I have to travel to NYC pretty frequently for work-related/blog-related events + meetings. I drive to my local train station, hop on the platform, buy my ticket from the automated machine, get on the train, and arrive in NYC in under two hours. Sometimes if I catch the right train, it’s closer to 90 minutes. And then I cabbage patch a lil bit.
They just remodeled the inside of just about all of the trains. They’re *beautiful* now. Clean, fresh, bright, outlets in every row so I can charge my phone and fully abuse it the rides down and back, and shiny new bathrooms.
Let me just say that prior to the remodel, I avoided the bathrooms at ALL costs. I treated a ride on the Metro like a trip at the movies. I’d ease up on the liquid intake and hit the bathroom right before going on the train. THE BATHROOM MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.
Last December, prior to the train remodels, I was traveling into the city with a friend of mine (whom I’ll call Eric to protect his privacy since this blog post could potentially embarrass him) to an event for business-type people. Eric is super business-y and extra entrepreneur-y and wears suits for fun-sies. We agreed to meet at the train station – head into the city together, then meet up everyone at the event.
The trip there was fine, and the event was fine, even though I was pregnant and standing in heels for hours long than I should have. People around me were getting pretty trashed and I sipped my water and listened to a guy talk about how he’s manufacturing a line of cases for pot users, since that’s going to be in high demand once it’s legalized everywhere. In the middle of sipping my water and going, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, hmm,” I decided, yeahhhhh I’d like to go home now. Eric and I had split up, and he had left with ‘new’ friends. We text to coordinate a time. One cab ride later and I find Eric on the train, face red thanks to some cabernet.
I do the groan, “Ungghhhhh you’re not drunk, are you?” And his face is all “:) :o) :D NO why do you ask?? :) :o) :D” and we sit on the gross train and wait for it to pull out of the station. I remembered – as I always do – to hit up the ladies’ room at the station prior to hopping on the train because, as I said before, THE BATHROOM MUST BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.
I chat with Eric about the people we met, the weird-o business ideas that we heard, our spouses (he’s known Jack for-ev-a), kiddos, and how much wine he did or did not drink. I check my phone – it’s getting late. By the time I get home, it’ll be close to 1:00am. The fluorescent lights on the train are bright, and my pregnant self cannot figure out whether to be overheated or freezing.
I think about using the bathroom, and immediately tell myself that I’ll be home in an hour, just hold it, this is the METRO, you don’t use the bathroom on the METRO.
Suddenly, the train grinds to a halt.
Not at a train station.
In the middle of nowhere. In the woods. In the winter. On a train. At midnight. SO MURDERY!
We’re not moving, and people start giving each other these “This isn’t right, right?” looks. The door at the back of the car flies open and train attendants start running – I mean RUNNING – up the aisle and through the door at the front of the car.
Crazy thoughts run through my head – someone’s hijacked the train, there’s a shooter on the train, the train has been set on fire, I should fear for my life, also, I have to go to the bathroom. Finally, the conductor comes on the intercom.
A tree fell across three of the four tracks. We have to wait.
And my bladder yelled NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
So, I used the bathroom on the train, which is breaking one of my top five rules in life. There is a reason why I tell you not to use the bathroom on the train. I won’t even explain in words how terrible it was, but I will say that I would rather lick a public telephone or see Meryl Streep do a three hour monologue naked than use the bathroom on the train.
Turns out to be a three hour delay. I had to use the train bathroom AGAIN, and didn’t make it home until 4:30am. D:
Took the train on Sunday (by myself, sans Eric), and it’s the clean, freshy-fresh, remodeled train. Felt sick, so drank lots of tea. Had to use the bathroom. Locked. I wait in line behind two other people. The door opens, a head pops out, pops back in, and the door closes again.
So the boyfriend of the girl in front of me starts banging on the door. The guy opens the door.
Boyfriend starts shouting. WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE? IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO USE THE BATHROOM, GET OUT. THERE ARE PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE.
I gulp and wait for a punch to be thrown. Instead, the guy walks out and he’s obviously trashed and smells like he drank a ton of cheap beer and then went to the bathroom all over himself. He’s been hiding out in the bathroom since the train left Grand Central. (Sometimes people do this because attendants come by and collect tickets, and they don’t have them/don’t want to pay for them.)
I’m sighing, wishing I hadn’t had so much tea. Wait for the first guy in line to use the restroom. Wait for the girl to use the restroom. Finally! GLORYYYY! My turn.
I pull the handle. Locked. I pull the handle again. Locked.
“Oh no, I’m sorry! I think I accidentally locked it and slammed the door,” says girl.
Walk two cars up on a moving train to find an empty bathroom and discover that public bathrooms, no matter how fresh and new, are still gross.
I have no idea what lesson I’m trying to teach you here. Maybe I’m looking for pity.