Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Overheard on Metra

There's a saying I read recently on JD Underground, of all places - don't waste your energy feeling jealous of another person unless you would trade your whole life for their whole life. It made me ponder some stuff that's been happening on my Metra rides lately.

First, last Thursday, there was "the Becky situation." On the evening commute, a guy sitting across from me and Dave had a protracted fight with his wife / girlfriend / whatever. There were a lot of "I don't want to talk about this anymore, Becky" comments, and also a weird comment about how he doesn't have a crystal ball to know whether something would happen. Whenever Dave and I had a minor disagreement or miscommunication over the weekend, we followed it with, "God DAMNIT, Becky!"

Then there was my commute (all by myself) last night. I was double-teamed by an idiot who was on the (mega)phone for twenty minutes to change his fiancee's car insurance onto his plan, only to admit he didn't know her birthday. HAH! Then there was the teenager who giggled and flirted voraciously with this uninterested male; as soon as he disembarked, she proceeded to call no less than three friends in a row to tell them that her dad is having an MRI. Yeah, you seemed really upset about it when Mr. Uninterested was on his laptop next to you.

Then there was today. Dave and I took separate trains, but we texted each other the following stories. On mine, the woman next to me explained long, vague instructions for what sounded like beef stroganoff to her unwilling and very confused child. If your kid has to call you four times in 20 minutes to clarify a direction (in this case, chopping and sauteing onions), probably it's above their skill level.

On Dave's train, there was another Becky situation, this time with a woman not likely named Becky. "I'm SORRY I don't have a job where I can sit and talk with you all day." (This is something that Thursday guy had said almost verbatim to his Becky situation.) Then he hung up on her right after saying, "You got the last word, are you happy?" (Dave said that is a meta-insult if he ever heard one.) Their argument was about, you guessed it, the kids.

Anyway, it all got me thinking about other people's marriages and families. Number one, I already would never trade anyone else's marriage for mine, but it all goes to show that the successful man who commutes downtown while his wife stays at home with the kids may very well be having a Becky situation of his own, so don't be too jealous. Number two, I really see what it is like to work and commute in Chicago while you have kids. It's not like Dave and I were raring to have them anyway, but I see the reality every day of stressed out parents, and it isn't appealing.

OK, time to go make dinner, just had to get that out. Hope you enjoy your GOD DAMN PIEROGI, BECKY!! I mean, Dave.

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