, "oh shit, she better get on a different bus because I don't think I can sustain a conversation for another half hour." Yes, I am enough of a neurotic sad-sack that I was actually thinking that.
Well for reasons that are boring and involve a description of my bus route and its sub-bus routes, I lucked out and she did, in fact, get on a different bus. All-in-all our conversation probably lasted about ten minutes.
Now, flash forward to the following morning.
I am sitting in the back of the bus -- the normal morning perch for me. About halfway through the ride, per usual, bus girl hops on. However, per unusual, there are no seats on the bus and she is forced closer to the back, and with me being a notorious back-of-the-bus-sitter, and her being more akin to the front, I assumed there would be no interaction between us.
So as she is making her way down the aisle, I begin to race through the acknowledgment options in my head:
Option 1. Wave. I realized she wasn't going to make it all the way to me because of the number of people on the bus so waving seemed like semi-logical option. I quickly shot this idea down because waving is fucking awkward. Always. There is no such thing as a wave that isn't awkward.
Option 2. Ignore her. I've only talked to this chick once for ten minutes, so who cares? I mean, realistically, I have no reason to care if I associate with here in any way. This option, however, seemed rude.
Option 3. Smile and/or say "hi." A dangerous option, mind you, because a "hi" can quickly turn into a conversation and, quite frankly, grunting or punching her in the face would probably be even more awkward than the wave. However this option seemed most reasonable given the circumstances.
So there I am, mentally preparing myself for operation "hi smile" and I look over at bus girl and realize I am too late. I had already missed the eye contact window. (If you wondering, the eye contact window is that first 10-15 seconds when you see someone you recognize and you lock eyes to acknowledge you see one another. It is a pretty tight window though because if you try too hard you can quickly go from eye contact window to awkwardly staring. And nobody wants that.)
Well, once I realize that I have missed the eye contact window (probably because I was too busy trying to come up with fucking "acknowledgment options") I quickly switch gears and audible to option 4: pretend to play with my iPod (a derivation of option 2: ignore her, and a cousin of "pretend-to-play-with-your-phone when you see someone you don't want to talk to at work, school, or a box social").
This works swimmingly. The bus ride continues with us ignoring one another, and she gets off the bus enough before me that she was a half a block ahead of me walking to work, and reached the office well before I did, and we haven't spoken since.
I don't really have a point, but I would like to know what the etiquette is in this situation. Was there some better way to handle it? Probably. But I don't know what it is. I still say the smile and hi was the way to go. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out that way.
I guess the moral of the story is don't miss your eye contact window.