There are countless times where I have had the "I am so lucky to live in New York" feeling: When the trees start blooming in April. When you finally see flurries from the first snowfall through your fogged up window. While walking down one of those streets uptown and day-dreaming about the gorgeous brownstones. When you feel the warm breeze rustle your hair as you sit outside eating great food, drinking wine, and laughing too loudly with you friends. While watching the sky turn pink, purple, and gold as the sun sets behind the glistening buildings.
And then you have that other feeling. The "only in New York" feeling. Again, many times, that is a great feeling. Like, only in New York could you be walking around Columbus Circle and be surprised by a pop-up troupe of singers from The Metropolitan Opera who start regaling you with pieces from Rigoletto or La Boheme. But yesterday during my morning commute I had one of those other "only in New York" moments.
If you commute, you know there is a set of certain spoken and unspoken rules. If you see something, say something. A crowded train is not an excuse or opportunity for sexual harassment. Don't listen to your music on speaker. Don't hog the railing. Move all the way in. Don't have loud conversations. If the car is empty, you are not lucky; a pungent homeless person has taken up one end of the car, and you're now stuck trying to breathe through your mouth until the next stop. And when it comes to finding a seat? It's every man/woman for him/herself.
Well, yesterday, as I settled down into my coveted seat on the crowded E train and cracked open my book, I heard that distinct click-snap of a nail clipper. Obviously, my initial thought was "Thank God that is nowhere near me". But damn those MTA acoustics because as I turned my attention back to my book, in my peripheral vision what did I see but the silver gleam of what could only be a nail clipper...in the hands of...the person sitting right. next. to. me. WTF?!
1. Who thinks to themselves, hey, you know what? I don't have time before I leave my house, but why not capitalize on my commute time and kill two birds with one nasty stone? Oh who, you ask? The guy sitting right next to me, of course.
2. THAT IS NASTY.
So, as I sat there debating whether or not I should give up my prize seat (I still had FIVE stops to go!) and imagining those little clippings of dead hair (right? nails are made of hair?) invisibly flying through the air landing all over me, I just shook my head and inadvertently caught the eye of the person sitting in front of me. And we both kind of just rolled our eyes, shrugged, and then chuckled. Because only in New York, right?
P.S. I did not give up my seat. And it took him the whole 20 minutes to really get his nails to their perfect shape and size. I know. Gross.