Monday, July 12, 2010
Suburban Sabbatical Week 10: My Busband and me
I realize it's been weeks since I've updated on my suburban Summer. It's not for lack of material. It's just that once I start in on a topic - no matter the direction - it somehow downward spirals into the conclusion that living 1.5 hours bus-ride-hours away from your entire existence suuuucks. And I try not to say sucks too much; it upsets my Mom.
But after 10 weeks of commuting four hours a day I am pleased to report that I've found the silver lining in my 5:15am mornings, 10pm arrivals home, and I-currently-share-a-room-with-a-21-year-old... His name is either Evan, Sam, Josh, or Jake (but maaybe also Bobby) - but to me (slash my entire family) he is my Bus-band.
My Busband takes the Route 139 NJ Transit 55-seater from Freehold Mall to New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal ("The Poop") - just like me. We tend to hit the 6:53 non-express piloted by either 75- year-old-Darryl-Hannah or Everyone's-10th-grade-geometry-teacher (so, Mr. Pendergast). But one Tuesday and two Fridays we enjoyed our respective home-brewed Dunkin French Vanillas in our respective (parents?) homes and read the New York Times on our Mac laptops for just five more minutes before sauntering to make the 7:03, I imagine. We both love to live on the edge (three times), and have a soft spot for Ted-Danson-Cheers-years, despite his insistence on saying, "Aaanndd, Elvis is in the building folks!" when he arrives at The Poop (every GD time...).
My Busband and I have yet to speak (verbally), but I'm fairly certain he works in either advertising, engineering, journalism or at a non-big-four accounting firm. This I've deduced from a combination of explicit clues and things-I'm-making-up. For example: his dress.
Business casual but with a tendency toward button downs and Ferragamo loafers (we'll get to those) versus polo shirts and/or dressy T's with boat shoes. Finance or major accounting firm and he'd be in a suit or at the very least tie. Also, there is a bus that goes directly to Wall Street, which he's clearly opting against. I've determined this is either because he does not work anywhere near Wall Street or because he noticed my arrival at the Route 139 to the Poop while in line for the Route 325 to Wall Street and decided - hell, I'll just take the subway. Unclear.
So finance, good accounting firms and probably law are all out leaving us with the list of options I'm willing to allow for our life together: engineer/architect, journalism, and ad agency. As I see it, these professions attract the type I refer to (affectionately) as the Metro-Nerd. Non-gelled hair but in a well-kept cut. Newspaper in tow, but the read-order goes Front Page then Sports. iPhone or latest Blackberry, but no Kindle or Nook. This is Metro-Nerd not Techno-sexual.
It is worth noting that my Busband carries a fashionable male messenger bag (yes, Jack Spade), which does make both his sexuality and relationship status suspect but he drives an incredibly old Jeep Wrangler (soft top), which is not the car of a gay man or suburban fiance (stereotypically speaking). And I know - there are those pristine Ferragamo loafers, but they're black and he sometimes wheres them with outfits clearly requiring a brown shoe. No gay man would make that mistake and no girlfriend would allow it to be made.
And so we go on - morning in and evening out - enduring this silent dance together. When he boards the bus before I, I saunter past his regular spot (left side, 6th row in, window position) with obviously purposeful non-direct eye contact. A sort of non-hello hello with an undertone of we're-in-this-together-but-not-like-I-call-you-my-Busband-or-anything-weird-like-that...
When I board the bus before he, I sit down in any row before the 6th row on the left side, aisle position, quickly whip out my iTouch and speed-scroll to Podcasts: This American Life with the screen ever-so-slightly-angled to the side so passers-by may see my intellectual en-route routine.
Do I long for the day when we might finally speak - a, "hhm, the 6:53 is late today...wonder what the issue is?" or, "(yawn) Friday's are tough, huh? 'Least my media agency job allows me to wear jeans. You?" Yes, of course I do. As you know, long-drawn-out processes for meeting mysterious potential husbands is kind of my forte.
But do I really want to date this fellow Monmouth County money saver who's either on an identical campaign to bolster the Roth IRA (slash start one) or simply chooses to live 1.5 hours from his job slash life?
No way. He's either too young to make enough money to afford to live enough. Too foolish to have squandered away what he did, necessitating the move home. Or too committed to life in Freehold, New Jersey to consider moving closer to his entire livelihood.
None of those situations are datable. I mean, do you know how much it suuuucks to commute four hours a day every single day?!
To be continued.