Monday, August 29, 2011

Then and Now 13 - Now and Then

Then and Now 13 - Now and Then
Time: Early 2011, married, and late 2007, single and at my apartment.

I've written twelve Then and Now posts, three experiences for each of the four periods of my unmarried life, and I've just barely begun relating the good times I had back then. But this Then and Now is going to turn the standard format on its ear: instead of taking a great day in my unmarried life and comparing it to the boring day I just experienced, I'm going to take a non-eventful day in my unmarried life and compare it to a day of travel as a married man.

A few months ago, I finally got the go-ahead to take my wife, our son, my sister-in-law and myself out to the main city to have a long day of fun and adventure. That day, my wife and son woke up at the same time, and while my son and I were ready to go immediately, my wife needed nearly an hour to get all of her makeup and dressing up ready for her to go. In the meantime, my son was in a bad mood because he had just woken up, so I stared at the wall for the whole time while I waited for my wife to finish. Finally, she was ready, and we went downstairs to be on our way.

I suggested that we drive there to avoid long lines and waits for buses and stuff, but my wife disagreed and wouldn't budge from her position, so I let her have her way. The bus took nearly fourty minutes to arrive. In the meantime, I stood around, staring at the sky and daydreaming while my sister-in-law played with my son. When it finally arrived, it was a very, very slow ride through muddled and packed streets to get to the train station that would take us to the main city. My son seemed to be pretty excited about being on the bus, though, so I was glad he was having a good time.

At the train station, my sister-in-law bought us some bread and coffee at a local convenience store while we waited another twenty minutes for the train to come. I mostly just stared at the sky, but I woke up now and then to chat with my wife and son. We boarded, and the train got to its stop rather quickly.

When we got off, we went to a local temple. Things were actually pretty interesting here. There were a lot of nice statues and placards detailing the history of the place, and there was an artificial waterfall in one of the corners that I took a couple of pictures of. But we didn't look around for long; my wife soon took us back to the train stop so she could go window shopping at a few clothes stores. I stood beside her and stared blankly for about fifteen minutes.

We finally hopped another train up north to a carnival, just three blocks outside of the station. It was so close that I could see the ferris wheel over the buildings beside us. I suggested that we just walk for three minutes to get there quickly instead of waiting for the shuttle, but my wife disagreed and wouldn't budge from her position, so I let her have her way. When we got there about fifteen minutes later, we bought some tickets and went inside. I wanted to get in line to start riding some rides with our son, but my wife disagreed and wanted to stand in line to rent a baby carriage. She wouldn't budge from her position, so I let her have her way.

I stood in line for about twenty minutes to get the carriage, then we loaded up our son and went to the first ride, a miniature train that went around the carnival, where we stood in line. An hour later, my wife, son and I rode the train. They both seemed to have a great time, until the ride was over: my son then threw a screaming fit because he wanted to ride again, so my wife and I had to calm him down. When that was over, we went to the ferris wheel to ride it, where my sister-in-law held our place in line so we didn't have to wait another hour. On the wheel, both my wife and son seemed really happy at going so high and seeing so many things, so I was glad for them.

We left the carnival, then hopped another train to head to a popular tourist spot next to the ocean, where there were tons of shops to visit and things to buy. My wife and I went there on our first pseudo-date in Then and Now 9, and I had been there at least three times prior, but my son had never gone before. My memory gets a bit hazy here, because all we really did was walk from one shop to another while my wife looked at clothes and stuff, and my son and I played crane games here and there. Aside from hanging with my son, I found myself zoning out several times because I was just so bored.

My wife got stuck on one clothes store for about twenty minutes, so I excused myself to go take a walk with our son by the ocean and talked with him. A while later, I got a call from her saying it was time to go, so we hopped a final train to get to a place where another bus could take us home. When we got there, my wife and son were hungry, so my sister-in-law and my son walked to a convenience store to buy some food. My wife was silent, so about fifteen minutes of wall staring later, my sister-in-law and son came back with the food. I wasn't hungry, so I just sat there while everyone ate, and I stared off into space some more.

We then walked out to the bus stop that our bus was coming to, only to see enough people to fill three of those buses standing in line waiting for the next one. I suggested to my wife that we take a taxi home, and for the first time the entire day, she agreed with me, and we found one to take us back. We rode down darkened streets for about fourty minutes before we got home. Everyone showered, then we went to bed.

When it comes to adventure in a married man's life, a day like that is about as wild as it gets.

As for one working day before I got married...

I woke up at 6:00.
I played video games.
I went to work.
I taught students.
I made $100, $70 of which wasn't going to daily expenses.
I bought a can of Pringles for dinner, because I didn't feel like doing dishes.
I went home.
My hamper was almost completely empty; laundry didn't need to be done until Friday night.
There were no dishes that needed to be done.
The floor was absolutely spotless and free of junk, dirt and misplaced furniture; sweeping didn't need to be done until Friday night.
I ate my Pringles.
I emailed and called some friends and asked if they wanted to hang out the next day.
I watched TV.
I played video games.
I fished my subway/train map out of my memories box, found a good place to visit, and left the map next to my keys and wallet for when I woke up the next day.
I lay down in bed and daydreamed about the adventures I would have after I woke up.
I slept.

That was a typical work day in my old life. Not too shabby.

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