An Open Letter

Dear Idiot Woman on the 8:30 train from Cheonho to Jamsil,


I want you to know that this morning was the first time I’ve ever had the disgrace of being caught in the closing doors of the train. And I also want you to know that I hold you entirely responsible. Your behavior this morning was selfish and inexcusable. I had waited in that long line on the platform the same as you. As a rule, I do not push and I do not squeeze my way onto a full car. It’s a principle I stick to without fail. However, this morning Moron Man Behind Me wanted desperately to be on this particular train. I was going with the flow, minding my own business and moving towards the doors in a timely manner, making sure not to leave an inch in between you and me in case any ajumma got the idea of whacking herself into that space with a ridiculously oversized handbag. But when you walked into the train and did an about-face and stood firmly in that prized spot “by the door where the nice little personal handle is conveniently located,” you made it impossible for me to get on the train. I was okay with this. You wanna be that way, fine. But Moron Man had his forearm pressed firmly across my back and was pushing me into you. But you just stood there, refusing to give way, although there was space behind you. I was being forced through the doorway when the doors began to slam shut. Have you ever felt the crush of automatic sliding doors? You would think the rubber tubing would provide some kind of cushion, but it doesn’t. Nope. One door punched my left arm while the other sexually assaulted my right shoulder and frisked my purse. They both jumped back open after running into the obstruction of myself. I fell into you and you just held onto the nifty little handle you believe was put there just for you. No eye contact, of course. Poor Moron got the brunt of both doors as he muscled his way in directly on my tail. They finally shut and I inched my way around your offensive and unforgiving body to stand in the space behind you.

Again, I ask. Really? Because this kind of behavior is childish. Even if you’re only going one stop, it’s not good etiquette to go through a doorway and then stand in it. Not on the subway, not anywhere. I don’t care that you wore your favorite pink dress suit. It was ugly and the skirt was a stupid length anyway. I also don’t care that you decided your dumb hair needed to be fluffed and that you came dangerously close to poking my right eye out with your selfish little fingers. I’ll do you a kindness and go ahead and tell you the truth: that perm was a mistake and the raucous fluffing didn’t help. However, I do care that the steadfastness with which you held your position this morning screams repeat offender. Is this a habit? It is disrespectful to the people around you. And it defies all common sense. Please, please exercise some common courtesy and remember your brain tomorrow morning. And give Moron Man my regards, because you’re obviously in some kind of Most Obnoxious Commuters League.

May the grace of God find you and teach you how to respect others, how to be generous in shared space, and good grief how to fix your hair.


Oh dear readers, did I say that I was tired of rage? Because I am. But just because you are weary of an emotion doesn’t mean it still won’t course its way through your body, leaving you exhausted and wishing that everyone would go away and you could get to work by yourself somehow, without seeing a single person.

Will to live another day in the city on a scale of 1 to 10: Negative. Below zero.
Wish to move to the countryside ASAP: Overwhelming


  1. It's a big city, I would just push such individuals out of the way. Not only is it morally equivalent to their behaviour it is also extremely cathartic. But don't let the pushing become exhilarating, or you may find your self tackling unfortunate individuals on half empty trains.

  2. fanfrickingtasticMay 11, 2008 at 10:59 PM

    I read all I need to know when you said this woman has a PERM. The disgrace of this act is unimaginable to my sensitive system. I would have forcibly moved her off the door spot by her nasty processed perm. <3


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