Sorry, I Have to Catch My Train

July 30th, 2010 · 13 Comments · Rituals

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this in the past eight years. The words probably give my coworkers the chills (or a clinical case of the eye-rolls) because unless the story I was working on was going to the printer or the magazine I was working for was breaking a big story, like, for instance, how to clean a cutting board (God I love Real Simple) I was on my beloved 5:39 train (or, latest, my 5:59) that rolled me into my suburban station at exactly 6:05 every single night. Which meant that I was weaving up the hilly streets of my neighborhood by 6:09, walking in the front door at 6:15 (with two searching little faces looking out the brightly lit front window unable to see me approaching in the dark) and in my kitchen prepping dinner 15 minutes later.

I think people at work came to know two Jennys: the relatively harmless Jenny who was around most of the day, and the post-4:30 Jenny, who made militaristic, monosyllabic decisions, who barely looked up from her work to even smile if someone decided to come and gossip (Come on! You couldn’t have told me about Katie in Legal at 3:00?), and the one who would start sweating if a meeting was called at any point between 4:30 and 5:21, the exact minute when she’d begin her sprint to Grand Central Station. (Only sometimes looking back to see coworkers, and once even a boss, glancing at their watches as she’d fly down whatever taupe-colored hall she called her office.) (more…)

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