DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have an “airport boredom-relief kit,” consisting of crossword puzzles and an iPod loaded with novels, for use when I am traveling alone. When I arrive at my destination’s airport, I take public transportation to my final stop.
Is it considered rude for me to listen to a book, using headphones, during the ride from the airport?
GENTLE READER: The person who would have sympathized with your problem most was Miss Manners’ own dear mother. She claimed that her own mother had so impressed upon her the need to entertain others that if no one on the city bus was talking, she felt she ought to get them started.
You will be relieved to hear that she did not act on this, and that you carry this responsibility no more than she did. On public transportation, it is polite to allow people to amuse themselves.