If you commute to work by bus, you may find yourself encountering the same familiar faces on a near daily basis. This can be both a blessing and a curse.
If there’s someone you find particularly attractive or intriguing, for example, having a regular route with the chance to sit next to them and casually chat is excellent. Even if it doesn’t turn into a lifelong love connection, you may find that you develop a strong platonic relationship, or, at the very least add another Washingtonian to your professional network. That goes a long way in DC!
But then, there’s the flipside to this. You may find yourself stuck on a route with someone you very VERY much want to avoid.
A little while back, a friend of mine told me about a bus nightmare I just can’t forget.
A Rolling Nightmare
Every morning, she would take the 42 or 43 bus from Adams Morgan down to Farragut and there was a cute guy who lived in her neighborhood who regularly rode the bus downtown with her. He was completely her type—bookish, hipster glasses, a Tobey Maguire look-alike. She used to text me from the bus when he got on in the mornings: “Alert Alert: Spidey has boarded the bus,” and she was always dismayed when an early morning meeting or doctor’s appointment altered her schedule and made her miss him on her way into the office.
One day, my friend was feeling a little under the weather, but she had a big presentation at work and couldn’t stay home. She texted me from her stop to tell me that cutie boy was waiting too so the morning was lookin’ up.
I asked her via text about his outfit that day, but got no response. That was a little unusual, but I thought nothing of it. When I still hadn’t heard from her a few hours later, I followed up.
My life is over, she texted me.
What?? Why? I asked, confused.
She immediately called me and launched into her tale of woe.
A Tale of Whoa on the 42
“I wasn’t feeling so hot today but had to go in for that presentation I told you about…” she began.
Turned out, she and the guy boarded together and grabbed seats in a front row. That morning it was the 42 bus (not the preferred 43 with its quick trip under Dupont) and as they lurched around the circle, she felt her breakfast coming up-up-up and out.
My friend hurled directly onto the floor of the bus, splattering puke onto the cute guy’s shoes.
If you’ve ever been on public transit when there is a medical emergency, you may be familiar with the protocol. Apparently, the driver had to stop the vehicle, pull over to the side of the road during rush hour, make everyone disembark, and call an ambulance to deal with the sick passenger and biohazardous-fluid cleanup.
Quaker Oats, Anyone?
My friend had not only upchucked her oatmeal in front of the guy she was crushing on, she had simultaneously ruined his expensive dress shoes, and made him incredibly late for work. Pretty impressive.
She was predictably mortified and couldn’t bear to face him and the rest of the regulars on her morning ride. She started leaving for work a full hour earlier and completely changed her wake-up time and exercise schedule to avoid having to come face-to-face with them ever again.
My friend left DC a year later to return to her hometown. Among the reasons, she said, was to avoid the shame she felt every time she boarded the 42 bus.
Commuter Crush is published every Friday, just in time for your unintentional weekend hookups (or while you’re recovering from a debaucherous Thursday night). If you have an interesting story to share, let us know via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us with #commutercrush.