1. It actually brings us… physically… closer together. There’s nothing like being nose to nose with your fellow commuters at 8AM to bring a true sense of community to a city of 10 million. Sometimes, it’s amusing and you give each other that knowing “this is annoying, but let’s make the best of it” kind of look. Or, it’s a reminder of why you only see your annoying middle sibling on holidays, like, when someone nags you to “move into that open spot” which is, in fact, where a baby stroller is parked. REALLY GIRL?! Mind your own business, move into that open spot on the tracks next time we stop please.
2. We all have a common enemy. You’re mad? You need to bitch about delays? The vending machine is not taking your card? You’ve got a shoulder to cry on. And, really, if you’re crying, chances are it will land on someone’s shoulder.
3. Overhearing conversations make us feel… something? Sometimes, when I hear basic bitches having conversation on the subway I think to myself how lucky I am that I really don’t care about how the barista spelled my name, or the bridesmaid dress I “have” to wear for a friend’s wedding. Thanks for reminding me that my life is endlessly more interesting than yours, Lindsay with an “A”.
4. It encourages good samaritanism. The card swiper is dirty and there’s only one turnstile? And not the kind you can jump? No worries, the guy who magically got in before you will let you in the emergency exit door. FYI that “alarm” never sounds. I never say no to someone asking for a swipe when I’m leaving a station. I have a weekly unlimited, if I can make someone’s day while simultaneously sticking it to the MTA man, better believe I’m going for it.
5. Subway performers. Whether they are breakdancing (or pole dancing? What kind of show is this again?), a veteran on his flute, or a brass band at Union Square there’s always some music or energy to distract you from whatever it is you’re mad at that day. Subway performers, you’re always worth my spare singles and I’m grateful for you!
6. The heartwarming feeling you get when you give your seat up to an old woman (or man!) Even when I’m not feeling well, or tired as hell, I always give my seat up for an older woman. NOT enough people do this. Once, I gave my seat up on the C to an elderly lady. She looked at me and said “of all the young men on this train, it’s the little girl that gives up her seat.” I never thought of that before, I’m happy to give my seat up, but why did no one else offer for the 2nd elderly woman who was standing next to her? I felt great, the woman got her seat, and now I have even more fuel to add to my “all men are jerks.”