It’s safe to say that this past year of my life has been spent more in buses than actual cars, or any mode of transportation for that matter (apart from my dedicated role as a pedestrian). I’ve learned the inner workings of public transit systems, how to get from Point A to Point B and vice versa unscathed. During my freshman year of college in Ithaca when I’d find my stash of food running low, I’d study bus schedules in the last few minutes of class and plan out the journey to WalMart, which was the bountiful cornucopia that matched my spending budget. I’d take a bus from campus to downtown, and from there, another bus to a shopping center. It was a tiresome affair, factoring in the treks across parking lots until I saw the white block letters beckoning me. And then there were all the times I took the bus to work during my year-long stint at Applebee’s and all over Cleveland last summer – case in point, the RTA is my bitch, and sometimes I’m theirs when they don’t recognize my inexplicable need to always be fashionably early.
This past weekend I found myself again on a Greyhound bus, en route to visit my boyfriend at his college. I spent most of the ride immersed in Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and looking out the window to admire the remaining foliage. When I started recognizing highway landmarks that signified closeness to my destination, a smile crept across my face. Oddly enough my boyfriend’s school is one of my favorite places to go, not only for the obvious reasons (him being there) but because I just love the atmosphere. It’s easy to feel welcome and just blend in, familiarizing myself with the dizzying sensation of relearning a place and its intricacies.
Incidentally, my boyfriend got us tickets for a football game and while I’m not known for having a soft spot for sports (although as a Cleveland native I’m obligated to take an interest, especially more recently with all the buzz surrounding the Cavs’ win in June and the Indians currently in the World Series), I’ve always wanted to go to a real college football game, rather than watching one on the bar TV from the host stand at work. The singing of the national anthem, the chanting, the marching band performances, cheering at interceptions, the whole enchilada. Now that I’ve been to one, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen so much of the color red in one place in my entire life, not even in Valentine’s Day displays in drugstores or during Shark Week, and aforementioned amount of said color is only acceptable in Ohio Stadium. Go Bucks.
I was only in town for a little over 24 hours, but it was a successful mini weekend getaway. Sunday morning we woke up early and walked a mile to a cafe that I had heard about and wanted to try, and I treated us to overpriced pastries and beverages (Hand to God, I will never spend that much money at a coffee place ever again, but as the saying goes, there’s a first and last time for everything). Seeing the look on my boyfriend’s face when I brought him the fancy hot chocolate I ordered for him was so cute. We walked back to his dorm after and he did homework while I crammed everything back into my North Face backpack, and we played Scrabble on his phone until my Uber came to take me to the bus station. At one point his letters spelled out “bloger” (note that he also had a blank tile) and he said “Hey, that’s what you are!” Cue my swooning.
While commuting to school and going to work has consumed most if not all of my time, this past month granted me ample opportunity to kick back and be myself, and spend time with people I love, which was just what I needed (the whole month of October pretty much felt like a luxury, compared to the shit stain that has been the year of 2016). The boy came home in the middle of October for fall break and we had waffles topped with whipped-cream smiley faces and went for a long walk in the MetroParks while sharing my iPod earbuds, then after opting not to go to a pumpkin patch we watched The Office instead. Miraculously enough, I had last Saturday off as well and took the bus to my hometown to meet one of my dear friends from high school. When I have the time and more than a few dollars to my name, I try to live life by the three L’s – lady friends, lattes, and life chats (fueled by literary recommendations). Among the things that were already sprawled out on my side of the table I had a copy of The New Yorker, and this older guy walked past me, tapped the magazine, and said “You’ll go far.” I think about that moment every day now, and I hope that guy is right. Does one’s choice in reading material indicate how successful they will be later on? I’ll have to wait and see. Maybe I’m one Donald Trump opinion piece away from literary stardom.
My job also generously gave me Halloween off, and in the spirit of things I went trick-or-treating with my little cousins this year, who dressed up as a Ninja Turtle and Princess Sophia respectively. I did not possess the same creative energy that went into last year’s Leslie Knope costume or my Elle Woods ensemble the year before that, so I settled on buying a red bandana and going as Rosie the Riveter (I already had a shirt and red lipstick ready to go). Plus, I couldn’t think of inspiring blonde women to dress up as, fictitious or not – Martha Stewart certainly was not on my list, and to go as Hillary Clinton would have probably caused an uproar among my Trump supporter neighbors. My grandpa insisted on me wearing a toolbelt in order to authenticate my look and while I appreciated the gesture, kids pointed at me and asked their parents what I was supposed to be. One mother had the audacity to call me a handyman. Yes, you read that right. Man. At what age do we start showing kids World War II propaganda with feminist undertones? Clearly not soon enough.
My glee-filled month has come to an end, and now it’s back to the grindstone. This past week the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life trailer came out and I teared up all five times I watched it. I even showed it to my grandma before I left for school one day and sure enough, I waved my hand in front of my face and took a deep breath the way a distressed woman in the eighteenth century would. All there’s left to do is to keep my head down and prop it back up when the new season of Gilmore Girls starts streaming on Netflix.
Until next time,