The Life of Sarah PB&J

Musings on my life post grad school and peanut butter... (NB: the archives also contain musings on Russia, law school, and still more peanut butter)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Cardinal Rule of Public Transportation

Well. There have been some changes recently. I'm no longer a grad student. I no longer live in Virginia. I no longer live by myself.

Let me explain: After three years of grad school, I have a framed diploma and am awaiting Bar exam results. As the result of said graduation, I left Virginia and moved to Pennsylvania to start a job (yippee for being employed!!!) Finally, as a graduation present, the Guy gave me Zeke: a very sweet Maltese-ish mix who had previously been abandoned outside a vet's office in northern New Jersey. Zeke and I have spend the last week or so settling into (both of our) new apartment and getting to know each other (and our trainer, Matt!).

Although I've been horrible about posting in the last two years, my new situation has led to many thoughts along the line of "I should blog about that..." And so, here I am.

Let me tell you how I broke the cardinal rule of Taking Public Transportation today.

The story: As a newbie in this city, I have come to realize that making some new friends would be good. Don't get me wrong, I've got a friend or two from Undergrad still here, but, it'd certainly be nice to meet a few more people... So, over the past three or four days, I've been on a quest.

This quest has taken me high and low: to the synagogue for services, to the dog park with Zeke (Matt the Trainer come help!), and most recently -- to Craigslist. I can see you, shaking your head in despair: "Sarah PB&J," you say, "You're too cool to be browsing the Craigslist ads looking for friends." But let me respond. See, there's this section called "Strictly Platonic." On it, I found my former running partner turned friend M. Plus, I figured, there must be other newly-graduated-and-relocated-people-like-myself on there. And low and behold, I found a post. A 25yo self proclaimed geek. Sounded similar. So we e-mail back and forth a bit and discover that we both just moved to this city from the same Virginian city - and even had a friend in common. Score! So we decided to rendez-vous for lunch.

Oh right - back to the story of how I broke that cardinal Rule.

She (let's call her E), lives in a suburb that has a really cool urban feel to it. I offered to take public transportation out to meet her there. Wearing my easily recognizable orange pants, I set out. Only I forgot one thing: to bring reading material. The train ride itself is only 15 minutes, so I didn't think twice about leaving the house with only my wallet, keys and cellphone. Oh, did I learn my lesson.

I took my seat and settled in for the ride. I didn't see an older man sit across the isle from me. "Hello" he says to me. I responded to this with a curt, "Hi." - as I really had no desire to engage in any sort of conversation on my peaceful mid-Sunday ride.

"I saw [the name of my graduate school] on the back of your t-shirt."

"Yep." (Still trying to avoid conversation)

"Did you go there?"

"Yep." (Thinking my curt responses, and the fact that I never looked directly at him, and turned to look out the window after each response would give an appropriate hint.)

"When did you graduate?"

"In May." (He clearly didn't get the message)

"Do you have a job up here? Or are you going to open your own place?"

"I have a job" (As I pray he doesn't as where. This guy could totally be a stalker... )


Anyway, as you can imagine, this went on and on. I never once asked him a question, or looked him in the eye. Thankfully, after 15 painful minutes, I arrived at my destination, met E, and proceeded to have a very lovely afternoon. On the return trip, I made sure to pick up a train schedule, so that at a minimum, I could focus on something should a creepy person decide to sit next to me...

Recap: always, always bring something to read if using public transportation.


to be continued...