Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Real Commuters Blog on the Train

God, I feel like a commuter this morning. A real commuter, not one of the schlubs on the Pike in their SUVs. I’m taking the commuter rail from Framingham to Back Bay station (as I’ve been all week), listening to the Shins on my iPod, clicking away on my iBook - looking like I’m actually doing work.

What am I doing? Maybe I’m writing a grant proposal, or a corporate memo? Maybe I’m working on copy for a webzine? Maybe I’m a writer or a journalist, catching up on some work during the commute? It’s kind of fun to step outside myself, and wonder what I look like to the other people on the trains.

I think it’s clear I’m not a banker, lawyer, or other scary corporate type, since I’m in frayed jeans, a sweater, and my bashed up riding boots, wet hair from the shower in a braid... I could be just about anything else, though, and how many people will guess that I’m a nanny, on my way in to Beacon Hill for a day of shuttling kids around and playing with a one year old?

Except for being dependent on the whims of the MBTA (more on that later), I like taking the train. I’ve always liked passive transit. Don’t get me wrong. VW says, “Drivers wanted.” I’m there. I’m a Driver, but it’s hard to be a Driver when you and every Camry and Lexus SUV are going 40 in a 65, weaving like psychotic bumper cars, jockeying for a poisition in a lane that will guarantee you get to the toll booth before someone - anyone - else!

It’s nice to be able to sit and look out the damn window, just knowing that you’re getting to work wothout a hint of stress.

Unless, of course, you’re me today. You see, I have a bone to pick with the MBTA on this gorgeous, sunny, and frozen March morning. Due to doctor’s appointments for two out of three of my monkeys, I didn’t have to be at work until 9:30, so I planned to take the 8:15 train. Easy, right? Well, let’s begin with me being a bit if a flake and forgetting to leave the house on time... Ooops. So, I was going to miss the 8:15. No problem, there’s an 8:30, and I’d still be on time to work.

Mark and I pull into the station at 8:20, and lo! there’s an eastbound train idling at the platform. As I’m opening the car door, the conductor looks at me, and at the man running down the platform to get to the train, and pulls away. Would it have killed him to wait an extra 30 seconds? Perhaps.

No worries, right? There’s still the 8:30 train, right?

At 8:30, on the dot, the train that’s been idling on the westbound side of the platform, starts up and heads.... EAST! It was the damn 8:30 train, and despite the folks congregated on the proper platform, no one bothered to make a last call for the train headed to Boston, from the Worcester-bound platform! Would it have been so hard for a conductor to call out to all of us waiting where we were supposed to wait, that they were departing from the wrong side? Perhaps.

After a frantic call to Mark, who finds out the next train is an 8:53 express, and a frantic call to the kids’ father to let him know I will be late, I seethed on the platform until the 8:53 arrived, on the correct platform, at 8:58. If I weren’t safely on the train, speeding through Wellesley, I’d be certain I wasn’t meant to get to work today.

Almost time to pack up, since we’re approaching Back Bay at about 65 mph, maybe a little faster. Yay express!


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