Inasmuch as every New Yorker believes that he/she is living a quirky sitcom, taking the subway is the “bottle episode.” All bets are off: The rules of the surface world do not apply! Children breakdance, usually. If you, like me, love to people-watch but do not like to be touched, subway crushes are perfect relationships. Everybody gets ‘em: A brief, typically wordless session of crazy-eyes tennis, then your crush or yourself gets off the train and re-enters polite society.
Some subway crushes are more memorable than others, and sometimes you might be tempted to reach out and ask if you can see a guy/gal on the other side of the turnstiles. Don’t do it! You will appear creepy and you will humiliate yourself. Your crush will make an excuse and scoot his/her Trader Joes bags down to the other end of the car to avoid you. Don’t worry, though: There are plenty of tasteful, sensitive, non-verbal ways to make that subway crush your street sweetheart. Here are a few methods proven to work – with testimonials!
Buy shitty headphones
You know when that one guy on the train has headphones which leak noise and you have to listen to his friend’s steel drum band’s EP all the way uptown? This can work to your advantage if you have terrific taste in music and you are super cute. Jenah Patterson, a Tisch junior, says: “Once I was on the train with a guy who was listening to the Trent Reznor soundtrack to The Social Network, and I was so in love with him! I secretly listened to Trent Reznor with him for two stops, when he got off at West 4th St.” Unfortunately Jenah had a boyfriend street-side, but if she didn’t, those two would probably still be together listening to The Downward Spiral and watching The Newsroom.
Introduce yourself via Facebook
Okay, this one involves a tiny bit of talking, but not much, don’t worry! Right before you get off the train, or when you start to notice your crush leaving, ask for his/her name. Stop that conversation right there! Do NOT smile invitingly! When you get home, add that cutie on Facebook, where your carefully manicured profile will do all the talking for you. Slowly start liking his/her cover photos, and someday, maybe, you can meet in person again, peeking out from behind your computer before scuttling back into the darkness. For example, this guy introduced himself to me at the President St stop and added me on Facebook where I found out that yes, ladies, he’s single!!!
I was “patty much” very turned on!
Subtly display your genitals
This technique works best for the more aggressive among you. A good way to weed out the prudes and attract the MTA customers who want to get right down to business is to just let it all hang out. Like the strong, silent type that you are, you’re saying to the world: “Yes, I’m a confident urban warrior, and yes, it’s always looked like that, doctors are baffled.” But you have to be careful to avoid charges of indecent exposure by uptight body-shamers (like “parents” with “children”). One clever gentleman on a late-night Brooklyn-bound N train who sat across from a friend and me had the good sense to cover his face with a baseball hat under a scrunched-together Kenny-from-South-Park-style hood (mysterious!), but to sit with his legs set wide apart, inviting us to peep through the slit he’d cut in his jeans from zipper to seat. When we got off the train, he followed us into a diner and sat in the opposite booth, spread eagled. He and my friend dated for like a year after that, and I’ll remember his oddly hairless testicles forever.
Don’t be afraid to resort to Missed Connections
NYU Local’s own Ashley D’ Arcy reports: “A friend of mine recently had an encounter with a very attractive man on the subway late at night and then went home and posted a missed connection. He responded – turns out he is 37 and still really attractive in the light of day (or … dusk, when they went to get drinks). THey made out that night and now is he … courting (is that what old people do?) her and asking her to come see his band play, etc.”
We’ve managed, in this modern era of iPod Cellphones and Books on Tape to turn every opportunity – especially our commute home on a bedbug-infested metal death trap that somehow goes underwater a lot – into an opportunity to get all of the things accomplished that our busy schedules demand we must. If you really want to have it all, simply heed these few tips and not only will you finish that class reading, clip your toe-nails and write a birthday card to your mother before limping home to Bed-Stuy (or, you know, wherever,) you might just meet Mr. Right along the way.