Post-Wisconsin Ponderings

I spent a few days last week in the lovely Madison, Wisconsin…that glowing city on a hill, that dweam within a dweam.

I was visiting my sister for a couple of days, being semi-productive in the student union by the lake. She was being productive, and I was playing Pottermore and writing complaint letters.
I had a crazy and annoying MegaBus experience on Wednesday night. I missed the bus because I was misinformed of where the bus was going to be, and what bus was actually coming. No fault of my own, of course. And then, after waiting 2 hours for the next bus, I had to buy another ticket. They wouldn’t let me on, with my 2 hour-outdated ticket, so I had to buy a whole new ticket.
I spent the two hours between buses chatting with a fellow recent graduate, who is in the process of moving toChicago fromMadison.  Funny thing is, after an hour of discussing everything from our almost identical choices in major to this recent 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, we were talking about my recent infuriating exchanges with Cosmopolitan regarding their racist “Latina” focused magazine, when I realized something.  This girl was in the middle of telling me about a related dating escapade when I interrupted her- “Wait,” I said, “Just so you know, I’m Liz.”  We were so distracted by how much we had in common and our annoying situation that we completely forgot to exchange names.

The whole situation had me thinking on the bus, as a drunk passenger in the back displayed common courtesy by freestyle rapping all 3 hours of the ride and eventually taking off her pants.  I thought of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wind In The Door, and the emphasis placed on our names as a part of our identities.  Names, and naming each other, as a cornerstone of our sense of self as human beings.  How interesting to connect with someone, and even exchange very personal anecdotes, without even as basic of an introductory gesture as knowing each other’s names.

Some of you may know, this isn’t the first time I became close to someone without knowing their name.  A few summers ago, I rather accidentally went on several dates with a guy, over a period of a month or so, without actually ever knowing his name.  Eventually, it just gets to that point where you can’t ask – you need to, but you can’t- because it’s just been too long to not know.  Thankfully, I didn’t let it get to quite that extent this time 🙂


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