This morning, on the bus from the metro to my office, I had a seat to myself, earbuds in, staring out the window. There was a 20ish woman behind me eating an apple--which is such a gross thing to do on the bus--and then a 20ish man in a suit sat beside her. About two blocks from my stop, I hear him start to talk to her. Now, it's a well-known rule that you don't talk to strangers on the bus, so naturally I had to listen to see what was going on. This is how the conversation went:
Man: I think this is yours.
Man: Here, I think this is yours.
Woman: That hair? That's not mine.
My Inner Monologue: No way, he did not just try to give her back a piece of her hair! What!?
Woman: That's longer and darker than mine. I think it's hers.
MIM: What in the hell is happening?!
Then the man reaches his hand around to the seat beside me and DROPS A PIECE OF HAIR ON IT. Without saying anything. I glance up in shock/disdain as he sits back and the woman laughs a little. (I was too angry at this point to determine if it was a "don't upset the crazy man" laugh or a genuine "hilarious, he gave her back her hair" laugh.)
So yes, I lost a piece of hair on the bus this morning and the man behind me felt the need to return it, not exactly to me, but to the seat beside me. Who does that? I wasn't flipping it around. I didn't yank a piece out and throw it at him. I didn't stand over him brushing it. If you ride public transportation you're going to have to get used to seeing way worse things than a lone strand of hair.
Filled with such incredulity that I couldn't breathe or speak, I practically ran from the bus as anger consumed me. But was I over-reacting? Considering what I've written about my hair in the past, the fact that I'm ok losing a strand here and there says a lot. Me gathering loose strands, would be crazy. A man returning a strand to me, also crazy! It's just a hair! (Verdict: Not over-reacting.)
After telling the story to my male coworker, he posited the theory that the man was trying to find a reason to talk to either of the women near him. "But giving back a piece of hair?!" I asked/yelled. "Yes, men will try anything to talk to women," he said. Then my head exploded and I decided to remain single for the rest of my life.
But first I tweeted it, because I wasn't done expelling my rage. And I'm glad I did because my brother tweeted a reply back that instantly calmed me and put everything in perspective:
well atleast he didnt smell it and put it in a envelope.
I can't argue with that, baby brother. I can, however, ensure that the next time I walk on that bus I do so shaking my head and flinging bits of hair about like I'm in a mosh pit.