“Don’t let it rent your head” – this is a mantra that has stuck with me for a while now, and I can normally let things go easily… but this one is very much renting my head, and so getting out out in a ‘blog post, so potentially also the lady that is renting my head might see it, is a useful thing to do, if only because it gets out of my head!
I’m one of those people that pretty much always has music in their head – I get ear wormed really easily, and I tend to not bother with a mp3 player in my day-to-day commute as I don’t need one…
For me, the music also leaks out, and I’ll sing, hum or whistle as I’m walking along, in my own little world, sometimes to aid the rhythm of walking at a good pace, but at other times without even realising the sound has externalised.
Over the weekend just gone I was ear wormed by a friend via Twitter – Informer by a Canadian reggae musician called Snow. It came out in 1992, but I didn’t think I had a clue what it was, I’d never heard the title, so I click the link and get a “Oh, that’s what that song is called” moment, which then turns into an ear worm.
The music tends to leak more when I’m tired, and this weekend I didn’t get a great deal of sleep, so a deficit was definitely there. Hence, a whistle of the song as the lyrics roll past my brain’s ears happens as I’m walking, I’m totally in my own head and I’ve not consciously recognising I’m whistling loudly.
So, there I am, Tuesday morning, heading into work around 10:45. Passing through KGX underground from the Picadilly line, and, as I’m coming in from a medical appointment, I decide to head through the tunnel to the exit by Boots which is closer to work, rather than the tunnel that leads to the Post Office, where I usually exit.
Suddenly, a lady looks back over her shoulder and angrily throws the word “Tosser!” at me as she walks past me, faster than I am moving.
I don’t remember all the words we exchanged, but I do remember stopping in my tracks, litterally pulled up for a couple of steps and exclaiming something like “eh? I’m whistling”.
She made another over her shoulder remark about me/it “being disgusting” that made me defensively say “But I’m just whistling, not at you, I’m just whistling a tune”, to which she then angrily said (And this one stuck) “You think that is acceptable behaviour in this country?”
To which my natural response, now spoken rather loudly as she is a good 30 meters in front of me was “Yes, it is totally acceptable to whistle in this Country!”
I know there was another word exchange that I can’t remember before her parting “Piss off!” as she turned into the Circle Gate line, and my returned high volume “You too!!” as I turned to walk up the stairs to the street. (Anyone that knows me knows I can generate volume!)
I hit surface and pretty much burst into tears – Frustrated, angry, jagged breath tears. I headed up to the office and spent a good 10 minutes pulling myself together.
So, why is this exchange renting my head so much?
I think it’s because I feel like I’ve been falsely accused of “doing a wrong” when I know I haven’t – I can only presume that she thought I was a guy that wolf-whistled her. (You know, I’m 5’10” and broad shouldered… In my winter coat, I’m not your typical female silhouette… I reckon I was a good 5″ taller than her)
I think that I’m also on edge about the “this country” part of the comment – So, not only does she potentially think I’m a misogynist pig, she thinks I’m possibly also a foreigner and so therefore was throwing racist sentiment at me.
And these things don’t sit well with me, on a couple of levels. Hence, Head Renting – because I’m not going to get the answers to the below:
If I’ve “done a wrong” I want to know what, so I can remediate that.
And for the life of me, I know I’ve not “done a wrong” even if my actions were perceived as one.
I’m British, I’m English, and born in this very city I’m a Londoner through and through.
And I *know* that my behaviour (walking whilst whistling a tune) was within the bounds of acceptable norms in this fair city, as well as the rest of the UK.
To the lady that so irritated and frustrated me, hopefully, as this is now out of my head and in my ‘blog, I can stop thinking about you.
I wish you well, and hope that the frustration you were feeling that day that caused you to lash out at me are now resolved.
Unconditional Universal Love,