Once upon a time I took the CTA. (And for any of you non-Chicagoans, this stands for Chicago Transit Authority). I took either the train or the bus, on a daily basis, to and from work but also any time I really wanted to get to another neighborhood. Now this was not just a means of transportation, this was the Chicago EL for cryin’ out loud. It was an adventure. Sure, at times (60% of the time, every time) it was downright exhausting, disgusting, and horrifying, but it was also really entertaining…
I had just finished a long day at work and was walking to the train to go home. It had been one of those days, not necessarily bad – just exhausting and I was ready for a glass (or three) of wine. Just as I was stepping onto the train from the above-ground platform, a lady behind me (in the biggest hurry of her life) stepped on the back of my heel. I felt my sandal come off my foot so I stopped – one foot on the train, one foot off – and turned around to put my shoe back on (and give some side-eye at the woman behind me who practically trampled me getting onto the train.) But when I turned around, my shoe wasn’t there. I looked at the woman and saw her look down, so I looked down and that’s when I saw my sandal. It had fallen in-between the crack of the train and the platform. In other words- my shoe was laying way down below on the track. ON THE TRAIN TRACK.
In shock, I looked at the woman and said, “Ummm… is that my shoe?” and she just stared at me with an expressionless look on her face, stuck out her pursed lips while moving her head in a circular motion like a velociraptor and replied, “Mmmmmm-Hmmmmm.”
?!?!?! MMMMM-HMMMM?! There was no “I’m so sorry I stepped on you and caused this catastrophe” or “Let me climb down and get that for you” or even, “Here, wear my shoe”… a simple “Mmm Hmm” with a head roll was all I got. And I thought- you’ve got to be joking, lady. I got a hasty ‘forward motion’ signal from the other people behind her and, still in shock, I just walked onto the train. With one shoe on. And then I sat down. With one shoe on. And I just sat there. And laughed. You know, just laughing all by myself, as people stared at me. Because I only had one shoe on.
And the worst part? (As if all of this wasn’t bad enough) – these shoes were my first and only designer shoes I’d ever owned. Like, never-spent-this-much-on-sandals-before shoes. You know what I’m talking about, we all have (at least) one pair. I shook my head and thought, “Well that’s what you get for spending that kind of money on SANDALS. Ridiculous. You can only shop at Marshalls or Target now, Emily. Don’t ever buy expensive shoes again.”
I immediately called Christian to tell him what was going on and he met me at the train station with an extra pair of shoes so I didn’t have to do the walk of shame home. Then he took me out for margaritas and nachos, because that is the cure to any bad day.