2005-02-25 - 9:41 p.m.
Miss Manners is my hero
I just spent altogether too much time reading some horrifying stories about what we (women, family members, humans, etc.) do to each other while justifying each instance as "It's just advice". Gah! If you are a mother, know a mother, or have a mother, you need to read some of these stories. I'm actually a little scared by some of the things people think they have a right to say/do, and I'm thankful I've had the tact (common sense?) to avoid saying at least these things to others. I realize that we all hurt each other in different ways. And I know I've hurt people without knowing it and have been hurt by people who meant nothing of it. It just seems symptomatic of a society that most people agree is getting ruder and less empathetic -- on a large scale (I feel that for much of the last few years, the U.S. has been raising a figurative middle finger to the rest of the world. We can do what we want and you can't stop us?) and a small scale (the people who write timely, polite, and personalized thank-you notes for weddings/showers/birthdays/Christmas/etc. catch me by surprise instead of being expected). So before I step off my soapbox for a bit -- try to give people compliments more often than usual. Maybe you'll make someone's day, keep them from crying, help them get through a tough time ahead.
In Which I Justly Complain and Will Be Ignored As Usual; or Another Open Letter to the CTA
You have complained repeatedly that ridership is dropping and you have no more money with which to operate. You can neither keep fares stable, keep schedules and stations open, nor pay for Frank Kreusi's yacht fuel. I make my goal to use my car as little as possible and to support your (stated) goals of publit transit for all.
So please STOP PROVIDING HORRIBLE SERVICE! For the last 3 Fridays in a row, I have been forced to walk a mile in freezing temperatures. I've sucessfully ridden your Orange Line to the Halsted stop. I've then stood outside waiting for the #8 Halsted-79th ("service every 7-9 minutes during rush hour!") bus for an average of 20 minutes each week. My results follow:
Week 1: It wasn't too cold (in the 40s -- comfortable for a Chicago February), I spent 20 minutes walking home, and didn't see another bus the entire 40 minutes. No wait, I did. I saw 4. But they were all going north.
Week 2: I waited 20 minutes, started walking home, got about 3 blocks from home, and saw two busses (friends? newlyweds? somehow inseparable, apparently) pass at the same time. This was after about 35 minutes. Not 7 to 9 minutes.
Week 3: I waited 20 minutes, started walking home, and noticed a bus. There were about 40 people waiting for the bus, so I decided it wasn't worth it to take a miserably crowded bus home. Ha! I got a little farther (just far enough to not turn back) and there was another one! (maybe not newlyweds this time. But still happy enough together to want the option of cuddling)
Perhaps I should give up on taking the bus on Fridays? Or (the more preferable option) you should notice that your Friday busses aren't going to run on schedule and add some more busses to the route!
Thank your for your attention. I look forward to riding the new and improved CTA.
Why the Amount of Time I Spend Imagining Must Be Regulated
Scene: Me at home alone on a Friday night (again) while my husband is subbing for a friend's bowling team (again).
Set: My front room at 8:30pm. Watching TV, playing on the internet. Dark outside (well, as dark as it gets in Chicago -- the streetlights aren't exactly dim).
A doorbell rings. The large dog runs to the door, tail wagging. I go to the door, making sure the dog is visible in case anyone has nefarious intentions.
Average Looking Middle Aged White Guy: Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I'm working at the business across the alley from your garage, and your garage door is open.
Me: Oh, my husband must have left it open when he left. I'll go close it. Thanks for letting me know.
ALMAWG: Sure. Have a good night.
Me: You too.
Closes door, begins internal dialogue.
Sane Me: Well that was nice of that man. And the dog didn't even bark at him -- he's so good at differentiating between when I'm concerned about something/one and when I'm not.
Paranoid Me: Why did I tell him my husband was gone? He knows I'm alone now! I'm all alone and the man is going to come back and break in and...
Sane Me: Ummm... He came all the way around to the front of the block just to make sure that no one stole our air conditioner or our luggage out of our garage. He's nice.
Paranoid Me: Maybe he was just the stoolie (is that the word? Stoolie?) for a whole gang of evildoers! He was probably trying to get me to go out the the garage where big, scary men are waiting with guns and knives to get me!
Sane Me: Okay. If you're that worried, we'll take the dog.
Paranoid Me: What if they shoot the dog!?!?!!
Sane Me: Settle the hell down.
Paranoid Me: GAAHAHAHAHAHHHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Walks out to garage with dog, closes garage door (apparently tenant in basement of shared two-flat had left it open, not husband as so rudely blamed before), plays with dog in backyard, comes back inside.
Sane Me: Well, was that as bad as you thought?
Paranoid Me: No. I make no guarantees about what I'll say next time though. Please feed me with beer.
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