The bus - nearly any city bus - has seen more than your 84-year-old grandmother that used to dance alongside Chita Rivera. Most of us city-dwellers ride solo, but the curious introvert never feels alone. You distract yourself from the fact that you’re holding on to the hand rails (with more upper body strength than you thought you ever had) as you develop stories about any one of the peculiar, fascinating human beings that takes this short journey with you.
My micro adventure began when I vacated my seat, and a sweet old man took my spot. Little did he know, I had stood up for entirely selfish reasons - there was a highly pungent smell in the general area. Meandering past a teen couple sharing Pokemon Go strategies, I find a seemingly secure spot to park. I happen to stand directly next to a relatively tall man, clad in red-striped flannel, with a death grip on a medium-sized wireless HP printer.
What happened next could only truly be savored in person; he reached deep into his pocket, and in one swift motion, he opened up a chicken nugget-sized flip phone. As he swiftly typed away with his right thumb, using the T9 function (presumably), I started to wonder what type of guy would purchase a printer that connects to WiFi when his mobile device doesn’t have the same function. Was he purchasing it for his tattooed live-in girlfriend that, earlier that afternoon, tripped over the mass of wires that littered their apartment floor, and cried out that she just couldn’t take it anymore? Was he installing it for his grandmother that assumed her 20-something grandson knew more about technology than she, even though he will need to meticulously read the user manual and take about 5 hours setting it up? Was he just trying to turn over a new leaf?
As I continued to mull it over, I mindlessly unlocked my phone to check Instagram for the third time in the last hour. One of my high school acquaintances that no one has heard from since 2009 besides the occasional vague social media post posted an image with swirly text saying, “People with fewer choices are happier.” This guy liked non-smartphones because he has three options: call, text, or play snake. He most likely picked out the wireless printer closest to the entrance at Best Buy because choosing among hundreds of printers is objectively terrifying; you are forced to live knowing that you are missing out on something. I put away my phone and realized - printer guy pretty much has it all figured out.
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Disclosure: I am promoting my blog because my goal is to make at least a handful of introverts feel like they can use their powerful observational skills and introspection to their advantage in finding meaningful experiences in everyday life.
San Francisco, CA