So last night I took myself to Manchester to see Wolf Parade and it was absolutely incredible!
Obviously the last train was cancelled (F*&K YOU LIFE) but there was a replacement bus service put on so that was fair enough with me, all the same as long as I get home as far as I’m concerned.
The coach is HEAVING so I plonk myself down in the first free seat I can see (well technically the second, but a girl talking incessantly on with her earphones in had kindly reserved the seat next to her for her plastic bag full of sweets). I have a winter hat on, I’m not gonna lie it is quite cute, it’s one of those ones with two bobbles instead of two? so it looks like ears, big into it.
I take off my hat and a guy behind me goes “aww no she took it off!”, so I turn around “oh, do you like my hat?! Thanks” and proceed to bore him with how it was a Christmas present but I’m pretty sure it’s from Home Bargains so he can probably get himself one for a couple of quid if he really really likes it. He goes on a bit about it asking me to put it back on (biiiit weird) so I hand it over and try and be part of the joke rather than the subject of it and say “why don’t you try it on” he does, and I face forward again and get my Kindle out. After he’s had it for a while I turn around and his friend grabs it off his head for me and passes it me back because guy 1 obviously hasn’t clocked on to the social queue, no problem, he had obviously had a drink.
He kept repeating that he “couldn’t believe” he was on the coach and how rubbish it was and how bored he was, I’m talking about a full grown man here ladies and gents not a toddler. So he taps me on the shoulder, “whats up?” I respond, and then the non-stop chat comes…
“what are you reading” *tap tap tap on the shoulder*
“i cant believe you’ve got a kindle out on the coach” *tap on the head*
“I’m genuinely interested what are you reading” *tap on the shoulder*
At this point the tapping is veryyyy annoying and I am doing my best at this point (it’s like 12:30am and I am TIRED!) and ask politely for him to just leave it now and let me read my book. He leaves me alone for all of about 5 minutes. More tapping on the head and shoulder. I ask firmly this time, “look, leave it now I’m trying to read and don’t want to be disturbed anymore”.
I should mention as well at this point that his friend beside him is constantly giving him fantastic advice:
“mate just shut up”
“mate leave her alone now”
“you’re doing everyone’s head in can you shut up”
He continues “oi, what are you reading, I’m genuinely interested” and this is where I have to finally say “look don’t touch me again” IMMEDIATELY he goes “I’m not touching you” and then I remind him that I’ve asked politely twice to leave me alone now and it’s starting to bother me and that he’s an adult and should be able to just sit quietly on a coach and not disturb other people.
At this point a gentleman behind him (what a great dude) jumps in says “look how old are you mate?” turns out the individual is 40. He continues “why don’t you act your age and stop bullying her then, she’s asked you politely to stop twice now I’ve heard her, so why don’t you go to sleep or something and enjoy your journey and let other people on this coach enjoy their journey, she’s a young girl, leave her alone”.
Can I just say that I LOVE this guy. I felt like he really had my back and the guy didn’t say another word for the whole journey and I managed to finish two more chapters of my book!
Ok so, what I’m wondering here is whether I am responsible for that situation occurring? I did speak to the guy (at first I didn’t know he had been drinking because he didn’t sound slurred but the repetition made me clock on and it was more obvious as he continued) when he was making a reference to me and I gave him my hat to try on because he said it was nice as I thought we were both joking about the hat. At that point I must have given him the “this is fine” signal and then he was constantly tapping me on the shoulder. I realise that he probably should have stopped when I asked the first, or even second time.
It’s ridiculous that I don’t think I can have a joke with a stranger who seems to be perfectly harmless to then have to worry whether I’ve taken the joke too far, if I’ve given too many signals off that say “yeah you can just bother me for this whole journey now”. If we had had normal conversation after that it would have been perfectly fine but it was the constant tapping on the shoulder and head and same questions over and over and it was just winding me up, I’d be surprised that if it wasn’t a more violent person that they would have snapped a little sooner and gone for him.
Anyway! Any thoughts would be appreciated from anyone.