In many important ways I agree with the opinion voiced by my esteemed colleague Sheila McClear as it pertains to the trend of men seeing a cute girl on a train and blogging about it instead of asking her out. We both, I think, would agree with the statement that that, phenomenologically, is sort of crap. However, as a gentleman of the man persuasion, I do believe Sheila is missing the forest for the trees.

Ladies, the choice is in your hands too. If you see a cute gentleman on the subway, you too can approach him. In fact, whether you know it or not, gentlemen have an elaborate and highly codified set of behaviors that we do when we want you to look at us.

  • If you see us standing and there are empty seats, this means we want to be in your field of vision with your eye line at our crotches.
  • If you see us get out of our seat for a woman under 75 years of age, we are doing it so you think we are nice and will smile at us when we make eye contact , which we hope seems accidental but it is really a plea for acknowledgment of our mitzvah.
  • If you hear us listening to our iPods, this means we have—to thedetriment of our ear drums—turned up the volume on our iPods (or even iPhones) in the hopes that you will be impressed with what we are listening to. "OMG, is that the Moby Grape?" Yeah. Yeah it is.
  • If you notice us reading something howlingly pretentious, for instance, Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, this is solely for your benefit. That book is impossible to get through. One carries it solely to impress subway girls with.
  • If you see us holding up our iPhones, it means we a) want you to notice we have iPhones and b) are probably taking your picture so we can later post it on our blog about you.
  • If we're staring it means we're scared of commitment.
  • If we're scowling it means we want to smile but think maybe there's something in our teeth. Perhaps some of the salads we made earlier because we're so healthy.
  • If we're giggling and crying at the same time, it means: Console us.
  • If it's 2 am on the F train and we're huddled next to you in an otherwise empty car, leaning our head against your shoulder pretending we're asleep, it means we're in love and want you to love us back.
    Is that so hard to understand?