Sunday, December 02, 2007

Whirlwind trips, creepy bus passengers and humility too

Well, the wedding reception for my Marine cousin and his new wife was lovely. Birmingham was a welcome dose of Southern. And I think I talked more to my other cousin (the Marine's little brother) than I ever have in my life, which is seriously a good thing. I was so glad to be there and be supportive; family drama made things awkward at first, but then it was awesome and there was great family bonding time. There's nothing like a wedding to draw together a family. I don't think I've ever enjoyed just talking with my extended family so much as I did at this reception- and I wasn't even drunk ;-). It was beautiful and I'm so so so grateful I got to be there.

But the journey back- golly gee wiz*! To recap, attending this reception meant leaving on a 10:10 AM bus to Chicago, catching a 3:50 flight to Bham, attending reception, driving to the Atlanta airport early the next morning, taking a 11:50 flight to Chicago, and then catching a 1:15 bus out to school. The journey down went smoothly. But coming back involved 14 hours of travel because Illinois and Indiana decided to have a snow and ice storm. I am SO LUCKY that my flight made it into Chicago- when we landed, I literally could not see the ground coming until I felt the bump of hitting the runway and then lights along the runway were slightly visible through the thickly-falling snow. However, my plane didn't land in time for me to catch the bus back to Notre Dame, so I had to wait two or three hours for the next one. No big, but good God, there is no sadder place than O'Hare during the holidays when snow storms have caused universal flight cancellations. People were crying, yelling, pouting, and staring out into space in the bus terminal, where I occupied a plastic chair and waited for the bus. Long lines of angry people stood in direct contrast to the forced holiday cheer of the santa-hat-wearing help desk people, and exhausted little kids tugged at ornaments on the fake trees. By the time the bus showed up, I had never been so ready to be back at school.

But my trials were not over, dear reader. The world's creepiest man picked me to sit next to on the four hour bus trip. I was forced to physically pick up his hand by the wrist and put it on his own lap while he pretended to be innocently asleep on no less than three occasions, and no amount of polite shoulder-tapping, gentle shoves, or unhappy glares convinced the man that it would be wise to keep his hands to himself. During the ordeal, I was indignant, and it was only after three hours of riding next to him, after he got off the bus, that I was truly afraid, realizing how much worse it could have been. Especially since no one on the nearly silent, full bus assisted me at all as I kept asking the man (loudly, with no apparent response) to please not touch me. This is when I find myself hating self-absorbed big-city midwesterners (not that all or even most midwesterners are like this...). If the bus had been travelling in GA, every man sitting nearby would have kindly asked if that man was bothering me after my first vocal complaint, and they would have taken care of it. No one even met my eyes. Shudder. Enough of that. I made it home eventually, consumed a Reckers sandwich, and watched Love Actually, one of the best feel-good movies out there. I watch it once or twice every Christmas season.

I was planning on conquering the questions I posted about humility vs. confidence, but dudes, this post is way too long already. Next time.

* I googled both "golly gee wiz" and "golly gee whiz" to see which was the appropriate spelling, and both were listed on such reputable sites as Urban Dictionary, so I arbitrarily picked one.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree about Love Actually! My husband doesn't get it at all. Might be time for a girlz night so I can watch it this Christmas season.