Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

There are certain circumstances when you can learn a lot about a person. Getting lost. Putting up Christmas lights. And waiting for the bus in the middle of a snow storm. I got to test out that third theory with about 200 strangers this afternoon.

Old man winter paid the Windy City a visit today... dumping snow onto Michigan Avenue and the rest of Chicago continuously since about 10 a.m.

As I sat in front of my desk, facing a bleak, frozen river from the 14th floor, I felt like I had been glued into a gigantic snow globe. And someone kept shaking things up.

With each hour came the impending doom of my commute home. Had I not had an end of day deadline that I didn't finish until 5:20... I would have been out of there by 3.

After hitting send, I slowly put on my armour (aka coat, furry boots, extra five wool jackets, hat, scarf and gloves) and headed out in the battlezone.... the bus stop.

This is when I learned a lot about a lot of people. As I approached the corner of South Water and Michigan Ave, I couldn't help but notice the intimidatingly large swarm of people who also had the crazy idea to go home tonight. As I stood there, and the swarm started to multiply, we watched about a dozen bus number 20s pass us by (p.s. does ANYONE know where that bus goes? Because I'm about to move there).

The reactions varied amongst the crowd to this shitshow called rush hour. Many started calling loved ones, describing in detail the dreary situation that lay ahead of them. Others (like myself) huddled in the corner of a building or behind a pole, convinced that frostbite would come before the 143 or 151. But most everyone had the oh-F*ck look on their face... knowing it was going to be awhile before they could crawl into warm sweatpants, eat dinner and hit the DVR button.

Then the 143 bus came. Ahead of me people pile on. I go to step in... and realize it's completely full. F it. Then the 151 bus comes. I swear... it happens again.

Then I get smart and go to the bus stop one block south. Suckers... I'm on! And after only two stops... and a 1/2 an hour passes... I achieve a VIP bus seat... window! Things are looking up. It took me two hours and fifteen minutes, but I'm back and safe in my warm apartment. Nothing to it.

Like I said, I learned a lot about Chicagoans today. Everyone realized that this commute was going to be about as fun as a hangover at Disney World...but some realized they weren't alone and others just wanted to be alone. For example, I was consoled by a stranger who had also just missed the cut to get on the bus... but then also was completely cut off by a dude who clearly could care less about being a gentlemen at this point. 

Needless to say, I did not travel the extra mile for book club... and I did not make it to the grocery store to get quarters for laundry. So I'm forced to put on my sweatpants, post a ridiculously long blog (or blogs) and call it a night. 

Stay warm, Chicago!! 

Tell me about your commute... did you make it home? Get stuck in the suburbs? Get a date?


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