I live on a bus line to campus--it's less than a two block walk for me to catch a bus that gets me to campus in 15 minutes. And the university, as of this past spring, provides free bus passes for all employees. That's right, my commute is free.
So why don't I take the bus every day? Over the last fourteen years I haven't used it much at all, though this year I'm doing it much more often (read: free bus pass. Also, high gas prices and a third driver in the house.) Still, every week there are days when I don't take the bus. Tuesday and Thursday Mariah and I take an early morning exercise class, so we drive because we've got a lot to carry and really can't be late. She drops me in my office after our class and I take the bus home.
It's the other days that worry me. I teach on MWF, and I can get a bus that will, pretty reliably, get me in to campus more than an hour before my first class. It should be a no-brainer. But this morning, for example, I really had to think hard about whether to take it. And the reason, though I'm not proud to admit it, is my hair.
I know, I know, it's ridiculous. But hear me out. I have shoulder-length thick curly hair. It does best when mostly left alone--but that leaving alone has to come after it's wet. It takes about three hours to dry. Blow-drying leaves it bushy and frizzy (not to mention taking more time, energy, and skill than I have--and don't talk to me about diffusers). So I usually walk out the door with wet hair, and by the time I have to be presentable, it usually is. (As presentable as it's going to be, anyway.) In warm weather, waiting for a bus with wet hair is no problem. But as the temperature drops, I find myself reaching for the car keys. I rationalize: it's only six miles; if I get sick I'll use even more energy going to the doctor; at least I take the bus some days; etc.
It's a small thing. But it occupied way more of my mental energy this morning than it should have. Still, I took the bus. With damp hair and an outdoor temp of about 45. I guess I'll be checking back after the first frost.