Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are we that afraid of each other?

I have come very familiar with the MTA, maybe a little more than I would like. Riding public transportation is one of my least favorite things to do, and maybe if I did not live in the metropolis of the world, I would drive to work...but in NYC that is financial death!

Therefore, I get on that "iron horse", as we like to call it, every day, into Manhattan, and back home to Brooklyn. I never can say I actually look forward to my commute. A person like me hates being confined as it is for any amount of time, and to have to sit and be patient for 45 minutes and sometimes 1 whole hour if there is "train congestion ahead" can be mortifying to say the least.

To remedy my boredom, I usually will read, listen to my ipod OR just zone out. Think about what I am doing next, how I will execute and so on. Today I did not bring any reading materials, my i-pod was dead, I gave thanks for all I have and I was still left with about 30 minutes, so what did I do...OBSERVE every single human species that was on the train with me.

I observed and analyzed their movements, their gestures, their conversations (if they were with someone) and what I noticed was so funny that I actually was a little disappointed when I reached my destination and had to get off. Every single time I looked in the eyes of someone on the train they quickly moved their eyes, OR they looked back but when they realize that maybe I am not as "normal" as the rest of the people, because I stared at them back, they moved their eyes.

I even smiled at some, and spoke to a few. This is not that much out of my norm since I find myself talking to strangers more often than not..BUT to actually be aware of every detail is really interesting.

People in NYC are so into THEM and what THEY are doing that they really do not care about getting to know anyone. In addition these are the same people who are soo self-conscious its sad. Look at some of the scenarios I noticed and tell me if this is not just pure comedy:

1: Homeless looking person is sitting on the train taking maybe...a good 2 seats. The man is not stinking or looking crazy, but since the 1st person passed on the seat, no one else wants to sit next to the man, in fear they may appear to go against what everyone else is doing.

2: There is an empty seat but their is a bit of "something" in the seat, crumbs, nothing that will really do any damage to your clothes. Person A looks at it but realizes mid way to sitting in the seat and sits anyway because now she risks looking stupid amongst her fellow train riders. So she waits 3 stops and starts dusting under her behind secretly to try to move the crumbs INSTEAD of just getting up and acknowledging it. I saw the whole thing lady, and someone else too. Someone is always watching you.

3: Person A gets on a crowded train and Person B is clearly on top of Person A's neck from the gate. Instead of telling Person A when they were pushing to get on "look..there is no room where are you going"? You stay there in agony for at least 2-3 minute until the next stop, and lets hope there is no "train congestion". Don't let them squeeze in on you if you are clearly hangingout the door yourself.

And the classic,

4: Person A falls asleep and is knocked the hell out next to Person B. Person A is soooo gone and in his 5th dream that he literally starts leaning on Person B who is reading her book. Person B is clearly annoyed and she wants to nudge Person A but is afraid. What are you afraid of?

The answer is WE ARE AFRAID OF EACH OTHER UNCONSCIOUSLY. WHY??? We all pretty much come from the same makeup.

Stop walking on eggshells with strangers. Speak the hell up! If you do not like something and YOU have to experience it, SAY something. You don't have to be rude, but you have to speak up for yourself. You have to own up to being your own best defender and protector.

Lets get to know one another. Do not be afraid to tell someone they have something on their nose, that they are rubbing you with their bag and take it off, to get off of my shoulder please, to stop leaning up against me behind with your "tool" bewteen your legs, to look at me and smile.

Its a new day! Spread the word.


Ms. Nancy said...

You forget to mention the infamous stinkies that forget to put on deodarent or dont believe in it, I mean that is one of the most uncomfortable situations, you get on the train, get comfortable.... take a deep breath, and want to DIE because your stomach cannot take the stench of the "death pit syndrome" or whatever else the smell is coming from.
This is hard to deal with, I mean what do you say "Hey what deodarent are you using?" or "Your armpits smell like something died in them, whats the deal?"
Or do you just silently slip away from the wonderful seat you had from your long hard day?

Great topic though Dee.

People are afraid of one another because ppl in NY are NUTS, KOO KOO, MENTAL.. and noone wants to take any chances. Seen the news lately? lol

Misstyeisha said...

Let me say this Lady Dee. I think staring at one on the train is very rude. Now if you just look and turn away that's something different but to just stare at me is rude and I will have to let you know. NY is a city of "Hustle and Bustle" no one is going to take the time out to say hi. I lived here for 32yrs and you have pleasant NYers and then you have not so pleasant ones. People are so busy and tuned into what they do best they really don't take the time out to say anything. Myself can be an outgoing person but you have those that aren't, everyone has a different personality. I have to say all of the things you mention is so, so true. But hey it's the Big Apple and it wouldn't be that way if we didn't have so many interesting people to laugh and look at.

Fly Ty---OUT!

AdrianC said...

wow u did raise a bunch of interesting points and made some interesting observations. I too have seen some of these things u talk about nice to see it presented in this forum. But yeah I don't think we are afraid of each other I think that ppl are just afraid to express themselves. For the same reason that the lady tries to brush said crumbs away on the low, she is aware of her situation but afraid of expressing her displeasure to everyone on the train so she rather suffer silently. I think more ppl should work on expressing themselves cuz think about it, you can look at a train setting isn't much different from a club.You would think the club is worse, it's dark, people are drinking, and on top of that you are expected to express yourself. The difference is it's dark and expression is a little more private so ppl are a little more inclined to say what they feel. anyway great post look forward to more!

Tasheeta said...

this is my favorite blog.
ok i'm done :)

Tasheeta said...

ok wait, what u were saying about being afraid of each other reminded me when i was at the hairdresser the other day..and my stylist was like "let me know if i hurt u" as she's combing my hair out. then every second she asks "are u ok", "are u ok"..and i gave her the most obviously "WILL YOU STOP ASKING ME" look on the planet. so she was like "i'm sorry i keep asking u, but i'm one of those people that never speaks up when the water is too hot or when the stylist is hurting my head. so i want to make sure, in case you are that person too, that you are "really" ok. its funny, but i'm the most tender-headed person on the planet, and a chic will KILL me..but there's a process that i go thru in my head on whether to say something or not. and sometimes i do, sometimes i dont. its not a matter of being afraid, its more like, u dont want to burden that person if they dont seem like they will welcome your response. i dont know *shrugs*