Friday, March 4, 2011

Mental Math

We’re getting more light in Spokane (by nearly three minutes a day!). Tonight I drove home from work at twilight. Glorious.
I rode the bus earlier this week because of the freezing rain and snow. I do realize that for a blog that’s purportedly about thrift shopping, I put a lot on here about weather and food. Know that there are some clothing posts to come. I was in Portland last weekend, and found some fun recycled items. I’ll need warmer weather to break out the floral dress and silk blouse and two-toned pink t-strap shoes.
One evening this week on my ride home, I was reading under anemic bus lights with my paperback close to my face. I didn’t pay much attention at first to a woman and two teenagers who boarded. The woman wore grayscale camo skinny jeans and black hightops, which I can respect. One of the girls wore a trucker ballcap kittycorner on her head. The younger, blond one didn't wear any distinguishing accessories. She seemed not to have realized yet that she's pretty.
I should say that eavesdropping on the bus is one of the greatest perks of riding public transit. Attempting/pretending to read is a perfect cover. The girls were asking the woman about what she was like when she was younger. “I was like a girl looking down, with her nose stuck in a book,” the woman said. “I was so shy, not like I am now.”
The girls were teasing her about a new gentleman caller. “He tried to kiss me,” she said, “but I turned away.”
They wanted to know how and why she got pregnant with them when she was so young. “Your dad would just sneeze near me, and I’d get pregnant again.” The woman had much more humor than regret.
Why this family chose this bus on this evening to ask about the stories of their conception, I’m not sure.
But I was sure this was more interesting than my book.
I studied more closely the woman's face. My first thought: she looks like hell. I was trying to figure out how old she was to have teen daughters. 
Maybe she could sense my computations.
“I was pregnant at 16 with your older sister, in 1992.”
Then I realized the woman is one year older than I am.
I couldn’t help but salute her as we exited the bus, young mom and her hatchlings from the front of the bus, me slipping out the side.


  1. Your blog has, once again, given me chills. I turned 18 in 1992.

    I love reading about everything you do, not just thrift shopping. However, today I scored some cool dollhouse furniture, 3 chairs and 2 sofas, for $12. And some weird stuff to use as minis.

  2. Sorry to be so slow with the comments! Thanks for the kind words about the post. Sounds like you really scored with the tiny furniture! This is a market I need to investigate. :)

  3. Can bus-blog be a sideline of Thrippie? It is certainly Galore. You could write in retrospect about Flying Squirrel Man or Bus Trivia, or Don't Study Too Hard Driver. Salt Lake weirdos miss you.

  4. There's no weirdos like SLC weirdos. Man, I do miss that town. And its busses!