Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My MEEZER-obble day aka why I REALLY need to get over my driving aversion already.

I've always loved the rain, even when it's cold and blustery rain. Going for short walks on such a day can be quite invigorating, don't you think? Even better is to spend all day inside, drinking tea and having a rainy day meal of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.


Seeing as how I am possibly one of the most foolhardy people on the planet, I decided that I simply had to go shopping for art supplies yesterday. In case you haven't already figured out the punchline, it was a VERY cold, blustery, rainy day yesterday. What's the big deal? I hear you thinking...well, ya see...despite the fact that I do have a driver's license, I also have an almost pathological aversion to using it. So Sylvie and I, as we usually do, took public transit. I went online to the mbta website to get directions and bus info...and here's where the day started to go wrong:

1) The first bus was late
2) The bus I was supposed to transfer to was VERY late.
(small bit of luck here...the rain held off until we were on the second bus)
3) After much twisty, wind-y backroads, we arrive at supposed destination only to find that IT IS NOT WHERE I MEANT TO GO AT ALL. Turns out I was wrong about the name of the final destination, which I found out after having gone way out of my way. I explained my dilemma to the nice bus driver and he told me to stay on the bus and he'd take me back to where I could catch a bus that did go by the store I needed to visit. He tells me to tell the next driver to let me "off as close as possible to Michael's." which did not sound good.
4) Got on 3rd bus and after more twisty, wind-y (did I mention I have a slight problem with motion sickness?) roads, am dropped off within site of the shopping center where the art supply store is. My concern is realized as It immediately becomes apparent that I must navigate through a NO PEDESTRIAN ZONE, crossing SEVERAL LANES OF TRAFFIC with a BABY IN A STROLLER in the WIND AND order to actually GET there. Why on earth was there a bus stop there and why the hell did the busdriver let me off there??? So after much hemming and hawing, cursing and verge-of-hysteria-laughter, I very cautiously made my way with Sylvie out of the lion's den and into the shopping center parking lot, all limbs intact. All told, it took a little over 2 HOURS to make what should have been a 30 minute trip. I had had to pee, quite badly, for most of the trip; and when I say 'quite badly' I mean I felt like the just the insignificant pressure generated by breathing in and out was gonna make me start to leak urine. I made an immediate beeline for the Babies R Us store in the shopping center as I knew them to have a public restroom. Sylvie, who had slept through almost the entire ordeal, awoke as I was finishing and I took the opportunity to change her diaper before heading out to complete the intended purpose of the trip.

I had been itching to paint again lately so I bought myself a couple of canvases and replenished my acrylic paints along with getting some odds and ends for my more crafty stuff. (I've pretty much given up on the book purses after being disappointed with the way the two I finished turned out so I'm putting the covers to another use. I'll have a whole slew of new art/craft/design projects to post online soon, so keep an eye out!) Afterwards, I hit a couple of the other stores--figuring that after such a hellish journey I should make the trip worth my while--and picked up some new clothes (all on sale!) for Sylvie and I. Just so you know, this shopping center is the kind where you can only access the stores from outside...and the sheltering overhangs did not extend far past each stores entrance. We ended our shopping trip at Target, (which is in it's own separate building so we had to cross the semi-flooded parking lot yet again to reach it), where Sylvie and I had a bite to eat. I asked a security guard if he could tell me where the bus that actually came into the shopping center--as opposed to the one that drops you off in the frickin' no pedestrian zone--and he kindly told me that it was just down the walk way and around the corner from the entrance to Target and that while there was no posted bus stop sign, there was a bench where the bus dropped off/picked up. I was worried that I wouldn't get enough warning when the bus came to catch it at the stop of I stayed inside the store, so with much regret, I wheeled the stroller back out into the howling gale and pelting rain. The paved walkway ended right at the corner and turned into rocks briefly before becoming grass and mud. It was in the grass and mud area where the bus stop bench was located. For several minutes I was literally trapped at the corner because, continuing in my vein of ill-luck that day, that spot was apparently a nexus for hurricane force winds and it was all I could do to keep the stroller from blowing out into the parking lot while simultaneously holding onto my ridiculous (now inverted) umbrella. I somehow eventually managed to push the stroller over the rainslicked rocks, onto the grassy patch around the corner where the bench was and out of (thank any and all deities!) the main force of the wind.

The bus arrived about 15 minutes later, took us to a station close to home where we hopped one last bus (bringing the total to 5 if you're counting). The stop closest to our house was a 2 minute walk so I plodded along home, close to thoroughly exhausted by this point while Sylvie happily jabbered away in her cozy stroller tent, attempting to touch the raindrops that rolled down its sides.

Sylvie, despite being mostly strapped in her stroller under a plastic tent for several hours, was a complete and total angel for the entire time. What did I do to deserve such a great kid?

Today, I feel like I was out shoveling snow all day yesterday and I think I even mildly pulled a left tricep (probably while trying to keep the stroller from being wrenched from my grasp while trapped in the hurricane nexus). I cancelled a lunch date downtown with my friend Caryl because I couldn't face wrestling the winds for control of the stroller because the weather today is about as bad as yesterday. Given my druthers I wouldn't step outside at all today except I have to go get groceries. But this time, I'm taking the car.


KatieJoeandGrace said...

I think you should be nominated too. See NaeNae's post:

:-) I think I would try to drive from now on! I hope the rain calms down-- it's rainy here too!

Marla said...

As we have such similar feelings about driving, I may be one of the few people who can really understand this. Even knowing it could take 2 hours instead of 30 minutes to get there, I would have chosen public transportation - before Sara. Now, I would probably just skip going; much as I love Sara, I know she would NOT have been an angel for the trip! In about 10 years or so, there may be a subway to Assembly Square, where AC Moore is (which seems identical to Michael's to me). . .

Manda said...

How wonderful that you stuck to your quest of getting art supplies!!! The trials and tribulations of such a journey have made you stronger now than ever!!

While I don't fully understand your fear of driving, I don't know if I'd be as comfortable driving in MA as I am here in Sav. People here are nuts driving (which I know you and Theron think I'm one of, quite unfairly I mgiht add ;)) Travis and I are sure that it would take an act of god for people to drive with sense around here....but I digress...

MA drivers are the scariest I've seen!! Driving too fast on snow and ice covered roads, tailgaiting within INCHES of each other and slamming on breaks...scary stuff...

I'm glad you got your supplies and home safely, I'm glad Sylvie was an angel the whole time....I don't think it's possible for her to be anything but an angel but that could be because I'm her doting auntie Manda.

Love you Paige, I have faith that if you drove more often you'd get more comfortable!!! I did! I really enjoy driving now too! I even go to the grocery store by myself now!
Aren't you proud of me?

Doah said...

Hmmmm. Druthers is a funny word. Sounds like an obscure and hard to reach body part "I fell down and fractured my druthers."

The Original Gomez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Original Gomez said...

Hey Wallis Clan... so I read this post and am reminded of my most recent trip back to the Boston area.
Meg and I were recently back for a wedding (for 1 day only unfortunately, maybe fortunately).

Anyway, we rented a car and drove around Brighton, Newton, and Watertown and we seriously thought we were going to die, or at least dent our nice rental car several times (which we didn't get eh xtra insurance for). I rememnber drivers in Beantown not being the best, but I don't remember them being that bad.

Maybe Cali has made us a couple of soft woosies, but we were legit scared a few times driving around.

But you're a seasoned New Englander now. I think you're up to the task if/when called upon. Good luck, and have fun. I'm sure you'll be a master in no time... as we once WERE!!!