Bus Stop Stories: Margaret and Martin-Choosing Your Battles

Never drive in a big city, you miss too much of life. The bus stop outside my apartment building is located where several cultures meet, makes for interesting observations. Take Margaret and Martin, 45 years married, a lot of life to learn from.

“Martin, I really think we should get one,” Margaret said.

“I don’t think so,” Martin said.

“But we need one.”

“Nah, we’re fine.”

“How can you say that?”

“Haven’t needed one so far.”

“So you say.” Margaret crossed her arms around her purse and stared at the cracked pavement in front of her. Martin sitting next to her on the bus stop bench stared into the distance. I saw his lips moving. “Three, two, one…”

“But dear if we got one we would be so much better off really. All the other girls are getting them. Why, even Phil is getting Florence one.” Margaret thought pulling in one of his buddies would help convince him.

“Phil’s an idiot.”

“Now is that anyway to talk? Seriously, he is one of your best friends.”

“Every group needs an idiot in the bunch.”


I could see a slight twitch at the corners of Martin’s mouth. He held back his grin of victory. Martin was a smart man, he had survived 67 years, 45 with Margaret, by knowing when to be quiet.

Their bus arrived and they stood as the door stopped in front of them, Martin holding Margaret’s arm as she stepped onto the bus, and him following behind with their fare. I didn’t know what it was that Margaret thought they needed but I did know if it had been something special Martin would have caved instantly. Martin chose his battles. Lesson learned at the bus stop.


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