Wednesday, January 31, 2007

For Shame

Let me tell you a story that happened today.

First, let me explain how getting on the subway train works. Let's say you're standing on the platform waiting for the train. Finally it enters the station and you stand hoping the doors open right in front of you. If they do, you MUST step aside and let the passengers OFF first, before you get on. Otherwise extreme congestion results and everyone starts cussing at each other. But the point is, you want to be the first one on because you want a seat. No one likes to stand.

Today the doors did not open right in front of me. In fact, the worst thing happened: What DID stop right in front of me was the space where 2 cars connect so i was the furthest i could have been from a door in either direction. So i ran over trying to get a good spot to the side of the door, as close to the entry as possible. As people began filing in, I moved closer. And then, do you know what happened? As i was going, i noticed an old man to my left approaching with a hobbled walk, carrying a cane. And do you know what i did? Step aside and let him on, you'd think. Naturally. But no. I hurried and jumped on before him. I know! But you know what? It's New York! Survival of the fittest, man!

Well, that's what I tried to tell myself before shame started seeping into my shoes. I swear to you--and i am not proud--my rationale, my thought in that split second when i was deciding what to do-let him on or go ahead was, he's so slooow. i can just zip on and it won't even slow him down. GO!

For shame! I was ashamed, and took note to see if the man got a seat because i was going to get one but if he didn't, i'd let him have mine. That was my way to make up for it. He did find a seat so i sat down but i was still ashamed. Survival of the fittest? Survival of the meanest, maybe.

Oh, and then when i was getting off the bus at my house, I saw another old man with a cane. "try not to trip him as you walk by, Jen" i told myself.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

At least you feel bad about it. I don't have much subway experience here, but I definantly have to go to the grocery store early so I don't ram people's carts.

ROB said...

Jen to God at Judgment Day: "I know! But you know what? It's New York! Survival of the fittest, man!"

Good Luck Jen, I'm thinkin it won't fly.

jen said...

Once upon a time I WAS a kinder, gentler jen. If someone else wanted a vacant seat--yeah, no problem. it's yours. Now, though, it's tossing elbows and "outta the way, pregnant lady! It's MINE!" It's like, step or be stepped on, really. I've developed quite a protective shell since being here which has made me believe i will have to eventually leave before i become totally hardened.