In college, I freely mocked people who would run to catch buses. And you know what? I still would. If you have enough energy to break into an all-out sprint to catch the 22 Illini, you have enough energy to walk the half mile or so to the Quad.
My aversion to running to catch the bus has stayed with me, but I’m starting to realize that sometimes you just have to run to get on that bus. Take tonight, for example. My class got out at 9 p.m., so by the time I had gathered my stuff from school and had walked the distance to the bus stop, it was nearing 9:15. I was tired, I was hungry, and I was cold. And I was a good three-quarter block from the bus stop when I saw the 151. I nearly started to run, but my dignity stopped me. Then I saw a second 151 right on the tail of the first one, and I knew that if I didn’t get on one of those buses, I was going to have to hang around the bus stop for another half hour, which was definitely not what I wanted. So I ran. In my heels. With my laptop clanging against my side.
But I made it onto the second bus, and I even got a seat, which brings me to a question: When do you move? Let’s take tonight as an example. I got on the bus and the only available seat was being occupied by some guy’s large bag. He graciously moved it for me and put it on his lap. So when other seats opened up, should I have moved? He could have put his bag down but would he have thought I was being rude, like I had to get away from him? What if the seat was far away? What if he had no bag to set down but there were plenty of empty seats? Do people think you’re creepy if you don’t move when a seat frees up? Do they think you’re rude if you do?
My personal feeling is that changing seats just because another opens up is a total crapshoot because there’s always the possibility that someone really creepy will come and sit down next to you. (This obviously doesn’t apply to the buses with the row of single seats.) But should you move? The musical chairs of the CTA never fails to baffle me.