Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Quarter w/ Meaning

So today on the bus...

visual: Living lightly and brightly, I rock my hot pink leg warmers today and a luluelmon athletica work out one piece. Yes, you read that right, a one piece. My new purple and white aviator-esque sunglasses peer down Wilshire to find my bus approaching right when I arrive.

I love when the bus arrives just as I step up to the bus stop. Its a simple matter in life, but for me that is something I get a huge kick out of.

On the phone today with my boyfriend in Chicago, I put him on hold and step in line. A wonderful older gentleman is standing aside letting all passengers go before him. He is wearing green corduroys and a white shirt with a beige waterproof jacket. It is probably closet to 75 degrees and sunny, mid afternoon and he is ready for a mild snow storm. Alas, I nod at him, step on the bus and greet my bus driver. I grab quarters out of my backpack and begin to drop them in. On accident, I drop six quarters instead of five.

I smirk and look up to my bus driver. I said, "that last quarter is for him" and I point to the winter wonderland behind me.

I rush to the back and tell the boyfriend I have bus adventures to find and get to my spot by the double door.

As I peer up, I see the corduroy-clad man stumbling in an old man demeanor back to the back towards me. He comes right up in front of me and looks at me straight in the eyes and asks, "But why? Why did you pay a quarter for me?".

I smile, tap his shoulder and say, "Oh, that. You were so sweet to let everyone on the bus go before you, just a little love back".

At first I thought he was mad at me or something. He looks down and shakes his white haired-head. He looks up with tears on his wrinkled eyes and says, "Thank you is not enough. It would never be enough".

I chuckle almost. So dramatic. I lean in, "Oh, well I think thank you is always just enough." And I tap him on the shoulder and he smiles and thanks me again and again.

He maneuvers himself up to the front rows and I stand smiling.

A quarter, 25 cents and he is thanking me twice over. You really never know what something will mean to someone. Maybe he just needed someone to care, and that was who I got to be for him in that moment. Or maybe, he only had one dollar and this was all in the timing.

Or maybe, it was just perfect.

An extra quarter fell from my hand. And I made the day of that old man.

Felt quite right. Felt quite right.


  1. Awesome! I think too often we forget just how lonely the elderly can be. All they want is a smile or a hello. When Mackenzie was just a couple months old we took her to visit her Great Aunt and Uncle in their Senior Community...within MINUTES people were coming from everywhere just to see the visiting baby! It was kinda weird but great at the same time to know that the short visit could bring so much joy to a person's life.

    Props to you for finding a simple way of making an old man happy and important! Gonna miss my favorite Snob on a Bus!

  2. Don't worry! I'll be around. ;) On a plane, a bus, or a train ... snobbing somwhere in the Midwest!

  3. are you leaving LA?

  4. Yes. I am moving to Chicago in mid-April. Don't fret, I will be SnobOntheTrain! Same rider, same blog, new stories!

  5. Too bad you are moving, California is the greatest place ever!!!

  6. I like the party bus for tour at night.
    Thanks for blog.
    Nashville Party Bus rental