A few weeks ago, as I was waiting on the platform to catch the train home, some guy standing nearby looked me up and down and smiled. I smiled back in a kind of tight-lipped way, and went back to reading the news on my phone. He looked at my bag and said “Doesn’t look like there are books in there. Are you in school?” I said no, that it was my lunch from work. Then he asked where I worked. I gave him kind of a vague answer, and then smiled and went back to the news. He didn’t take the hint, but instead asked a few more probing questions about my job, which I grudgingly answered. Then he started talking about his employment history, and his educational history. Apparently he was an Engineering major in undergrad, then went to grad school for an Engineering degree, and now he was back for an MBA. “There just isn’t enough money in Engineering. I want to make 7 figures in 6 years.” I kind of laughed and said “Well, good luck with that” and then (pointedly) went back to my phone. He kept talking, drilling me on what I did for fun (you LIKE to read?) where I lived (you should move somewhere more glamorous like downtown where I live), etc. Finally, mercifully, I saw the train approaching. Before it pulled up he said “You’re a pretty cute chick. What’s your relationship status?”
Ok, first of all I was trying to give this guy every signal that I was not interested in chatting. I didn’t want to be downright rude, but I was not exactly inviting. I talk to people all day long at work. The commute home is my buffer time to zone out and decompress. What I don’t want to do is make small talk with some random guy who is trying to hit on me. Second of all, I dislike it when guys called girls “chicks.” It’s a silly thing to be particular about, but I just think of baby chickens when I hear “chick.” I am not a chicken. Third, my “relationship status?” What is this, Facebook?