I stood at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station yesterday afternoon waiting for the train. The high heels that had made my legs look banging the night before now made me feel like a giant clomping around the city. A giant whose arches were beginning to ache. The dress which had elicited enthusiastic approval when I walked into a dimly lit bar late Saturday night felt a skosh too short for a Sunday. The stagnant, sweltering air of the subway tracks magnified my already intense desire to shower. I just wanted to go home.
I felt a little guilty. “Don’t go home! It’s the middle of Fashion Week! You should be a good blogger and go check out the festivities of Lincoln Center!” I scolded myself. “Yeah, but remember living by Lincoln Center? There’s nothing worse than walking through the center of Fashion Week when you don’t feel fabulous. You are not a model who can pull off the greasy hair/no make up look.”
The express train pulled up. That settled it. I’d be home in less than 30 minutes. No regrets.
The doors opened, I eagerly stepped into the cool air conditioning of the car. As if the subway door was the wardrobe of Narnia, I was suddenly transported to a different world. I take the subway several times a week. A trip home should be entirely routine. But on this subway car, on this particular Sunday afternoon, everything was different. I was dazzlingly disoriented.
The train car was full of people in formal attire. A photographer was snapping photographs. Men in suits laughed, conversing with women with pretty up-dos. Ladies holding bouquets sat on the orange seats, looking luminous even in the dingy light. In the center of the car, right where I walked in, a woman in a gorgeous white dress radiated happiness. People gravitated towards her, grabbing the subway poles and posing for pictures.
I boarded the subway and walked right into the middle of a party.
A wedding party.
I am so conditioned to New York Subway etiquette: maintain personal space bubble! Don’t converse with fellow riders! The train may be packed, your nose maybe dangerously close to a strangers armpit: you must pretend each other don’t exist! This is the mode I go to when I board the subway. I didn’t congratulate the bride. I didn’t ask any questions. I stood and gawked like an idiot. I pretended to mess around on my phone but I’m sure it was obvious I was taking pictures. Dizzy, disoriented, and a little smelly. That was me in the middle of this beautiful group on their way to a wedding reception.
There are some places I expect to feel under dressed in NYC. Like Lincoln Center in the middle of Fashion Week. There are other places I never expect to feel under dressed. Like the subway any day of the week.
It was great. Truly a New York moment. I couldn’t help smiling. I hope the bride or groom saw me. Maybe they’ll some how read this blog post. Hey guys! Congratulations on your wedding! Sorry I was in a subway daze and didn’t say anything! I thought it was so fun you guys chose to take the subway with all your guests! Thanks for brightening my Sunday afternoon!