Excuse Me Mister

I would like to introduce a new term I've coined. I call it "excuse me."

Ex⋅cuse [v. ik-skyooz; n. ik-skyoos] verb, -cused, -cusing,noun

Excuse me, (used as a polite expression, as when addressing a stranger, when interrupting or disagreeing with someone, or to request repetition of what has just been said.)

Also, I beg your pardon, pardon me. Forgive me, as in Excuse me, please let me pass, or Pardon me for asking, or I beg your pardon, I don't think so. These phrases are used as an apology for interrupting a conversation, bumping into someone, asking a speaker to repeat something, politely disagreeing with something said, and so on. The first dates from about 1600, the first variant from about 1800, the second from the mid-1700s.
Oh wait a minute, that's right; I didn't coin this term. It's existed for hundreds of years and can be translated into virtually any language:

En Français: Excusez-moi!

En Español: Perdón!

Auf Deutsch: Entschuldigung!

Italiano: Mi scusi!

In Nederlands: Mag ik even uw aandacht!

In het Japans: Shitsurei shimasu!

In Swahili: Samahani!

...to name a few. So why doesn't anyone say "excuse me" anymore? Honestly, I would love an answer.

I was walking around Georgetown Saturday afternoon running errands and I had one of those moments where for a hot second you think it's completely possible that you've died and become a ghost. Because only being a ghost would justify the lack of courtesy your fellow man is showing you. So you try to walk face first through a wall and you're all, "Oh wait, I am alive. Just nobody respects me. K. Good to know."

All day people were cutting me off left and right, bumping into me, letting doors slam in my face, allowing children to dance around my feet like rabid Chihuahuas.
Kid, I can punt you from here to next Tuesday; I suggest you learn how to say "excuse me." Actually, it's not the kid's fault; he's new and simple. His parents are the ones responsible for teaching him the importance of saying "excuse me." But no! Mom and Dad think it's just adoooooorable that little Taylor darted in front of me and almost broke my ankle! HE'S A PRECOCIOUS LITTLE DEVIL IN'T HE?!

Sunday morning I was strolling through Dupont, minding my own business, getting some coffee, when a random guy walked directly into my personal space and in an incredibly hostile tone asked, "So is this Connecticut Avenue or what?!" Woah, woah, woah, sir:
1.) I am not your campus tour guide. Don't ask me for directions like it's my job.
2.) I don't recall volunteering for a kissing booth today; kindly take one giant step back.
and 3.) I understand that being lost is frustrating, but that attitude isn't going to get you anywhere.

This was a perfect example of an appropriate time to say "excuse me." Had this man said, "Excuse me, is this Connecticut Avenue or what?" I would have gladly said, "No. One street over," instead of giving him the stink-eye and sending him in the wrong direction. You are interrupting me. Therefore you say excuse me. Right? I mean, I feel like I'm sniffing glue here. You just say excuse me to people. Common courtesy; it's what separates us from the animals. Or something.

This whole "excuse me" business has been building up for a while and I kind of lost my shit this morning. In my defense my hair was frizzing, I was running late and hadn't had coffee yet. I can't be held responsible for my actions under such harsh conditions. Anyway, I was in the metro (which was delightfully comfortable and not nearly as packed as it is when I'm on time) standing, holding the pole next to me for balance, as you do. At Farragut North, a woman walked on and stood in front of the pole I was holding. And that's cool; it's a tall pole, plenty of space for us all to grab on. But she didn't grab on. She leaned her entire body against the pole and her disgustingly long pony tail draped over my hand. (I've re-written that sentence like 500 times. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time putting this into words. Please see helpful stick figures below:)
Gross! Don't drape your creepy stranger hair all over my clean hand! Then when I gruffly moved my hand up the pole, she turned around and gave me an irritated look. Oh, I'M sorry! Was my hand in the way of your horse hair?! My mistake! Want a scalp massage while I'm there? Well blokay! NO! That's not the way that things work, sister! My hand was there first and how presumptuous are you to come in and lay your physical person all over the community pole, nevertheless directly on my hand! And when you realize you're on my hand, say EXCUSE ME! You invaded my space, not the other way around! My hand was there long before your horse hair was! I had vested real estate on that pole! And shame on me for giving up so easily and moving my hand.

As I stood there staring at the back of her head, I couldn't stop fuming about her lack of an "excuse me." It was just so unbelievably rude. And she'll probably go through the rest of her life being just as rude and never realize what a drain she is on society. And then I noticed that the sunglasses perched on her head had multi-colored hearts running along the frames. Hearts. Hearts are the universal symbol for peace and love. This woman was rude and hostile. She was the anti-heart. How dare she don hearts?! I could just see her at Jones New York all "Awww, these sunglasses have hearts on 'em! That's so me!" But they're not you. Hemorrhoids are you. Your yearly gynecological exam is you. Hurricane Katrina is you. Hearts are not you. And suddenly it became very important to me that she know this fact.

So I punched her in the head as I got off the metro. Not hard. Just hard enough to let her know what was up.
As clearly illustrated above, instead of simply letting go of the metro pole before exiting, I slid my hand down and knocked her in the back of the head with slight, yet ample force. And then I ran without looking back. Because that's the kind of girl I am.

What I want you to take from this story is the following:
1.) It's important to say "excuse me"
2.) Don't take shit from anyone who wears sunglasses with hearts on them
3.) I am not the most stable table before 9 am.


Unknown said...

When this happens to me on the metro (i know it's sorta gross but) I just grab a few of the hairs and when she/he moves the hairs pull out and it hurts like a bitch. But punching is good too.

Anonymous said...

Wow I am so- impressed that you did a little punching action! Well done! I think it's safe to say that most people in the MD/DC/NoVa area have had a similar experience and wanted to do what you had the balls to do! ToWanda!

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Well, we can't all have the balls to take out personal aggression on strangers. It's not for the faint-of-heart.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I hate when people lean on the pole like it is their personal real estate. If you want to hog a pole go down to the strip club, otherwise be kind and leave room for others!

Can I ask you a completely unrelated question? I've set up my own blog on blogger and am having an issue. When I write a post and publish it, all my paragraph breaks disappear and squishes up into one long tirade instead. Do you have any clues on this? I have checked the help section but have yet to find enlightenemtn. I read your post every day and you do such great things with it, editing/design wise and thought you may have some advice. I'm sorry for the random question, and understand if you poke some fun at me with your friends, but I am going insane and have run out of ideas.

Nate said...


Firstly, congrats on standing up for yourself and punching a stranger in the back of the head. Well done and quite classy.

Secondly, The Horse Hair Lady & The Pole anecdote is riddled with That's What She Said jokes waiting to be made. So thank you for that, as well.

Dr. Sinners.

Anonymous said...

I do the same thing as Stacy. I hate when other people's hair touches me. Its so gross!

And as a side note, I was watching Eurotrip yesterday and your post reminds me of when their on the train and the creepy italian dude comes on and keeps molesting them and going "mi scusi, mi scusi..."

Laura said...

I love that you wrote about this because I've been doing an experiment lately which wroks perfectly now that it's the height of tourist season. I'll be walking down the sidewalk all by my lonesome and coming toward me on the same sidewalk will be a group of 3 or 4 or 5 people and I've been noticing lately that rather than a couple people dropping behind or going in front of the others when passing me so that we can all fit on the sidewalk, no one will budge and I'll have to step off the sidewalk so that the group can pass without any of them having to make way for me. Recently I've decided this is bullshit and have boldly continued walking on my side of the sidewalk while a mass of people taking up the WHOLE sidewalk will without hestitaion walk into me and look surprised when it happens. So far I don't think I've taught anyone a lesson but the disoriented look they get when realizing they've just body slammed a human being is worth the roughing up I'm getting.

Katie said...

Nice! I love your illustrations with this post.

Horse lady got what she deserved!

Christina said...

Yesterday I had to go to the worst place on Earth... (walmart).
Some little brat actually said excuse me(!), but then she seemed to think saying excuse me meant she could plow me down.
She was almost on top of me, said excuse me and plowed me over. I was slightly happy she had been taught manners, but then realized her mom is probably the woman that says excuse me and then reaches around me and takes the last of whatever my hand was already on.
"This one time" I almost pulled some woman's horsehair out over some birthday candles.
You rock!!

Casey said...

You know what is worse, though, then when someone doesn't say "Excuse me"? When someone does something rude/inappropriate to you, and then they say, in a completely bitchy tone, "EXCUSE YOU!" A girl in middle school used to do that constantly. She'd plow you over in the hallway and then yell, "EXCUSE YOU", as if you were so incredibly inconsiderate not to scuttle out of her way as fast as possible. UGH, this post is bringing out my rage.

Lydia said...

Awesome post, yet again. It reminds me of a similar rant Lynn Truss writes in her book "Talk to the Hand" where a stranger does something rude and then you end up saying "excuse me" just because you feel like someone should say it. This happens to me all the time.

jmk said...

I have a skull AND a heart on my sunglasses; what does that make me?!

yellaphant said...

I was not expecting that lady punch and I think it's kind of sad that it totally made my afternoon. Seriously, I snarfed. I haven't snarfed all day.

Anonymous said...

When that happens to me on the metro I like to slide my hand down the pole as I jam my knuckles into their back. Just a friendly hello. Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

I, too, am an 'accidental' hair puller. And by accidental I mean, 'Well it's your fault for putting your hair there, idiot'.

Patrick said...

I hate "World Rulers" as I like to call them. I don't have to ride such a mode of transportation (yet) because I don't live in DC (yet), but I totally know what you mean. I hate when people invade my bubble.

One of my all time favorites is when I go through a door, glance over my shoulder, notice someone following right behind me, hold the door open, and they walk through without saying "Thank You."
I'd say 99% of the time I loudly and immediately yell, "YOU'RE SO VERY WELCOME." It always throws people out of their little world and they're like, "Oh, um...I....errr." Kill yourself.

I can totally empathize with Laura on the walking toward a group thing. I don't care where I am, people always walk into me. My rule is no matter where you are, if you're walking on the right side you shouldn't have to move. When someone is walking on the left side of the side walk, mall, grocery store aisle, or whatever, they should get the fuck out of my way or be prepared for lineman style shoulder hit. I've literally dropped my shoulder to lean into someone while they were just looking straight at me and not moving. Does that make me an asshole? Probably. Will I continue to do it? Definitely.

RecessionistaDC said...

Bravo! I'm glad someone finally said what we are all thinking.

One day soon I hope that each metro car gets their version of a hall monitor who can set these self-absorbed people straight!

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Anon #1: Hmm...Perhaps highlight the entire post and click the little eraser icon so it removes all formatting and then try formatting it again? Sometimes when I copy co-Blogger Chris' posts in from an email, the formatting gets all jacked up so I have to do that. I'm sorry. I'm little to no help. Which is also my motto in life.

Dr. Sinners - Uh. DID YOU MOVE TO MILWAUKEE?! (And yes I did have to Google that to get the correct spelling.)

Life - That's one of the best scenes ever.

JK - I refuse to go into F21 for this exact reason.

Laura - Hand to god, I almost got hit by a car Saturday afternoon after I had to jump in the street to go around three bitches meandering down the road at the speed of a snail. BONDING MOMENT!

Katie - <3

Christina (or Xtina, as I'd prefer to call you,) - Honestly, I think maybe just be grateful for the Excuse Me. Beggars can't be choosers. And when it comes to courtesy, we're all just beggars. (What?) (I don't know, just go with it.)

Casey - Holy hell. I've never experienced an "excuse you," but I feel sorry for everyone the day I do.

Lydia - Why is there a book called "Talk to the Hand" and I didn't write it?

JMK - That makes you, without question, cooler than me.

Bridget - Yay! Snarfs! (I misspelled that the first time I typed it and wrote Snarfz, which might make its way into my daily vernacular.)

Anon #2 - I like the way you work.

G_Love - See I'm just too creeped out by strangers' hair to pull it. But I respect the hell out of you for doing so.

Patrick - 1.) I love the phrase "World Rulers." It's just so simplistically perfect. 2.) I could literally write a thesis on how rude I think it is when you hold the door for someone and they don't say thank you. Original Co-Blogger Eddie makes it a point not to say thank you for feminists reasons. How fucking mind boggling is that?! We've fought about this on many an occasion. Maybe I'll make it a point/counter-point post sometime?

Recessionista - I would gladly quit my job to be that hall monitor. I don't even care if I have to wear a uniform. Frankly, it would be worth it.

steffington said...

I am saddened that the second picture (or video or whatever) was removed before I could see it.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Ahhh wait, what? What was removed?! I can see both pictures! Wassa' goin' on?

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Oh just kidding. I violated some terms. My bad. Lemme see what I can do.

Ashley said...

I just laughed so hard I may or may not have peed my pants a little bit.

Laurie said...

It seriously makes me so happy that you punched her in the back of the head that I can't stop smiling. I love it!

Anonymous said...

I love the labels you applied to the post, funny shit indeed ;))

Erin Helgerson said...

You are amazing! I only just recently started yelling at people when they deserve it. Before I was all, "Uh...uh...that was rude," under my breath and now I just let them have it. But then I decided that it's for the betterment of society to put assholes in their place. On behalf of the West Coast, I'd like to say thank you for doing your part on the East Coast to make America a better place.

Laurie said...

I tend to say "Excuse me" or "Thank you" for the rude folk. If they bump into me I loudly say "EXCUSE ME!" If they don't hold a door for me when I'm 1.5 feet behind them, they get a "THANK YOU!" In my mind it gets the point across.....in theirs I have tourettes. Eh.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Thank you for appreciating the tags. Thinking of tags is my favorite part of writing posts.

poelondon said...

UGH. I hate Metro leaners. I'm totally going to punch the next one who does that to me and shout "2birds1blog" as I'm running away.

Anonymous said...

i 99.99 percent agree with you. I 110 percent agree when its someone who ought to know better--born and raised in america, with wide open spaces and personal space. but sometimes there are tourists....espcecially europeans...that just have no clue what personal space is.

seriously, to them a 'line' is butt to balls. And I used the term line loosely, as there perfer a mob. And hasn't been in a shower in a week with oily ass greasy horse hair, and BO that infects you. Any tour guide worth their salt will tell you when visiting sites in europe, don't be polite, because then you will never get in as everyone butts in front of you and forms a mass. They're not trying to be rude, but what you think is a reasonable distance, they think is a huge gap indicating that you are not in line/mob. My husbands in the airforce, and we lived in germany for 3 years....bad times for my personal space, bad times.

Ohmygoshi said...

oh sweet jesus, i just found your blog and it has been the highlight of my week. As a fellow DCer and Metro Rider (and AU grad at that), all I have to say is, YOU ARE MY HERO.

Giselle said...

My favorite is when people let their children run wild in dressing rooms, and little Johnny/Suzy are laying on the ground practically in my dressing room, watching me...

Tyng said...

I'm so ashamed. I have a long disgusting ponytail and I'm a polehugger. I was afraid I was the girl on the metro. And then you punched her, and a little piece of rice shot up and out my nasal canal and back into my bowl with hysterical relief. But I have learned a little something today. Thanks.

Colette said...

I was relaxing, peacefully and quietly, after a grueling spinning class, in the sauna. A VERY naked girl came in, naked except for her iPod, and sat, mostly spread eagle and all comfortable, and blared her iPod (pretty sure it was Miley Cyrus followed by an angry/emo/pretty eyeliner boyband). Why did I not speak up? Why was I forced to look at her labia WHILE have my ears insulted with her shitty taste in music.

Anonymous said...

i truly love all your posting way, very exciting,
don't give up and also keep creating mainly because it just simply nicely to look through it.
excited to see a lot more of your stories, thankx :)

JL said...

Just laughed out loud. Snorted, to be more accurate. I wish I could punch smug pugs with their horse hair all the time!

Anonymous said...

When you wan that you can feel as if most of these celebrities, grab virtually any artist case. Burberry wall plug bags Whenever a women uses lots of money in purses, [url=http://www.katespadefassyon.com/]ケイトスペード 店舗[/url],it's a perfect particular designer handbag; it can be anything greater than this. Branded purses and totes, purses as well as purses provide since the reply to a terrific clothing and it's but not only its high price. ">Burberry outlet outlet A new ladies handbag is one of your best good friends, [url=http://www.chromeheartssilverjp.com/]クロムハーツ 財布[/url],regardless of whether, not really that is a neck carrier, a brand new satchel or maybe a handbag; it is extremely helpful.

The majority of may very well not easily pick up variety of tote yet usually pick a new programmer bag. Musician purses and bags, artist purse and also the designer bags are the best will be the chosen options for it is rather long-term, exquisite and in design. A really tote offers your headline, personal as well as determining framework of an particular developer. [url=http://www.gagawatchjap.com/]ガガミラノ 時計 メンズ[/url],Nice with the artist provider has reached it has the top to ensure actually world-wide tough economic system right now can not cease the revenue involving Discipline, John Vinton in addition to Gucci, long-lasting it's actually increasing rates. Burberry scarves outlet online Often the overwhelming price of your labeled totes mustn't possibly be which a lot of to manage. [url=http://www.annasuigirl.com/]アナスイ[/url],There are many linked to really great features brand handbags that happen to be worth this excellent substantial price.

Ladies do not actually notice is in reality high-cost nevertheless strength; toughness is just about the many essential needs that each tote need to get. These people move spend a lot to have a custom made tote nevertheless the spending is usually reasonable and fair whenever they get a designer transporter which can be used year after year. For what reason do females like the tailor made handbag? Adult males ladies are obviously popular animals together with extremely popular products always lure these individuals. Programmer totes have in the sophisticated and beautiful styles in conjunction with types.
[url=http://www.tsctech.com/wiki/index.php/Some_sort_of_Sweet_Purchase]¥¯¥í¥à¥Ï©`¥Ä µêÅn[/url]
[url=http://wiki.menntaborg.is/index.php/A_greater_Decision_For_Getting_Affordable_Coach_Purses]¥±¥¤¥È¥¹¥Ú©`¥É ¥Ð¥Ã¥° ÐÂ×÷[/url]
[url=http://www.derechodelaseguridad.com/wiki/index.php/A_Note_to_Taking_once_life_Teenage_years]¥¯¥í¥à¥Ï©`¥Ä Ø”²¼[/url]
[url=http://www.hdd-player.de/umc/wiki2/index.php/Any_model_stylish]¥¯¥í¥à¥Ï©`¥Ä µêÅn[/url]
[url=http://wiki.nmepodium.nl/index.php?title=Any_Leprechaun_Among_Giants]¥±¥¤¥È¥¹¥Ú©`¥É ¥Ð¥Ã¥° ÐÂ×÷[/url]

Clicky Web Analytics