Like dating, traveling by bus in New York City can be a frustrating experience, much more so than commuting by subway. In fact, the two share a few annoying similarities.
Exposure: You are forced to wait for bus outdoors, exposed to the elements as opposed to standing in cozy, pee soaked subway tunnels. While dating doesn’t necessarily entail exposure to the elements and harsh weather (though it certainly can in the winter when ladies wear short dresses sans tights to impress the men-folk), it does usually require exposure of the more emotional type, which is always more humiliating.
For instance–putting up an online dating profile. While no longer heavily stigmatized because everyone and their dogs have an online pick-me-up page, it still can be a little unnerving when you realize that someone you know has read your profile. I understand that this happens a lot but I tend to observe the unwritten-but-should-be-written rule: if I know you and your profile comes up in a site search (which makes sense since my ideal “match” would have a lot in common with my friends), I never click it open. I pretend I don’t see “you” just as I would if I saw you solicit a prostitute at the side of the road.
Uncertainty: Now that the NYC transit system has installed the electronic boards that let you know when your subway will arrive (making it as technologically advanced as the London tube was ten-years ago), some of the unpredictability has been taken out of train travel. For the most part, when you get to the platform you have a good sense of when the next train will arrive. (Obviously, this isn’t yet true in all stations–perhaps it was premature to say we caught up to London from a decade ago.) The arrival of buses, however, cannot be predicted with any accuracy.
So it is with dating. On most Saturday nights I’d prefer to stay inside with my Netflix streaming account and a cup of tea because I’m less interesting and fun than your grandmother. Yet I force myself out of doors into the cold (well not right now since it is unseasonably warm in New York due to “global comforting”) into something short and low cut and go to whatever party/bar/orgy I was invited to and hope to meet someone that will make all of the discomfort and awkward socializing worthwhile.
Naturally, those times when you decide to stay in and embrace your not-so-inner nerd are when you later hear that the party was fabulous and that your friend met someone there.
Now if only there was some sort of electronic board that could tell me when a man and bus are likely to arrive.
Two at once or none at all: Frequently, you are forced to wait and wait and wait for a bus to show up and when it does, it doesn’t come alone. Generally it is followed by 1-2 other buses and now you’ve got to choose between them. (I usually go for the one that looks emptier because I don’t like standing. Also with fewer people aboard, it will probably make fewer stops and end up leapfrogging ahead of the other buses.)
In dating, it’s pretty much the same. You can go for months without a date but the moment you meet a one suitable guy, two or three others show up, too. Unlike in the bus situation, you can try them all out though not all at the exact same time because this isn’t a Dan Savage podcast.
It’s like the classic song–”It’s Raining Men and Buses.” (Don’t believe me? Look it up on Wikipedia.)
Speaking of songs, here’s the awesomely cute song + video from Bo Pepper aptly called “Buses.”