I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution. There’s plenty about me that’s not ideal — a tendency to procrastinate, a disinterest in making new friends, the inability to lift anything over 25 lbs. — but the ending of one year and the beginning of the next has never prompted me to do anything about these things. So, rather than better myself, I’m going to try to change other people to better suit me.
People of New York, here is a list of your New Year’s resolutions.
1. If you’re going to commit suicide, don’t do it by jumping in front of my train.
Please believe me when I say that I am truly sorry that it’s come to this for you. I can’t imagine the level of despair you must be feeling to believe that the only solution is to take your own life. However, you departing this Earth shouldn’t be at the expense of me departing the 86th Street “6” train station on time. There are plenty of neater, less painful ways to off yourself without throwing off all of our commutes.
2. Let me off the goddamn subway before you try to get on.
Please, for the love of God, Vishnu or whatever it is you believe in, let the people who are on the subway off first before you careen through the doors. This isn’t a cattle drive, it’s a metropolitan mass transit system — a system that will descend into even more of a chaotic state if this simple golden rule is not respected. And while we’re on the subject of subways, take off your backpack, let the elderly and people with small children have your seat and when it comes to food, if you need a fork to eat it, you shouldn’t be eating it on the train.
3. Hold doors for people, and say “thank you” when people hold them for you.
This is common courtesy, but some people still don’t get it. If you have at least one free hand, hold the door for the person behind you. When on the receiving end, thank the person who held it for you. This is one of the few instances in which we as New Yorkers interact with complete strangers, so let’s try to make it a pleasurable experience.
4. Buy your morning coffee at a bodega.
Besides the international drug trade, the only thing keeping your local bodega afloat is loyal customers like you. Buying coffee there is the neighborly thing to do, and you’ll be saving a ton of money. Sure, we all like to splurge on a vanilla bullshit from time to time, but you really shouldn’t be spending over $1.50 for a cup of coffee in this town.
5. Stop trying to make fake, trendy neighborhood names happen.
Real estate agents will do just about anything to make a depressed area of the city sound like the next hot nabe. It’s not SpaHa, it’s Spanish Harlem. It’s not SoBro, it’s the South Bronx. And while we’re at it, it’s not FroYo. It’s frozen yogurt.
6. Stop walking around barefoot.
Ladies, don’t take off your high heels after a night of drinking and proceed to go barefoot on sidewalks and train platforms — that’s where people urinate. It’s bad enough our hands have to come in contact with this municipal petri dish of a city, why doom your feet to the same fate? I get it, I’m a guy. I don’t know how uncomfortable female footwear is. But you know what’s probably more painful? A MRSA infection in your big toe.
7. Step away from the bar once you’ve gotten your drink.
You don’t own that space, you’re just renting it — and it’s prime real estate. If you don’t have a seat at the bar, you shouldn’t be standing near it. Order your drink, pay for it and step aside to let someone else order theirs. There’s plenty of shit we have to stand around waiting endlessly for in this city — buses, bathrooms, Cronuts — and a $3 PBR in a dive bar shouldn’t be one of them.
8. Wear headphones. Please, just wear fucking headphones.
Just because your phone has a speaker doesn’t give you carte blanche to blast your shitty music in public spaces. Same goes for when you’re playing a video game. And if your phone is an iPhone, please disable the old-timey typewriter clicking sound it makes every time you press a key. You’re a 20-something who’s sexting with his roommate, not Salinger polishing off Catcher in the Rye.
9. Stop “checking in” to your office on FourSquare.
Look at you, a regular American hero going to work day in, day out! Hate to break it you, but you and the “22 others” who checked into your nightmarish cubicle farm aren’t the only people with jobs in this city. And being crowned “mayor” of your office building just solidifies how hopelessly lopsided your work-life ratio is.
10. If you ride a bike, don’t be a dick.
As the number of wheels you’re riding decreases, my rage for you increases. Rollerbladers are bad, but cyclists are worse (and don’t even get me started on hipsters on unicycles). 2013 was the year every yuppie got a Citi Bike membership, and hopefully 2014 will be the year they learn the rules of the road. Don’t run red lights, don’t ride on the sidewalk and don’t ride against traffic. And if you ride a motorcycle, don’t beat the shit out of people in SUVs.
Featured image courtesy of Toledo Blade