Can I Ruffle the Feathers on Your Sweater?

Oreo Posing in his St. Patricks Day Sweater
Photo by Flickr user sheepguardingllama

Last Friday, I was riding the 12 home after work from SOMA to the Mission. I was staring off into space when the man sitting next to me said, “Excuse me?” I looked up, thinking he might be looking for directions or have some sort of question.

“I don’t know if you know this, but you have feathers or fuzz all over your dress — on the back, and sleeve…”

I looked at my sleeve. It was true. The combination of black dress and fuzzy sweater meant that there was weird linty fuzz all over me.

“Oh yeah, there is. Thanks for letting me know,” I replied.

“Do you want me to wipe it off of you?” He asked me.

The thought of this mild-mannered but still very creepy man touching me in any way was not appealing, so I told him it was fine and that I was heading home soon anyway.

“Well,” he said. “So what’s your sweater made out of?”

Really not wanting to engage any further, I looked at the tag of my cardigan.

“Uh… looks like viscose, cotton and angora,” I read off.

He smiled at me, and I went back to staring out the window. About four stops later, he got off.

I don’t mind making conversation on the bus, but here’s a pro tip: asking other riders if you can touch them — probably not a good idea.

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