Yahoo Beauty reported yesterday the story of a woman who was scolded by a guy for casually touching up her New Year’s Eve makeup on a subway train. He said it was “vulgar.” But then something beautiful happened. The rest of the women on the train responded silently, yet powerfully by grabbing whatever lipstick or mascara they had in their purses and applying their makeup too.
The primp-in-peace flash mob was the ultimate way to shut down a hater. Because let’s be real: whether it’s simply slicking on a fresh coat of lipstick before meeting friends for drinks or applying a full face during the morning commute (props to you if you can accomplish this—my hand isn’t steady enough), the train touch-up is, for many of us, one of the ways we manage to get done the impossible amount of shit we pack into every.single.day.
Refinery29 picked up the story and declared: “Clueless men have been offering unsolicited advice about women’s behaviour and appearances since the beginning of recorded history.” True—but I don’t think these guys are clueless; they’re entitled. Their actions prove that they’ve spent their lives believing their opinion matters above all and deserves to be voiced even at the expense of others.
In solidarity with the women on that NYE train, I polled Team FLARE for everyone’s best Worst Commuter Experience Story—easy, considering I’d witnessed at least three way more “vulgar” things while riding the subway in Toronto just this morning. Here, our list of the Top 10 Things That Are WAY Worse Than Doing Your Makeup on a Train:
1. Prepping for a mani/pedi
“ANYONE CLIPPING THEIR NAILS—FINGERS OR TOES needs to be kicked off immediately. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?” —Briony Smith
2. Leaving a “gift” for the next passenger
“A woman on the subway sneezed into her freebie morning paper—hard—and then put it down on the seat as she went to leave. The woman sitting next to her totally called her out on it and made her take it with her. Nobody wants your snot rag, lady.” —Lindsay Murrell
3. Perfuming the air with rank breath
“Who forgets to brush his teeth in the morning? Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck on a crowded subway car next to Mr. Bad Breath. Gross.” —Alanna Evans
4. Eating *interesting* travel snacks
“Last summer, in a packed and very humid subway car, a man sitting across from me was eating a rather fragrant mango—with the skin still on! He was ripping off huge pieces with his teeth, chewing off the flesh, then spitting out the peel on the floor. I hate-watched him work his way through three mangos before my stop came up.” —Cameron Williamson
“One of my favourite pastimes is entering a near-empty subway car and looking for the most manspreading man spreader on there and sitting down next to him and aggressively planting my thigh at the correct perimeter of my seat, pushing his stupid, entitled leg onto his own seat.” —Briony Smith
6. Bringing the pub along for the ride
“Last summer, on a sweltering streetcar commute home, the gentleman next to me cracked open a tall boy—and misted my bare arm with beer residue. I am not opposed to alcoholic bevvies on the streetcar (how civilized it *could* be!), but I did not appreciate being downstream from some rando’s beer spray. I promptly moved seats, at which point he yelled at me for being a snob. Sigh.” —Maureen Halushak
7. Refusing to budge
“I’m full of rage any time (and this happens at least twice a week) I see a pregnant or elderly person forced to stand because no sitting passengers will offer their seat. I once had to ask a 20-something dude to get up so the very frail-looking lady standing next to me could sit down. The TTC turns people into complete assholes.” —Charlotte Herrold
“Yo, people who choose to sit on the outside seat of the subway/streetcar/bus during rush hour? You’re trash. Either move over or stand up. Having to ASK to sit on the one tiny spot left on the subway car and then watch you roll your eyes and begrudgingly swing your legs sideways for me to awkwardly pass beside you with my vagina shoved into your stupid face is atrocious. I’m not the dick. You are.” —Briony Smith
8. Being *too* pet friendly
“I’ll be the first to admit I’m one of those annoying people who sometimes brings her dog on the TTC (never during peak hours, though, I’m not a monster). Thankfully, her sweet face and highly boopable nose make up for the space she takes up. While I’m usually game for anyone to pet her—she’s a ham and loves it too—I’m not a fan of people who reach out and touch her when she’s obviously appearing a little distressed. One time, we were sitting way in the back of a streetcar (my pooch was quietly minding her own business, lying under my seat), and a strange man approached with VERY long and VERY dirty nails and began taunting her and trying to reach out and scratch her. I asked him to kindly leave her alone (“I think she’s a bit tired and had enough interaction today”), but he persisted until I felt uncomfortable enough to get off and wait for another streetcar. The worst.” —Alanna Evans
9. Spreading the love
“I get so mad at anyone sneezing or coughing directly on me—there’s not enough Cold FX in the world to save me when that happens.” —Vanessa Taylor
“It’s not ‘the worst,’ but I once saw a dude fully sneeze into his hands and then grab onto the pole. On another occasion, a small child licked said pole when his mom wasn’t looking. If you’re still not washing your hands immediately after any time spent on public transit, then I don’t know what you’re doing with yourself.” —Ava Baccari
10. Random acts of grossness
“Around four years ago I was on the bus home from school when the lady sitting beside me decided it would be a good time to take out her dentures and hold them in her hand. Still grosses me out to this day.” —Nicole Tinker
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