The other morning, I dragged my sorry ass on to the bus to work at 6:35 am. Half asleep and bundled up from the cold, I shuffled to a seat at the back of the bus. I had my iPod tuned to the Glee soundtrack to keep me upright and somewhat aware of my surroundings.
That’s when I noticed a young couple sitting across from me. They were sitting side by side on the small bus seat, and they were texting each other. The girl typed something out on her phone and hit send; the guy flipped his open, read the message, laughed and typed out his response.
I’m pretty sure they were making fun of me. Right in front of me. Via text.
So many thoughts swam through my sleepy brain, the first being, “Seriously, Dude?”
But then I looked down at me and realized that I would’ve made fun of me when I was 17. I was wearing my down-filled, Michelin-man snowboarding jacket (not because I snowboard, but because it was the warmest jacket in the whole store), my scarf was wrapped around my head multiple times, frost formed around my mouth where the moisture of my hot breath condensed on the wool, my kitty-toque pulled low over my forehead so the only thing visible was my eyes, and they had frozen then thawed/melted mascara rings.
I was a stunner.
After realizing what exactly they were seeing when they looked across the aisle at me, I lifted my raccoon eyes to face my mockers.
She was, maybe, 16 or 17, he was a couple of years older. She was cute, a little chubby, hunched over, most likely a self-esteem problem. He was skinny and scruffy, possibly high, definitely douche-y. Neither of them were dressed appropriately for the weather.
After I got over the fact that they were making fun of the old broad staring right at them, my only thought was “Girl, you can do SO MUCH better than this scrub“. Which was exactly what I was told when I was 17 and had my own weakness for douche-bags. Couldn’t she see how cute and probably smart she was? She has a whole exciting life ahead of her and she shouldn’t be wasting her time snuggling up on the bus with this pot-head loser, wearing only a hoodie (not even any mittens!), and texting about strangers who only want the best for her!
What a difference 20 years of
wine chocolate life experience can make. I went from being this young woman, writing notes with my boyfriend to make fun of someone within earshot, thinking I was being so sneaky, and rolling my eyes at anyone who told me I could do better. Now I am the one wishing that girl knew that she was worth so much more than she gives herself credit for, and rolling my eyes at their snickers and texts.
Is that karma, or is it just the circle of life?
Either way…I say hakuna matata for the rest of my bundled-up, soggy-scarved, raccoon-eyed, but-still-know-better than-some-punk-on-the-bus days.
Would you recognize your 17 year-old self? What would you like to tell her/him?