I was balancing myself in the crowded subway with my arms full of bundles. There were many men comfortably seated on the train, but no one offered me the seat. I kept standing with my soul full of bitterness at them whose chivalry seemed long gone.
Then, the man seated in front of me lowered his paper, and surveyed me with some solicitude. This man hadn’t noticed me behind the paper, but now that he saw me, he was going to offer me his seat, I thought, and expectantly looked at him.
What the man said was far from my expectation. He said, “Be alert at 42nd Street, girlie,” and continued, “That’s where I get off.”
Chivalry was not quite dead in him. He told me to be alert at 42nd Street. He was going to get off there, and he kindly let me know that I can take his seat there . He was concerned that someone else might take it if I was in a daze. But that was the limit of his chivalry. It did not extend to the kindness of him offering me his seat while he needed it himself.