On Saturday evening, I gave a tour of my Fort Greene/Clinton Hill neighborhood to two friends who are considering moving into the area. In addition to pointing out the cute bars, lovely brownstones on treelined streets and parks, I noted that if you lived towards the south end of the neighborhood you had your choice of subway lines, especially if you lived within ten minutes of the Atlantic Avenue hub, which has no less than nine trains.
“I really don’t like being limited to just one subway line,” I told them. As I heard myself saying this, I realized that there was more than a commuting truism in there–there was a dating one as well. Sometimes the fear of settling on one person is about limiting yourself. Sometimes you need to get to the westside and sometimes east. The same subway line won’t take you to both places. And sometimes the same person won’t meet all of your non-transit needs. Or perhaps when it comes to entering into a committed union, it’s the concern that the other person won’t be the be all and end all that is most worrisome.
But even though I live within walking distance of several lines, I still rely on just one, the C, which is practically on my corner. And I haven’t just ridden this train regularly in the 2+ years I’ve lived in my neighborhood; it was “my” subway line during the two years I’ve lived on the Upper West Side. When I moved to Brooklyn, I merely moved south along the same subway line. This speaks to another tendency I’ve noticed in my dating life and those of others–though we frequently say that we’re open to all kinds of people, we all have a type. We’re not nearly as flexible as we claim to be. I guess I’m a C train girl.
It’s sort of like the cable television truism–so many channels and nothing on. But in this case, there’s really just one channel and it makes local stops.