Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Joy" in the Morning

On Sunday night Matt and I were talking with friends of ours who are considering going down to one car. They don’t often drive alone and she often takes the bus to work. The 2nd car was more of a want rather than a need. Matt and I were astonished. We could never even dream about going down to one car. We both do so much independent driving. Plus, I drive the cutest little mini cooper and I couldn’t even think about parting with her. Well, we got deeper into the “down to 1 car” conversation, and suddenly it didn’t seem like such a terrible idea. My car won’t be paid off for another 4 ½ years and it is more expensive to insure than Matt’s. Matt’s car will be paid off in December. No car payment. Just the mere thought of that allowed us to consider what it might be like. We decided that for a week or 2 we would try and run on one car and see how it works out for us. I decided that since there is a direct bus route running from where we live to my job, that I would be the one to try the bus first. I am from New York and am used to riding subways at all hours of the day and night, but I have never really ridden the bus. I just never saw myself as a city bus person. The night before my first bus trip to my job I had all kinds of anxiety. The morning came quick and it was pouring. I thought, “Ok, maybe we will start the experiment tomorrow.” However, it soon stopped raining and then I had no excuse. I thought about reneging, but the thought of going back on what I said I would do made me feel weak and like a failure. I got myself together, packed a bag like I was going on an airplane, poured my mate tea in my Starbucks to-go mug and headed down the street towards the bus stop. The anxiety continued to mount. What would I see on the bus? Would I fumble dropping all my quarters in the machine? Would people sense I was an amateur bus rider? What if there were no seats? What if the bus broke down? What if…?
I arrived at the bus stop with 2 people waiting there: a middle aged man and an older woman. I asked if I was waiting for the right was and they assured me I was. I started to talk with the lady waiting at the stop with me and told her I was new to the whole bus thing, even though I’m from New York and have ridden tons of subways. We ended up getting on the same bus and talked until she got off a few stops before mine. She was such a pleasant lady and I really enjoyed our conversation. I felt bad because I never got her name. The rest of the trip was lovely, actually. As lovely as a bus ride can be I suppose. We never got on the highway and the driver took the scenic route. It was peaceful and quite distressing (is that a word?). I just got to sit there, drink my tea, listen to my ipod and I was even afforded good conversation. The bus was anything but packed and was quite clean.
The next morning I went back for my 2nd day on the bus. Only this time I was at the stop an hour earlier than the day before. Guess who I saw?! My friend from the previous day! We waved as I walked up and I sat down next to her. We started talking and I finally got her name. It was Joy. How fitting. She truly was a joy and without her my first day on the bus would have been significantly less enjoyable. We didn’t get on the same bus that day; however, I know I will be seeing Joy at the bus stop again. I love life because of the beautiful and seemingly random connections we make with others. I say seemingly random, because while it seems a coincidence…it only seems like coincidence.
If going down to one car means more bus rides, less stress from driving and fabulous encounters with great people…well then…there you have it.


Lauren Kelly said...

Seriously, you don't blog often but when you do I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you have to say. I hope you're doing well, girl :)

Lauri said...

Hey Maria!
The timing you write this is so interesting. Matt's car had to have bunch of repairs done this week, so we had to share my car. And you know good 'ole Long Island, not so car-less friendly! But it was not really unrealistic. Matt works in Commack, a I need to be in Stony Brook everyday, and we still are living in EI, but we managed. It was nice having company during part of our commute, and getting picked up from work (even if it meant staying another hour). So all in all, We would go down to one car, if the Public trans was better or when we move to the city.
At the time when I commuted to the city, I enjoyed the train ride, not sitting traffic, relaxing, reading, and the list goes on. If you can you should!

Sara said...

Way to be.
I've ridden more city buses in NY, than I have in Minneapolis... and I've only spent a week of my life in NY! I can't imagine not having a car here!!!