The Suburbs: Trainspotting


Almost all the people I’ve talked to about moving to the suburbs have the same reaction, “That’s a long commute.” I have two problems with this statement. 1) It’s not that much longer (only about 20 minutes) and 2) riding the Metra is infinitely better than riding the CTA’s Blue Line. While the proximity of the Blue Line was nice, I will gladly take an extra twenty minute trip if it means that I don’t have to smell urine, smell a homeless dude or smell a weird mixture of urine and homeless dude.

“Oh, look. An open seat.

There is always a terrible seat situation on the CTA. Nobody will sit by you if you are already seated (which is fine, because it gives you more space), and if you take an open seat next to someone they will give you the shittiest look in the world. Like you kicked them in the crotch, and then sat down. None of this is a problem with the Metra. Every time I get on my train there are plenty of open seats. But, like school seating, I always sit in the same one. In fact, everybody always sits in the same seat. The cart I ride is relatively the same people everyday. We are like the train version of “Cheers.” Screenplay I’m working on is called “All Aboard!” Hopefully Paul Riser will sign on as the conductor.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some shitty people on the Metra. But these are harmless shitty people. The equivalent of a shitty person in a children’s television show where shitty basically means grumpy. There are the people who flip the seat over so they have the other seat facing them and pretty much set up their office on the train, complete with those metallic balls that bounce back and forth. And there is that one sassy girl who stays on her phone the whole time and talks about the sex she had last night with fifteen dudes or whatever other private details she wants to share with us. But the phone calls on the Metra aren’t nearly as bad as the phone calls on the CTA. The CTA’s phone calls all get dropped, making the caller angry that they lost reception WHEN THEY ARE UNDERGROUND. But, I did find joy in watching the caller look at their phone in disbelief as they wonder why they have no bars. Also, in my unscientific study, I think you are more likely to cuss on a CTA phone call than you are a Metra phone call. I’m all for a good cuss word, don’t get me wrong, but use some fucking creativity.

When we moved, one my biggest fears was that I’d hate riding the Metra and feeling like I was a slave to their schedule, but it’s actually worked out pretty well and I’ve found myself enjoying the ride. I put a bunch of music I used to listen to in college on my iPhone so I can wax nostalgic. I talked Beth into letting me use our Amazon gift card money so I could buy a 3DS (which I can so tell other people on the train are jealous of me. I’m like the queen bee). I even find myself looking at my watch and thinking, “Wow this train ride was fast.” Basically, I think I’ve become completely entrenched in suburban life and it’s only been a little over a week. It’s only a matter of time before we get ourselves a hybrid Minivan with those stick figure families that seem to be all the rage on the back of people’s cars.

In the midst of my love affair with all things Metra, we are also planning our wedding. Next week’s article will probably touch on that. Or I’ll continue to write about my love affair with the train. I think I’m going to sneak a conductor hat onto our wedding registry.

PS – Going back to the bit about putting music from when I was in college on my phone so I could wax nostalgic. I completely and utterly forgot how much I love the song “A Movie Script Ending” by Death Cab For Cutie . It came up when I was on shuffle and I literally reacted like this girl:

Car seat and all. The Metra doesn’t trust me yet.

  • LAW

    I once had to yell at a guy on the Metra for CLIPPING HIS FINGERNAILS!!!!

  • Louzlounge

    hotter girls on the CTA