At 65, Do You Have the Right to a Subway Seat?

Dear Diary:

A month or so ago, I was on the No. 1 train heading south. I was reading my Kindle book using the iPhone app, and feeling fairly contemporary and wired in.

I was standing in front of two 20-somethings. One offered me his seat. I thanked him, but refused the offer, my self-concept somewhat bruised and, frankly, just a bit annoyed by his gracious offer.

Last weekend, I was on the No. 1 train again, this time heading north with my wife and several friends. I was seated next to a friend, engaged in a conversation. A young man exiting the train said to me, “By your age, you should have learned some manners.”

I asked my friend whether he heard this comment, and he had, but neither of us had any idea what he was talking about. When we got off the train and reunited with our group, I told them what had happened. One of them related that an older woman had been standing in front of me trying to make eye contact and coveting my seat. Neither my friend nor I had noticed her.

I guess, as I turn 65 this month, that when it comes to the right to a seat on a New York City subway I am just at an awkward stage!

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