Hate and the DC Metro

So a little bit of philosophy in my return to blogging after a couple of weeks off.

Hate is a strong term that gets thrown around too much. People “hate” a certain person on a reality show, someone else “hates” that dude who cut them off in traffic the other day.

I personally have a hard time with the term “hate”, more so than even the term “love” (which, frankly, is even further overused), especially with regard to people. I honestly don’t think I hate anyone, though there are a handful of people who have proven to me to be such scumbags that I never wish to see them again. However, since these people have done me and others wrong, I also really want them to hear about and see the good things I do. This, to me, is the ultimate revenge: proving someone completely wrong.

I think if you really knew me (and who is to say that you don’t, reader?) you might be surprised at how few people belong on this list. There’s 3-4, and I won’t name or even describe them here. I don’t spend time begrudging them or really thinking much about them, but every now and then one crosses my path. I nod, am as polite as extricate myself as quickly as possible.

To expand on this point, I was at a wedding this past weekend, and though this concept certainly didn’t apply to anyone there, it reminded me of a neighbor I had years ago. She and her ex-husband couldn’t be in the same room together, under any circumstances. Therefore the ex-husband willfully chose to skip all weddings, graduations and all other major events in his kids lives in order to avoid his ex-wife, all because he hated her. Frankly, I don’t think this is hate. This is pettiness and childishness of the highest order. Get over it, man. Part of being a semi-functioning adult is to sometimes swallow hard and do what you don’t like for those you love and wish to support. Grudges and hatred will just poison your life.

There are certain things that people do which I absolutely hate, however. It generally involves people doing stupid things with cell phones (like talking on them in movies), cars (not using turn signals) or both (holding the cell phone while you drive and weaving into my lane).

But one thing that’s come up recently involves neither cars nor cell phones (and those who know me are shocked by this development). The worst moment of my day is when I get off the DC metro downtown. This has nothing to do with my job (which I like for the most part) or even the metro itself. There’s just something about falling into a herd of zombie-like people who will push and claw you to be the first out the door, the first on the escalator, and the first through the turnstile. Everyone seems so angry, hostile and determined to get to the front of the line without regards to anyone else, while at the same time completely oblivious to those around him.

I hesitate to think what would happen in a real emergency in this underground, enclosed space with few opportunities of egress. This, of course, gets precipitously worse if I’ve been reading a zombie work during my 30 minute ride downtown.

What do you think, my readers (both of you)? Do you agree that the DC Metro is bringing out some of the worst that humanity has to offer, or am I just over-reacting? Any other places, situations or things you “hate”?