You never know how bad you have it, if â€œitâ€ is all you know. And he used to be all I knew.
I remember it like it was just three semesters ago: Heâ€™d pick me up a quarter past the hour, right as I was running out the door â€“â€“ hair wet, backpack unzipped, coffee pot still on and roommateâ€™s cat accidentally locked inside my bedroom, eating my fake flowers from Hobby Lobby.
Waving my arms, I desperately motioned for him to wait, but with a single hollow glance behind his shoulder, he drove off, and we both coldly realized how volatile our relationship had always been.
He was the Number 7 Fort Collins Transfort bus, and when I was with him, I thought I knew what love was supposed to be â€“â€“ infrequent, and full of surprisingly fashion-forward transvestites.
But then, as fate would have it, I moved across town, far and away from Number 7â€™s route. We didnâ€™t even try a long-distance relationship after that â€“â€“ both of us knew how unrealistic it would have been. Besides, I knew Iâ€™d be better off without him.
The wound of our parting was still fresh, and since it was feasible from my new place, I started biking to campus instead of taking a bus â€“â€“ what woman really needs a man (I mean… public transportation) anyway?
I bet some strong woman in at least three Lifetime Original movies has said, â€œYou can try to escape loveâ€™s grip, but honey, youâ€™ll always find your way back into it.â€ And sure enough, I did. After an unfortunate string of two stolen bikes and insufficient money for a car, Transfort lured me back in.
Except this time, it was the Number 3, and Iâ€™m happy to say our love is still abloom. (Listen, 7, Iâ€™m sorry. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll be great for someone else, but our schedules just werenâ€™t compatible. Only one trip an hour? Really? A girl has needs! )
Alright, youâ€™re probably thinking, â€œWho is this crazy woman referring to buses as past love interests? Is she the type of person who regularly rides public transportation?â€
Well, no. Maybe. Iâ€™m kidding, sort of. All I know is, the public transportation Iâ€™ve ridden in Fort Collins and cities around the world has not only gotten my frugal, car-less self around (albeit sometimes unreliable), but itâ€™s also shown a genuine slice of the townâ€™s culture.
And with gas prices where they are right now, I think a lot of us would be crazy not to give public transportation a try.
In a Salon.com article aptly named â€œItâ€™s time to love the bus,â€ the writer Will Doig recognizes the criticism for what many see as the most lowly form of modern transportation. But he also touts its potential, saying, â€œThe bus suffers from an image problem. But not long ago, so did bicycles. Now bikes are the cool kidâ€™s transport, and all it took was a little investment and some reputation rehab.â€
Meaning, we just need to see a PSA showing Ryan Gosling riding a bus to work, and every single one will be filled to capacity with lonely women (just kidding â€“â€“ all women) within a week.
In the article, Doig also says, â€œWhether more glamour will translate into more riders is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain: When it comes to improving mass transit, thereâ€™s a lot of low-hanging fruit on the humble city bus.â€
Itâ€™s time that that we pick that underrated fruit. For just a week, try dropping your car keys and hopping on one of Fort Collinsâ€™ many bus routes â€“â€“ you just may fall in â€œlove,â€ too.
Editorial Editor Colleen McSweeney is a junior journalism major. Her column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.