Dec 14

All aboard for the pain train!

My daily commuting experience on NJ Transit is almost always marred by some sort of delay, over-crowded and under-heated cars and a cell phone user who insists on sharing his conversation with everyone.

December 14 - makeup The worst offenders, though, are the women who 'put on their face' right alongside me. As I'm reading a book or paper, or editing a bylined article, Jane Doe has her compact out and is carefully applying her lipstick, powdering her nose and fine-tuning the eyebrows. Recently, I sat across the aisle from a woman who was actually plucking out her gray hair and flicking the strands in the aisle.

I was simultaneously amused and appalled.

Leaving behind one's newspaper and empty coffee cup is one thing (and, in some ways, it's a silent 'up yours' to NJT for its horrific service). But, yanking out one's hair in public is way, way over the line.

Ah, but there's the rub. There is no line anymore. As the pillars of society implode so, too, do the rules for conduct and behavior. I think it's actually worsened in the wake of the recent economic downturn. I see and experience behavior that leaves me speechless.

I believe one should be prepared for work when one boards the 7:28. So, here's a note to Jane Doe: leave the damn cosmetic box at home. In fact, if you don't immediately cease and desist, I'm going to bring my shaving kit along and lather up as you're plucking. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Readers, please feel free to share any other particularly egregious behavior you’ve witnessed by others during the morning commute.