Erin Payton has been riding Chicago’s CTA rail system to and from work for 15 years.
After much soul searching, I give you my 2014 CTA New Year’s Resolutions
1. I resolve to throw my peanut shells and chicken bones in the garbage can. I know it’s easier to toss them on the floor of the train when I’m done eating, but I vow from now on to walk the extra 10 feet to the garbage can on the platform.
2. Similarly, I resolve to toss out my bottled water when I’m done. It’s fun to leave it on the floor of the train so it rolls around hitting people in the feet and making them think it’s a rat, but I will be a big girl in 2014.
3. I resolve to wait until I’m home to test out the 100 ringtones on my new phone.
4. I resolve that if I do test all 100 ringtones of my new phone, I’ll only run through them once.
5. I resolve to acknowledge that I am allergic to commuting and that my allergy causes my nose to drip incessantly. Therefore, I will always carry easy to reach Kleenex with me. And I will use this Kleenex. Instead of sniffing in a staccato rhythm from boarding to departing.
6. Like my previous resolution, I resolve to acknowledge when I have a torturous cough. If I absolutely cannot do the intelligent thing and stay home in my dinosaur pajamas drinking orange juice and watching HGTV, I will load up on cough drops and cough into a Kleenex or my elbow. I resolve not to cough into my hands or your face.
7. I resolve to be more pleasant when knitting or crocheting on the train. Because getting mad when someone asks me what I’m knitting is like getting mad when someone asks about the picture of Kelsey Grammer you have tattooed on your right bicep. I accept that I am doing something that might strike a person as conversation-worthy.
8. I resolve not to apply make up. Even if I absolutely don’t have the five minutes at home that it takes to transform me from a Plain Jane to a Vivacious Vivian, I will not subject people to my pouts, puckers, or elbows on the train any longer.
9. I resolve to minimizing each of my shoulders by five inches so that I can fit in a seat on the new Red Line train cars. I think the Y has a class for that.
Happy New Year, everyone.