Sandwiched between returning from three months in Europe and moving to Austin, TX, we planned a four-day pit stop in New York to pick up some wayward items we left behind, see a few friends, and say farewell to my old dogs who have found a new home. My best friend’s son’s bar mitzvah in West Hartford, CT, landed right in the middle of our visit, and there was no question we would make the trip regardless of how inconvenient it would be or how jetlagged we were. My friend and I have shared in each other’s simchas (celebrations) whenever we could, and this was a big one. She was there when my son was born and she came in for our good-bye party, but more importantly, I knew how important this simcha was to her. Just like I felt that Aiven’s first birthday was a milestone for me, I knew that this bar mitzvah was a milestone for her, a celebration of all her hard work raising her son from infancy to manhood.
From Europe, we bought Megabus tickets and got a great deal. Our roundtrip tickets cost $14, about as much as the cab ride from the Upper West Side to the bus stop. We arrived at the bus stop a little early and stood in line. Aiven was asleep and the weather was pleasant, and we felt that the universe was smiling upon us. We were wrong. Aiven woke up and we kept waiting and waiting for the bus to arrive. Alex went to ask why it was delayed, and it was plain to see that the dispatcher was not getting any answers and was as frustrated as the rest of us. In hindsight I don’t know why we waited as long as we did before we sprang into action — was it our unreasonable optimism, the resignation of our fellow passengers, or the good weather that made it too comfortable to just keep waiting? Read the rest of this entry →