Subway Etiquette

It never ceases to amaze me what people think is appropriate behavior in public. Yes New Yorkers, our apartments are ridiculously tiny and it can be tempting to steal bits of the city to expand our real estate (case in point: who hasn’t sunbathed on Central Park’s Great Lawn?). But certain boundaries must be drawn so we can all stay sane and forget that we’re packed on this small island like sardines. So this brings me to the subway and my public service announcement/pretty please plea.I completely understand when the daily commute has become so routine that you totally tune out to the outside world. I’ve had those days when I’m traveling on autopilot, barely conscious of what I’m doing (I know this is a very bad—and dangerous—habit now that I live part of the year in Los Angeles, where I have to drive and concentrate but hey, I’m a work in progress too). I feel like I’m in my own private world, with blinders on to what’s going on around me . But that still doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to do whatever I want—and it’s not okay for you either. PSA time: Please remember that the subway is not your car, it’s a shared space. And when in public, please please please refrain from:

* Eating nuts (peanuts are a common offender) and throwing the shells on the floor.

* Listening to music so loud that I can hear it next to you (especially techno at 8 in the morning, which may help you wake up, but just makes me cranky). FYI: Apple earphones are especially leaky.

* Talking on your cell phone (seriously, someone was doing this while she walked onto the subway car at an underground station—what phone service does she have and how can I get it?).

* Taking up more than one seat because your bag needs to sit down too—especially when there’s an elderly or pregnant woman standing.

* Pushing your way on the train before others (even elderly or pregnant women) exit.

* Personal grooming of any kind, but especially nail clipping or filing. I don’t want to inhale your nail dust! If you must trim, please do it in the privacy of your own bathroom and use a clipper with a compartment that catches the bits. I use and recommend the Sally Hansen Clip N’ Catch:

Ning approved: the Sally Hansen Clip N’ Catch