On the one side:
The other day after work, I was talking on the phone on the Light Rail station platform while waiting for the train to go home. I was talking to my friend who was ready to have a baby (and has since had a healthy baby boy!) any day.
Just as I was asking about baby names, some one tapped me on my arm and said, “Amy, I yelled ‘Hello’ to you three times!”
It was a colleague, who had been waiting on the platform, too. Because I was so engrossed in the baby talk, I hadn’t even noticed her trying to get my attention. She seemed put out.
On the other side:
On any given day, approximately five of my friends and family members are at different points of anger with me for not picking up the phone when they call me.
Nine times out of 10, I don’t pick up the phone, because I’m interacting with someone in person and either don’t hear the phone ring or don’t want to interrupt the present interaction.
Chew on that.
I hate to write about dog poop again, but our dog has diarrhea. Four times last night, he nosed the sheets to get us to let him outside. With a good amount of lost sleep, the morning didn’t start out well. And then:
- I was too tired to get up when the alarm went off, so I skipped my workout.
- The tights that matched the skirt I put on were in the laundry. (I pulled them out and put them on—desperate times.)
- I tried to squeeze one too many tasks into my morning multi-tasking and burned my oatmeal to the pot.
- My favorite cream-top whole milk had gone sour, so I had to use Tom’s Lactaid in my coffee.
I resigned to the fact that it was going to be a crappy morning, but then:
- I made it out of the house in time to catch the early bus, which I always shoot for but rarely make.
- On the long ride on the “0” bus, I got pleasantly lost in the book I’m reading (Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides).
- While transferring to the Mall Shuttle, I heard the ding that means the doors are closing and began running, and the driver held the doors for me!
The Mall Shuttle drivers never hold the doors.
On mornings that I bike to work, I dodge piles of dog poop as I roll my bike out of the garage. When I come home it’s dark, so I assume I’ve stepped in and rolled through quite a few piles.
A lot of dogs poop in our driveway … or a few dogs poop a lot in our driveway. Either way, there’s a lot of dog poop in our driveway—and none of it is from our dog.
I realize that a certain amount of illicit pooping is bound to happen in any neighborhood, but from the positioning of these poops—deep into the driveway, right up next to our fence—it’s apparent that people are bringing their dogs, likely on leash, to our driveway for the express purpose of pooping. Our driveway is somewhat secluded back by the alley, making undetected pooping easier, but it’s all over our tree lawn too.
We walk or run our dog and pick up his poop every time (except that one time when he pooped twice and I’d only brought one bag, but now I always bring two bags, and I picked up an extra pile in the park that wasn’t ours later that week to make up for it in the dog poop cosmos). Then, we come home and spend weekend afternoons picking up the poop of dogs whose owners have neither brains nor consciences.
We plan to pave our weedy gravel driveway in the spring, but until then, we’re spending a good deal of time dodging dog poop and thinking hateful thoughts about our neighbors. I place blame fully on the owners, not the dogs, and I’d love to learn a way to make it all stop.
I’ve seen empty milk jugs stuffed full of plastic grocery bags and hung from trees and fences around the neighborhood. These on-site poop-scooping supplies seem to say, “There, now you have no excuse.” I’ll likely try that, and probably a sign, too.
Any other clever ideas?
Yesterday morning, I left the house wearing a pair of ribbed orange tights. They were a birthday gift from my sister, who knows I love both tights and bright colors. I boarded the bus. Two stops later, a woman boarded the bus—wearing ribbed orange tights exactly like mine.
When you wear orange tights, you don’t expect to see someone else wearing the same tights. I wondered if any of the other passengers noticed. I wondered if they thought we knew each other. I wondered if they they thought her brown tweed skirt looked better with the ribbed orange tights than my striped gray one did.
And here, I’d left the house feeling so unique and adventurous.
A) A 5-minute bus ride, followed by a 13-minute train ride, followed by a 10-minute walk.
B) A 30-minute bus ride, followed by a 7-minute shuttle ride, which lands you practically on the doorstep of your office.
Option A definitely gets you to work more quickly and works in a little exercise and fresh air. Option B lets you settle in, stay warm in the winter, finish a chapter of your book or maybe take a brief snooze. Both options are equal in cost, because you have an annual transit pass.
It’s decisions like these that keep my life interesting.
The woman was not a U.S. native. I’m not sure where exactly she was from. She spoke with what I thought might be an Indian accent, and when she boarded the bus, so too did a delicious curry smell.
A young woman had boarded the bus with her and was explaining to her which stop to get off at to go to the hospital. I assume they’d just become acquainted at the bus stop.
“Do you need to go to the emergency room?” asked the young woman.
“Yes, my baby is sick,” replied the woman sitting next to me.
Then, my phone rang. I pulled it out of my bag, but no call appeared to be coming in. I opened it (yes, I have a flip phone), but no one was on the line. The ringing continued. I looked at my phone again. The ringing stopped.
A few minutes later, my phone rang again. I pulled it out of my bag and opened it. No call appeared to be coming in. The ringing continued. I looked at my phone again. I looked around at my fellow riders. No one else was fumbling to answer their phone.
My phone rang a third time. From underneath her big shawl, the woman sitting next to me pulled out a phone that was ringing my ring, and was identical to my phone. It wasn’t my phone doing the ringing!
I held my not ringing phone up to her, smiled, and said, “Same phone, same ring.” She smiled and nodded. Maybe she didn’t understand me. Or maybe she was annoyed that some lady on the bus was comparing phones with her when she was trying to get her sick kid to the hospital.
At the Speer Boulevard stop, she got up to get off the bus.
“Down the hill to Denver Health,” the younger woman said. The woman, her children, and the curry aroma got off the bus, and the younger woman took a seat next to me.
“Poor thing,” she said.
“That was really nice of you,” I said, and I thought about all four of them the rest of the way home.
This morning, I arrived at my office and noticed that I was missing a mitten.
After spitting a few expletives under my breath, I began to mentally retrace my steps. I remembered taking the mittens off as I entered the building, so I knew I hadn’t dropped them on the sidewalk or left them on the bus. I remembered getting on the elevator. It must be lying on the floor of the elevator, I thought, with triumph. I’ll just go back and get it.
The trouble is my office building has four elevators. I couldn’t remember which elevator I’d taken. And, even if I could’ve remembered, how could I purposefully get on that particular elevator. You press the button, and whichever elevator is available first opens its doors.
There was a time in my life when I could’ve calculated the permutation or combination or whatever to tell me the odds of getting the right elevator with my mitten in it. This morning, I just thought, “This is going to take a long time.”
I headed back to the elevators to begin having fun with probability. Then, I saw my mitten lying on the floor in the hallway outside my office. I smiled, grabbed it, and went back to my office.
And now, the question still stands: How do you search an elevator for a lost mitten?