UTM Buses Winter Edition

Winter is Coming. The immortal words of House Stark. Well, the icy wrath of winter is finally here and it brings with it some more socially awkward situations. We’ve already seen the first 6 reasons in Part One and Part Two. Here’s Part Three with reasons 7 – 11.

7) The Cold

It’s absolutely freezing. You shiver so much that if someone strapped a camera to your face you could remake Cloverfield. You bundle up in so many layers you make Jabba the Hutt look anorexic. It doesn’t help one bit. The cold still finds a way through. It slowly seeps through your clothes. You can feel your bones rattling.

Your teeth chatter. You flex your hands and wiggle your fingers to get your blood flowing. That doesn’t work. Your hands are so numb you can’t tell if they’re moving. You can’t even look down to check because you’re so layered you can’t move your head. Now you know why Batman had to change his costume in The Dark Knight.

So why do you do this to yourself? Why do you stand there and slowly freeze to death? You know there’s a heated bus shelter right next to you, so why don’t you use it?

Because that’s where they are. You can see them staring at you. Some are standing, some are sitting, and some hang from the ceiling. OK, so they don’t hang from the ceiling. But I had to connect this .gif somehow.

Staring

Students. Hundreds of them. Stuffed together in a small area where sniffles and snorts and sneezes run freely. It’s too risky to go there. They’re already staring at you, but the minute you open that door to go in, they feel the cold gust of wind and try to kill you with their cold, red, watery eyes. It’s almost impossible to not make eye contact. Even if you stare at the ground, you can feel their eyes on you and you feel impelled to look up.

But here’s the thing. If you stand outside, they’ll stare at you for being different. If you decide to go in, they’ll stare at you for opening that door. So if they’re going to stare at you anyway, why not just go inside?

Liam Neeson Freezing

Because out here, if you need to snivel or snort or cry or cough, you don’t need to worry about what they think. There’s no judgement in the cold dark embrace of winter. You’re going to be the first person on the bus. You’ll avoid being a part of the inevitable stampede when the crowd notices a bus driving towards the bus stop. You rationalise your decision to freeze to death. It’s not so bad, you think as another eyelash freezes and falls off. The bus will be here soon, I’m sure. You’d check the time but you’ve now lost all feeling in your arms. Doesn’t matter. You can wait.

8) The Wind

Winter is like the Lannister family. Most of it is pretty cool. The snow is great. The cold is bearable. But the wind sucks. Everyone hates it. If the wind was a person, I’d punch it in the face. Because the wind is evil. It is the Joffrey Baratheon of winter.

Everyone is Mine to Torment

My eyes, oh God, how they water. The minute you step outside, you begin crying. It’s like someone kicked you in between the legs then started cutting onions next to your face while telling you that your dog just died. You can’t stop yourself crying.

The wind is clever. It is patient. It starts by forcing you to cry. The tears stream down your face and for a second, you feel slightly better. Your face feels warmer. The wind smiles. It lets you enjoy the warmth for a second. It gives you a glimmer of hope.

And then it attacks. This time it targets the wetness on your face. What was warm a second ago is now freezing. Your cheeks are starting to go numb. While you reach up to quickly wipe your cheeks, the wind targets your eyeballs again. And the process repeats itself.

Glasses are Cool

And for anyone who thinks glasses will help, they don’t help at all. Not. One. Bit. Glasses are cool. They get cold. They get foggy. You constantly need to clean them when it’s snowing or raining. If anything, I think glasses work with the wind. They direct and angle the wind so it has a better chance of destroying your eyeballs.

Everyone cries when it’s windy. But we all make sure no-one else notices. We cannot let the wind know it’s beating us. You can’t appear weak. You cannot ask for help. This is your battle. The wind will not beat you so easily. You have to hide the fact that you’re crying. So you pull your hood up over your head and stay in the shadows. No one must know.

You want to know what the wind feels like on your face? Let my good friend, Godzilla, tell you. Godzilla, how does the wind feel on a person’s face? Oh, you don’t want to tell the reader? You want to show them instead? OK. That’s a good idea. Godzilla, if you were the wind, how would you attack a person’s face?

Godzilla

9) The Late Buses

It’s snowing so buses will be late. The roads are slippery. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I get it. I understand all this. But that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Buses are late. Buses don’t show up. And the group of commuting students slowly gets bigger and bigger.

Eventually, the crowd is so big that there’s no way you’re going to make it on that bus, so you have to wait for the next one. If it shows up. If you had a crowd-parter (seen below), then you might have a chance. But you don’t. So it’s going to be another 20 minutes of standing here in the freezing cold.

Truck Smashing Cars

And if the bus does show up, you can’t even get mad at the driver. It’s not his/her fault. But you want to get mad at someone because waiting in the cold sucks. Obviously, you’re a (relatively) nice person so you smile at the bus driver or nod your head as you get on. Others are not so considerate. You hear a guy behind you berate the driver for being late. The guy points to his wrist to indicate how long he’s been waiting but the moron is not even wearing a watch.

Late

Now you’re even more annoyed. The prat behind you doesn’t realise that he’s being a terrible person. But you’re not going to call him out because:

  1. It’s way too much effort to think of an insult simple enough that he’d actually understand
  2. Calling him out takes time and that would stop the line moving and you just want to get home ASAP
  3. Other people would probably clap or say “Yeah! You show him!” etc. and you don’t want to get noticed
  4. Someone else will probably say something to him so you don’t have to (a.k.a the Bystander Effect)

So you let it go. It doesn’t matter. You feel sorry for the bus driver but alas, such is life. Maybe if you were a more confident person you’d turn around and show that idiot what’s what. But you’re not. Now you feel bad for being who you are.

And now you have to decide where you’re going to sit and think of all the reasons why someone would not want to sit next to you.

10) The Sniffles

You feel your nose twitching. It’s going to happen. You can’t stop it. You feel your eyes slowly closing as you begin to squint. Your mouth opens involuntarily. You make “the face”. You wait. Nothing happens. Your brain lied. You relax. And then it happens. ACHOO!

No Sneeze

And now everyone’s probably looking at you. You panic. You feel something warm trickling down your nostril. Oh God, you’ve got a runny nose. There’s no way to stop it. You start sniffing. Loudly. And quickly. People are staring. It’s not slowing down! It’s getting faster! What do you do?! Where are the tissues?!

OK, the tissues are in your pocket. Phew. Can you reach them? No. You’re sitting in the window seat. It’s cramped. You can’t get the tissue without disturbing the stranger next to you. Why did you sit here? You silently curse yourself, knowing it won’t help much. But at least you vent your anger. You can feel your eyes watering. Oh no! This is the worst thing that’s happened since the last time something bad happened to you.

Crying

Your eyes are seriously watering now. You can’t reach up to wipe them. You’re just going to hope against hope that you don’t start weeping. OK. Focus on the problem at hand. No tissues. What now? Sleeve?You’re wearing a T shirt. Seriously, a T-Shirt in winter? Well, the weatherman said it’d be hot today.

Fine. Just continue sniffing and snorting until you have to get off or the person next to you gets off. You can get the tissue then. Sniff as though your life depends on it. But try to do it quietly. You don’t want to attract any more stares than you have to.

Sniffing

11) The Ice

You can’t walk to the bus stop without looking like a complete moron. It’s physically impossible to waddle on ice and still look good, unless you’re an actual penguin. I’ve never respected Pingu more. Just look at him go. The penguin is faster than Usain Bolt. You stay classy, Pingu.

Pingu

But guess what. Your bus is about to leave. This relates back to the second commuting struggles post. You won’t make it if you continue walking at this pace. So what do you do? Do you run for the bus over that long patch of ice and risk losing what little dignity you have left?

It’s a simple question and it has a simple answer. I’ll let Michael Scott take this one.

Hey Michael, I’m glad I caught you just before you were going to leave. Quick question, should a person risk running on the ice to catch the bus?

Michael Scott No

  Eloquent as always, Michael. Thank you.


DISCLAIMER: Memes were created through the imgflip Meme Generator

(No memes were harmed in the making of this blog post)

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One thought on “Commuting Struggles Of The Socially Anxious Introvert: Part Three (The Winter Edition)

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