I surprised myself the other day and I surprised DH as well. We were on the way home from a lovely lunch in NYC with our daughter. The Blue Water Grill in Union Square is one of my favorite restaurants. We stopped in the Strand Book Store to poke around and then headed to the 14 St. PATH station. We had an uneventful trip to Newark Penn Station where we found the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line train waiting on its regular track. I was tired and grateful there were plenty of seats. We settled in, DH with his NY Times and I with my knitting.
We seemed to be surrounded by people talking on cell phones (what ever happened to texting--at least that's not loud and intrusive). Most were engaging in long conversations. One man in particular was shouting, not talking. I found myself getting increasingly irritated. We were about twenty minutes into the trip and he just did not stop. He seemed to get louder and louder. At one point he shouted into the phone, "Can you hear me?" I just couldn't stop myself; he had given me such a delicious opening. He was about two rows back on the other side of the aisle. I turned in my seat and shouted back at him, "We can all hear you, you're shouting." DH was mortified. The man began shouting back at me saying, "I ride the train every day, it's not 5 o'clock in the morning, etc." Everyone else in the train grew very quiet. He yelled again, "I do this on the train all the time." I then lost it and lowered myself to his level as I shouted back, "I feel sorry for anyone who has to commute on the same train as you." I was shaking with rage. DH quietly asked me to stop, pointing out that my behavior was as bad as the cell phone shouter. Of course, he was right. I hunkered down in my seat and resumed knitting.
When we arrived in Westfield and exited the train, I saw the conductor ahead on the platform. I approached him and asked if NJ Transit had a policy on cell phone use. He replied that there wasn't an official policy. I told him that we had a shouter in our car and he replied that he would walk back that way and check it out.
I'm still trying to figure out what set me off. It was incredibly loud and felt as if I were being assaulted. It had been a long day and I was tired. My hearing aids tend to amplify background noise and it becomes very irritating. But, it was so out of character for me. All I can think is that, "I was mad as hell and I wasn't going to take it any more." Unfortunately I ended up "taking it" all the way to Westfield. Sometimes you just can't fix it.