It was icy out so it took just a spec longer to get to the subway than usual. That plus all the clocks in the apartment are set for different times, and I was going by the one that read the earliest -- the one I could see from my office -- and when I went into the bedroom to get a sweater, I saw it was already time to go. So when we got to turnstile above the F train, it was just pulling into the station. I tried to swipe Josh in by swiping twice in a row which usually works, but it didn't this time, and so I ran down, and he came through after me, and I got to the platform just as the ding ding was ringing, and the doors started to close, and he was still on the stairs, and I got on, and put my body between the doors, and I held the doors and didn't freak out.
If you grew up where I grew up you would have never told this story. You would have told a story more like this: It was icy out so I put on my ice skates and went ice skating on the pond. I skated for a long time and then I got cold and came home and made hot chocolate.
But really, I have tried to hold the doors before and other passengers had to step in to help me out. Once I left Josh standing on the subway platform because I freaked out and failed. So I'm actually quite proud that I did this, and that nobody got hurt. But here's the thing. The subway announcements all say that holding the doors is bad. That it delays the train for others. So ... from a Mussar framework, did I do the right thing? Was my need to hold the door for Josh justified, given that it could have caused delays for others? I am tempted to say yes, because after all nothing did go wrong, and I did not cause delays for others. But what if I had? What was so important that we couldn't have waited for the next train? The honest truth is nothing. We were going to a show (The Negro Problem at Joe's Pub) and when we got there, we waited outside in line for about 1/2 hour. Granted, we got better seats than we would have if we would have been later, but we still would have gotten in, and we still would have seen a great show.
On the other hand, it's good to overcome our fears, right? And to become more physically daring -- especially women, especially as we get older? And the chances that I was going to break the subway door were really very slim. That reminds me of a story my mom used to tell. When she was in grade school, girls used to lock the bathroom stalls from the inside, and climb out, leaving them locked. They usually did this in teams of two, so one person could be on the lookout for teachers. One time my mom, a socially awkward child who had skipped ahead two grades, so was also two years younger than everyone else, decided to lock a stall and climb out, but she did it alone, and a teacher came in, and the teacher paraded her around the entire school, saying, "This is the student who has been locking the bathroom stalls."
Damn, I'm glad I didn't break the subway door.