October 7, 2009

Commuter Realities

I take public transportation to work everyday. I don’t own a car right now (which often times seems like a liability in the dating world…btw) and I am trying to get my other finances and the PhD situation straightened out before I get into a loan for a depreciating debt. But I digress….

I get to work about 7:30 and leave work around 4:30. My commute isn’t long at all (about 45 minutes). Most days I sit and read a book or play around on my Blackberry to pass the time….trying to ignore begging drug addicts, rude teenagers, loud, boorish men, and other unpleasantries.

Yesterday, I sat on the bus and just looked around. I didn’t see a single man on my shuttle from work. Most of the women were black, older, round and shapely…Their hands were withered and labored. They breathed hard breathes, as if they had exasperated themselves completely. Some wore work uniforms, denoting their roles as custodial or cooking services. Some, like me, wore business casual attire. But they all had one thing in common: their souls looked so bothered and tired. They appeared burdened and exhausted. Granted, the day could have worn them out. No one LIKES to work at a place that undermines, undervalues and underappreciated them. But…they looked like they worked and slaved all day for absolutely nothing…and those that they were going home to absolutely nothing.

I admit the latter is a total assumption on my part. But it just appeared to be that way. I wondered: Do these women go home to loving, hardworking husbands? Or a husband who isn’t sh*t? Or no one at all? A cat? Or several cats? Do they eat a perfectly portioned dinner for one alone in front of the TV everyday? Do they eat at all? Or maybe read their bibles or listen to music? Did some of the other women have children or grandchildren? Or none at all? I caught the eye of a woman I used to work with in another department. She spoke to me in her usual lively voice and I smiled and returned the greeting. I knew for a fact she was well into her 60’s, college educated, unmarried, and had lived with a brother who died not too long ago. She owned her own home and lived alone. She had been working the same job for what seemed like 35 or more years.

I sat frozen and paralyzed once the bus stopped... The women had long departed and I had to snap out of it. Tears rolled down my face and quickly wiped them off. I said to myself “Oh God. What if this is me in another 20 years. Doing the same routine day after day…and coming home to absolutely nothing?” In my case, I ‘m allergic to cats so there would be NOTHING. Not even a cat. (And I do not want to turn into “cat lady”)

It was a very harsh thing to possibly see your future reflected in the faces of women you saw everyday. It was as if someone held The Wicked Witch’s magic mirror up to your face…and you saw what was inside you…and what could be your future.

It’s up to me to try and change it. I hope by making small strides I am doing just that.

10 comments:

  1. Thinking about this is a start to not ending up looking around in 20 years and wondering how you got *here* because I feel like most people who do that may have lost their purposefulness and just drifted where life took them. It is necessary to evaluate because while you may not control circumstances if youre unaware youre likely to completely miss them. great post! I was wondering about this myself having worked another 12 hour work day and looking at all the female bosses in my organization- not nice, attractive, friendly, 'cool', or anything at all I aspire to be.

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  2. there are times when i sit and think about the same thing. I personally feel that i am almost there as well. I come home to a cat and a dog everyday. They are the ones that greet me by the door after a long day at work. The cat is my companion at night in the bed. I dont have a penis in the bed, but i guess a pussy [cat] isnt that bad either. The one thing that i have learned is that i have control over what happens to me and where i go from here. Dont get sad about it just yet. You are young and beautiful. Things will change for the best.

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  3. First off love the blog. You always have great topics

    I don't think anything is wrong with going home to a cat or dog. Happiness lies within. There are some women who are in realtionships/marriage that still come home to no man.

    Maybe instead of juding that woman on the bus you should have asked her how she felt about being single. It seems you took your own feelings and placed them on this woman's life.

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  4. I just read the other comments and I have a few things to add......

    I don't think you were unfairly judging those women at all. Your sentiments were not from left field and were perfectly justified...Human beings are designed to be with a mate. We need companionship, emotional intimacy and physical intimacy. I also have similar feelings of saddness as well about those types of women u observed so I understand where you are coming from with this post. Those older women are a sad sight to see...

    Furthermore, it's one thing to set aside a period to nurture and grow with yourself, however, accepting a fate of being alone forever....I hate when people tell black women that "marriage aint for everybody" or to just embrace/enjoy lifelong singlehood. HOGWASH. It's sickening. You dont ever hear white/indian/asian women being told that nonsense. I dont care what anyone says: NO ONE wants to be single more than a few months to a few years. Anyone that says anything different (usually black women) is lying to themselves and no one believes them anyway.....

    Don't worry, you wont be a sad lonely woman with her cats. You seem very open-minded and contented (and proactive) so you'll attract a mate in no time. :-)

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  5. No matter where I go, No matter who I see I always see comments directed at black women in a negative light. That is something I will never understand.

    I've spoken to women who are widows and in a sense they are alone/no man. They don't seem as unhappy as some of the married women who still come home to no man (because he is "working late"). I just don't feel that happiness should come from having a man. It should come from within and a man should just be an added bonus.

    Putting your happiness on a man will usually leave you unhappy in the end.

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  6. @Karma...(or whoever you may be...lol)

    This is MY BLOG So whatver I feel or my opnions may be...are mine. I said in the blog..that these were presumptuous of me..but that fact that I personallY KNEW one of the ladies on the bus with me..I know what she is going through on a personal level. I am certainly not wrapping my life up in a man. and the blog wasnt even about JUST having a man..it's about having the same lame ass routine over and over..I dont want that to be my life. I dont want to work myself to the bone to come home to NOTHING ...what's success w/out someone to share it with?? (thank you Billie Dee! LOL)..and someone could be family..friends...a prayer partner..not just a man!

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  7. nice provocative convo going on here. lol, why u cussing out karma? it makes the convo more interesting having differing opinions.

    that being said, i agree 100% with you...dont nobody wanna share their successes with just themselves. lol @ sleeping with no penis, but a "pussy." hahahahah! that was cute.

    i def agree that in order to have true happiness, it has to begin from within...however, for myself, (and actually, EVERY single girlfriend that i have, and i have a lot), true fulfillment won't come until they have found that life partner.

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  8. @Karma...(or whoever you may be...lol)

    This is MY BLOG So whatver I feel or my opnions may be...are mine.
    **********************************
    WOW! did I stike a nerve? Never in my comments did I say that a woman should never have a man or be without one (unless she is a lesbian). The point I was trying to make is just because the WOMAN that you know isn't going home to a man doesn't mean she (or you) is unhappy or doomed to some ill faith. There are things outside having a man that can be fufilling in one's life. A husband should be there to complete you not make you.

    & since this is YOUR blog maybe you should get thicker skin or keep a diary. Not everyone will agree with you 100%. I'll go back to lurking because as I first stated I like the blog and the issues you post.

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  9. @Karma..no please..keep on responding. But I was taken aback by your response...carry on! This has been good :)

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