She had gotten a salt bagel with hummus because “we’re in New York, honey” but now the hummus was spilling out the sides. As her jaw clenched around her breakfast, the bagel clenched and the ground garbanzo oozed outwardly.
He began uncrumpling the white paper bag that their Brooklyn experience had been served in. He blew into the bag to open it. This did nothing besides convince himself that he had helped.
“Put this under your bagel.”
He handed her the bag turned cumbersome bib proud that he had figured out his own what all New Yorkers had to be taught when they started eating bagels for breakfast at 4 years old.
He explained his new realization that the age old bag under the bagel could be improved by tossing napkins in the bottom of the receptacle to soak up the excess bagel filling. He didn’t explain his even newer realization that this made no sense and was completely unnecessary because he was still on a high from improving on being a native New Yorker.
He thought about how “He kissed her” is a really nice sentence, but “she kissed him” seems scary. Before he had to worry about this anymore he decided it best to kiss her on the cheek and also offer his seat to a woman riding the subway alone. SHE was 40 years old and able to stand for HERself. Obviously it was necessary for HIM to find a place for the bag full of napkins and preparation for excess hummus that never occurred and the three shopping bags of Macy’s items. His bag of napkins was proving difficult to store appropriately as it was a little greasy and he was worried about leaving a grease stain on the subway floor.
He worried that a real New Yorker would have just carried the bag instead of shoving it face down under the seat where the grease stain would be less bothersome to other subway passengers. Then he was distracted by watching his girlfriend’s nose point at his navel.
“Why’d you do that?”
She responded to his poking of her nose accompanied by an exclamation of “boop!” He wanted to tell her “because we’re in New York,” but he knew that that didn’t make any sense. Maybe it was just vacation that was making him so giddy, he thought as he retook his seat that he had given up out of chivalry. Luckily he didn’t have time to think as another woman was standing alone. SHE was nearly 60 years old probably, though it was hard to tell with the Asians. He knew this wasn’t a very New York thing to do (standing up for two different people on a subway ride), but there were somethings that just needed to be universal.
“Or either of you.”
He didn’t really understand why the man wanted to take his seat while the woman didn’t, but maybe it was an Asian thing.
“Oh my god.”
She mouthed to herself but within vision of her boyfriend to express how strange it was to sit next to an old smelly Asian man on the subway. It’s too bad she had to marry someone so nice, but at least her parents liked him.
I have an obligation to society, that if society gives me more, then I must give more. And to those given least by society, we give more. I once argued with a woman in a bar I was working about chivalry and she questioned my lack of chivalry by asking if I would stand up for a woman in heels after a long day of work, to which I countered “would you stand up for a man in heels?” Let’s please be understanding of the things we give. That if the real distinction to be made is between person in heels and person in flats, then let’s not associate that with anything else even if they are correlated. My favorite first year statistics lesson is the lesson on correlation where the student is asked to think about why we can’t exclaim that ice-cream cures the common cold because there are less cases of the common cold when more people are eating ice-cream. The student rightfully ascribes both the lack of ice-cream eating and virility of the common cold virus to the common cold outside. Therefore correlation and causality are not the same. Therefore ice-cream does not cure the common cold. Therefore person in heels does not equal woman. Therefore getting up for a woman on the subway does not equal getting up for a person society has forced to feel a need to be gotten up for. It is fine to treat different genders differently as long as it is countering the difference that those genders are treated by society. Also: understand: historical prospective. That as a straightwhiteman I have been given opportunities that others have not, and therefore – especially if we are not going to allow our governments to redistribute power through socialism – I have a obligation to society to give more back to members of society – specific members of society.
I bet you that they had aspirations to be in a country club.