I had just sat down in the local train that used to take me from my school (and let it be known that using the past tense feels great). If I recall correctly, I'd only been there to drop off some work or something so it may have been a day off for the students, or it may just have been late, because there were few people there. Whatever the reason, no shit there I was, fairly late in the day, one of those rather sleepy days, apparently set aside for the advancement of spring in favor of winter - at long last!

As I took my seat, I saw a guy run across the tracks by the grade-crossing gate behind the train. About a hundred meters or so behind him, a girl came running too. Apparently they were together and he stopped to let her catch up. The train driver announced that it was time to leave, but the guy held up the doors. The driver tried to close the door and the guy persisted. The girl kept running. Finally the doors slid open again and the driver told the guy to get out of the doorway or get off the train. The girl was almost there, so what was he supposed to do? He held on. The girl was going to make it from the looks of it all.

However, apparently the driver's last coffee break was quite some time ago, and he announced over the speakers for the guy to get off. He now refused to run the train until the guy got off. The girl made it inside at about the same time the poor guy had to get out. He just sort of stood there, shrugged, and the girl could only watch him as the train drove off.

Needless to say, the train waited five minutes for a connecting train two stops later.

What's a guy to do? Not hold the doors up and let the girl miss the train? Hardly. A girl might do this to a guy, but a guy can't do it to a girl. (At least it would look worse for a guy to do it.) Follow the proper conduct in the eyes of the train operator and get out of the train so that they could both catch the next train? Hardly a manly choice: surrender. Get out once the girl made it? Not really a good option if his aim was to make it on the train in the first place. So what's a guy to do when two sets of social expectations interfere with each other? The answer is as simple as it is undesirable: bite the bullet.

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