Thought Catalog
April 21, 2014

The 12-Step Guide To Taking The Bus When Your Ride Bails And You Have No Other Option

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What is the issue?

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of taking the city bus — but then again, who is? Who actually likes to sit on a crowded bus, pressed up against strangers who sometimes smell, worrying about missing your stop because you can’t see past the man with the giant pom-pom on top of his hat? Taking the bus is especially annoying in Long Island; there’s a schedule, but it’s not like the bus drivers follow it. Taking the bus is also a very daunting task for anyone who suffers from anxiety; no amount of planning can quell the nervous thoughts of being disgustingly late to work (or wherever you have to go) when riddled with fear and nausea.

The only thing that can make the situation worse is if, god forbid, there aren’t any seats and you have to stand, your only support the cold metal bar that you can barely reach. I’ve yet to find a single person who actually enjoys the city bus; however, although it may not be enjoyable, the bus is a very convenient form of transportation and it’s just a part of life that everyone has to deal with at some point.


Step 1: Realize the inevitable. Your mom’s car broke down on her way home from work yesterday, and today, she’s taken your car while hers is in the shop. You wake up to a note on the table and a stack of quarters.

Step 2: Panic and call every single friend you have, begging for a ride to work. That’s a bust. Contemplate calling in sick for the day — also a bust, you really need the money.

Step 3: Come to terms with your means of transportation and begin to plan out excessively. Look up the bus schedule, time your walk to the bus stop, add in extra time, just in case the bus is late, and factor in the time to walk from the bus stop to your destination. Agree on a time to leave for the bus.

Step 4: Actually leave 20 minutes before the time you planned because you were nervous.

Step 5: Panic and experience that horrifying moment you always have as you walk towards the bus stop, worrying that the bus will show up early, even though you’re still a block and a half away. Think of what you’d do if that actually happened — do you start running, waving your arms, hoping that the bus driver will see you, or do you let it pass, accepting your fate?

Step 6: Sit at the bus stop for 20 minutes like an idiot because you’re way too early.

Step 7: You’ve been waiting for the bus for so long now that you question whether or not it’s even coming. Start to think of all the different scenarios as to how your day will progress if this bus doesn’t show up.

Step 8: The bus is here, thank god. Get on the bus and look for a comfortable spot. Oh, no seats? Awesome. Grab on to the railing, inevitably sticking your armpit in the face of an old lady sitting with her dozens of grocery bags.

Step 9: Concentrate on keeping your balance to keep from crushing the aforementioned old woman, while also keeping a look out for your stop.

Step 10: Jump the gun and pull the line for the wrong stop. Look down and pretend it wasn’t you.

Step 11: Actually pull the line for your stop and fight your way through the bodies to the front of the bus.

Step 12: Feel accomplished as you cross the street to get to where you’ve got to go, because you took the bus successfully, and you think you’re on top of the world. TC mark

featured image – Macy Gray/Epic Records