Friday, September 28, 2012

A bad bus day.

Well, it happened.  I knew it would at some point.  I've been expecting it.

The day came that made me never, ever, ever as long as I live, ever want to take the bus ever again in my entire life.

It was Tuesday.  My mom offered to pick me up from school, but I figured, by the time she gets down here I could already be on the bus, so why waste her time, right?

Well.  Mistake #1.  The bus was 10 minutes late.

So that was a slight inconvenience, but I still had lots of time, and the weather was gorgeous so waiting outside wasn't so bad, so really, it was no biggie.

When it finally rolled up, I climbed up into the big ol' thing, flashed the driver my U-Pass like the expert bus-rider I am, and the first thing I notice is, holy shit, it frickin' STINKS in here.  I can't describe the smell.  I don't even want to try.  All I know is, it's nasty, I am starting to gag, and I'm wondering if I'll be able to hold my breath all the way home??

I start walking down the aisle, still overcome by the smell, and then I realize - there are no empty seats.  NO EMPTY SEATS.  I have to SIT with somebody.  I HAVE TO SIT WITH SOMEBODY.  It is bad enough when someone sits beside me, but now I have to go and sit beside someone else.  I do not like this.  I do not like it one little bit.  But my only other option is to stand, and I am not coordinated enough to stand on a moving bus; if I were to try that there's a good chance I'd lose my balance and land in someone's lap and if that ever happened I think I'd cry (as would the person I land on).  So, I did what I had to do: I chose the tiniest person on the bus to sit next to, and I hugged my bag tight to my chest and sat on the seat so that one ass cheek was hanging off, thus preventing any potential shoulder-bumps with the person next to me.  As per my own personal bus rules, I keep my eyes straight ahead.

I am not comfortable.  This is not fun.  I hope this guy gets off soon.  Also, I should really try and lose that last 10 pounds.  Maybe then my ass cheek wouldn't have to hang off the edge like this.

THEN, dude-with-a-skateboard materializes from the back of the bus, and decides he needs to talk to the bus driver RIGHT NOW.  I can hear him moving, so I break my rule (I'M SUCH A DUMMY!) and I turn my head to the side to look; and like it's in slow-motion and I'm powerless to stop it from happening, he grabs the pole behind me on his way past, and in the process HE TOUCHES THE SIDE OF MY FACE.

Now I'm really starting to freak out and am contemplating getting off at the next stop (or flinging myself out of the bus while it's still moving, whatever) and calling my mommy to come pick me up after all.

I manage to keep it together, and my seat mate gets off at the mall.  WHEW.  I lay my leg and my bag across the whole seat once he gets off, which I am aware is a total asshole move, but I don't care.

Then, the smell comes back.  What even IS that??!  Is it food?  B.O.?  Did somebody pee their pants back there?!  Is it ME??  Does nobody else smell this??  Can you open windows on a bus and stick your head out like a dog?  Because that's totally what I want to do right now.  I'm now silently choking on the stench, wondering what the driver would say about me climbing on the seat and sticking my head out the window, as the bus starts to head up a big hill.  Normally, the bus whips up and down the streets at warp speed.  But today?  Oh, no.  Today, we are CRAWLING up the hill.  Because of COURSE we are; why wouldn't the stinkiest bus ever, also be the slowest?!  I could've pushed the stupid thing and we would've gone faster.

Late bus.  Awful smell.  Had to sit with someone.  Got touched.  Went slow up the hill.

I might have to re-think my protest of $4-a-day parking, and drive to school every once in awhile...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Look at me, all college-y!

I'm back at school!!

Yay, me!

I just started an 8-month program at TRU, and I'm super excited about it.  I know with 100% certainty that when it's all over, I will be very good at this job.

But I have to get through the next 8 months first!

And with a family, obviously, I have a lot of juggling to do.  The giant globs of toothpaste don't clean themselves out of the sink (or off the mirror, countertop, taps, towels, light fixtures, honestly what the hell does my family do in there, can nobody spit in a straight line anymore?!?)  And as happy as the kids and I might be to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for supper every night, Shawn not so much.  And it's not like I can stick Mackenzie in a cab and send her down to her piano lesson, or do the kids' homework for them after they go to bed.  So, I still have to clean, and cook, and shuttle kids around, and all of the things I've been doing for all these years, only now I need to add classes and homework and papers and presentations into the mix.

Fun, right?

Actually, I totally think it will be.  I can tell you this much, after Week One:  it beats the crap out of sitting at home for 6 hours waiting for my kids to finish school.

On another note, I need to tell you something, let's consider this almost a confession of sorts because I still can't quite believe it's happening:


Oh, yes, I am.  I know it's a little shocking considering the fact that public transit is just something I do NOT enjoy.  I don't know if it's because as a kid, I took the bus everywhere - orthodontic appointments, organ lessons, to the mall with my friends, etc; or, because of the interesting clientele you tend to see on the bus; or because as I got older I developed a slight fear of germs, and let's face it, public transit is a cesspool.  Whatever the reason, I've avoided public transit at all costs for the past, like, 20 years.

But now, and if you tell anyone I said this I will totally tell them you're a liar...

I actually don't mind it.


I have my little bus schedule in my school bag, I have my little U-Pass, and I really don't mind sitting there for the 10-15 minute ride.  I can text or play Scrabble on my phone, or watch people and make up stories about them in my head, or just look out the window and not have to pay attention to the road.  I mean, yeah, the minute I get home or to school, I head straight for the bathroom and scrub my hands from fingertip to elbow, but in the end, it's totally OK, this bus business.

Today, though, someone SAT BESIDE ME.

Yep.  Right beside me.  I was like, OMG, do NOT make eye contact, do NOT touch this person, OH GOD WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, WHY IS THIS PERSON SITTING NEXT TO ME, IS THIS SERIOUSLY THE ONLY EMPTY SEAT ON THIS WHOLE STUPID BUS!?!?!?  But - and kudos to me for this - I remained completely calm.  Stone-faced.  Cool as a cucumber, that was me!  I kept my eyes forward and shoved myself as close to the window as I could without seeming super-obvious that the thought of someone sitting next to me was giving me the willies.  Granted, it was a teeny tiny, attractive, lovely-smelling woman, so I know it could've been so much worse, it was like the universe knew to ease me in to the fact that sometimes, people will have no other choice but to sit with me, and this lovely little woman being my first seemed like the best place to start.

It was fine.  I survived.  I got off at the university and went to class and that was that.

I did call Shawn for a ride home though.