SuperWoman and the Perils of Public Transit

It was a Monday, which always makes life doubly hard. SuperWoman had enjoyed a weekend with her progeny, eating delicious brick-oven pizza, sipping a delicious strawberry daiquiri, watching football, allowing her kids to rustle up the duvets in the showroom at Ikea (against her better judgment). Despite its bad reputation, however,  SuperWoman was handling this Monday very, very well. She made a decision to exercise on her lunch break for the first time ever, and she was very proud of herself for the ingenuity of packing her bag and watching Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce while working the intermediate level of the elliptical in her somewhat new sneakers. Then she changed and got back to work, like a…well, SuperWoman. She handled TalkMonster’s frantic phone call when he got home from school with ease (middle school math is very, very stressful), and then she left work, opened her magnificent book (Ordinary People by Diana Evans), read voraciously, got off the subway, waited impatiently for the bus, and read voraciously again until it was time for her stop.

She began walking home. Her apartment windows were in sight, the little jade plant, the air conditioner sticking out, the ivory curtains cascading to the side. A man was ingloriously mowing the lawn of her apartment building with a weedwacker. She hates weedwackers. And leaf blowers. She hates those things, too.

And it was then, suddenly, she realized.

Her car was not, as she had thought, parked in the lot at home. In fact, it was several miles away at another train stop, the one she had parked at that morning after dropping her kids at school.

SuperWoman’s transportation regimen is a little complicated. So complicated that when she started at her current job two-and-a-half years ago, she had dreams that trains kept coming and going, that she was missing them all.

Here’s what her public transit mornings look like. On the days SuperWoman has her kids, she drops BeautyQueen at preschool, then TalkMonster on the street near his middle school so he can walk part of the way, then WonderMess at her elementary school. Then she high tails it to the high speed line, where she parks two blocks away and walks to catch the train.

On the days she doesn’t have kids, she takes a bus directly outside her apartment—oh, the luxury!—to the subway and ends up only two blocks from the doors at work.

On this particular Monday, for some reason—perhaps because she was still in summer camp schedule zone, perhaps because she forgot what day it was, perhaps because she was so immersed in her very, very good book—she forgot where she had parked her car and ended up in quite a tickle.

The second tickle? She couldn’t even get Uber working on her phone to call for a ride, because there was not enough storage left to download the app. (SuperWoman often thinks she needs a techy boyfriend to help her with these things.)

How was she going to get those kids?

In walked Kerri Superior. Well, she didn’t walk in. SuperWoman called her, frantically, cursing about the lawnmower guy who kept weedwacking even though SuperWoman was in a bind and needed to explain the situation with relative silence so Kerri Superior would understand.

The reason you may not have heard of Kerri Superior is because she’s not flashy and doesn’t need a lot of fanfare. Without sitting in a room and saying “Om,” all day with a golden halo around her short brown hair, she projects an air as though she has sat in a room saying “Om” all day. (Maybe it’s her special secret? Maybe she does? Heck, SuperWoman doesn’t know what people do in the privacy of their homes.) In addition to being a fabulous dresser, a loyal, honest, and trustworthy friend who always knows what to do, one of the things SuperWoman likes most about Kerri Superior is she doesn’t have kids, which makes her able to get dinner on a whim, take the time to cook nice meals, go to yoga, plan book clubs. She is simply marvelous, and on this Monday, Kerri Superior dropped what she was doing so she could pick up SuperWoman and take her to her car.

SuperWoman felt regal, to be chauffeured by such a special woman, a fellow super woman who doesn’t need to write a blog about how special she is, but spreads love and wisdom to her many admirers—colleagues, students, friends, even neighbors, surely.

Once SuperWoman got her car her, however, her job was not done. She still needed to pick up her progeny and head home, listening to horrendous tales of math homework in middle school and head-banging in preschool. Going to the grocery store as SuperWoman had planned was off the table—the afternoon had become too stressful already. So she improvised. She used whatever little bit of food she had left—bagels and cream cheese, bagels and American cheese, macaroni-and-cheese (notice a theme?), chicken nuggets, to put together some sort of a meal to keep the sidekicks healthy or at least full. And then she helped TalkMonster with his homework (although “help” is a generous word), bathed the girls, and read with WonderMess until it was time for bed. To top it off? She wrote a bit and meditated in her bed.

Take that, Monday! Take that, public transit! You may have delayed SuperWoman, but you will not stop her.



She’s, well, super.



Image: "train" by Yuya Tamai via Flickr

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