Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's The Rule

This'll be a short one I swear.

Now, it's been a while since I've seen this film but I love it all the same and something that happened to me today made me think of it. The movie is Zombieland and in the film there are several rules that the protagonist, a very socially awkward pre-social-network Jesse Eisenberg, makes in order to keep himself sane in a post-apocalyptic world.

This is the rule that struck me right while I was riding the train home today.

I was on the A train on my way home and I had just taken a seat (finally) after the long gap between 59th street and 125th street. Unfortunately for me, a family walks through the train doors (a mother, father, young child, and baby in a stroller). Not being so self-serving I wouldn't give up a seat for a child, I stood. The child was immediately told to sit down by his parents.

They offered me no word of thanks.

Now, I already know where this statement might lead you - you're not supposed to do acts of kindness in order to receive gratitude. And while I agree, I think it's only human nature to yearn for some sort of recognition every once in a while.

Now, two stops later, the man I had been sitting next to before I'd given up my seat (a tall black man with glasses holding what seemed to be an encased cello), got up and before the station came up, obviously meaning to get off the train.

He may have said excuse me, I don't remember, but I was moving back, balancing myself as the train moved forward not at all worried about my equilibrium. But I'd moved back too far and brushed against another seated passenger's shoe.

"I'm sorry," I said.

"You didn't have to stop holding the pole," the celloist said with a hint of humor.

"It's alright," I said, "I just don't like being in the way."

And then something odd happened. "Wow," he said, "you're awesome."

I laughed and couldn't find the words to respond.

He made his way out of the train but stopped before finally departing.

"You have a nice day," he said.

"You too," I replied.

Now this may be a very small and inconsequential interaction but I can't begin to express the sense of well being that spread over me after a long grueling day of class and work.

You may also not understand how this relates to the theme of the working college student but it's so rare that you have these sweet New York moments and as a New Yorker, I have to say that rule no.32 is one that isn't often followed.

It's so often that New Yorkers respond to being overworked by forgetting how to enjoy anything, suddenly turning into a cleaner (possibly) more well dressed version of Oscar the Grouch. And honestly, I feel like I may have been that way too before the interaction with the kind stranger.

But to cut myself off before rambling - I just want everyone to stop, take a second, and enjoy the little things. Even if its between school and work, between getting out of work from your 12 hr shift and going home, etc.

Till Next Time

Zombieland Rules

No comments:

Post a Comment