I’ve never understood this mid-90’s trend of wearing pants so low that they sag around the ankles. I didn’t like it when Murray wore it in Clueless, and I didn’t appreciate Justin Bieber’s low riding days, and I’m surprised by how much the trend concerns me now that I see it in the high schools. Mostly what confuses me about the trend is the mental gymnastics I need to do to figure out how these pants stay around the knees when someone is walking. How do these boys manage to strut when their pants clearly require a waddle?

But I digress, for this post is not actually about baggy, alarmingly low rise jeans at all. This post is about the man on the subway who leapt from his seat when a little old lady and I walked onto the subway yesterday at 5:00 AM, in order to ensure that both of us could have a seat. Because we walked onto a train that was ready to take off, the man stumbled when the train lurched forward, and smiled embarrassedly at the man he toppled near. He didn’t just take the next available seat at the next stop. He waited to survey every passenger entering the subway car, assessing their needs before considering his own. This young man happened to be wearing baggy jeans around his knees, but when everyone was comfortably seated on the subway and he finally did take his seat, he didn’t even manspread to make sure these baggy jeans stayed on.

This post isn’t about the baggy jeans, but instead it is about what can happen on the subway when you notice the man before you notice the clothes that make him.

And this post IS also about the stoic-looking, neatly shaven man with the sleeping 1-year-old on the train. 1-year-olds make everyone nervous in such an enclosed space. They’re an alarm clock waiting to awaken every bobbing head on the subway. Her father (presumably), didn’t seem to mind pushing around a pink stroller at 5 AM. Daughter was well-dressed, pacifiered, and jacketed in magenta.This post is about the man who could intuitively hear his daughter beginning to stir, who flipped her around to look at her and end up in a smile war with his darling girl. His stoic beard creased as he began chuckling shamelessly in her direction, a pleasant alternative to the alarm clock of baby’s tears. This post is about his little girl, who you can barely make out in the reflection, giggling at daddy’s unabashed smile.

Here’s to the 5 AM crowd. This post is for you.