My momma raised me to be a good Southern girl, polite and kind. My manners were spotless for years, even after moving from Alabama. Call me Miss Manners! But then, ooohh-ho-ho, but then this city I'm living in just beat those manners right out of me! And not because people in this city are jerks - New Yorkers are friendly. Drives me crazy when people rag on New Yorkers.
They are just...in a hurry...always.
Yes, some manners must be forfeit when living in the city. You can't survive otherwise. Here's some of the manners you gotta forget to make it in this concrete jungle:
Waiting your turn: If I actually waited my turn for anything in this city, I'd still be in line to swipe my card at the subway turnstile, I'd still be in line to get out of the subway turnstile, and I'd still be in line to buy that dollar slice of pizza. Other than the checkout line at Trader Joe's, you don't wait politely for your turn - you seize the opportunity as it comes! That's right, you aren't being rude - you are merely seizing the day!
No pushing: Similar to waiting your turn, I would n-e-v-e-r have e-v-e-r gotten on the subway car if I never pushed. And I would n-e-v-e-r have e-v-e-r gotten off the subway car if I never pushed. Ever been on a crowded train at rush hour? Pushing is a necessity. Not rough, two-handed pushing, more like, gentle nudging to let fellow passengers know you are trying to get around them. "Excuse me" doesn't work when their earbuds emit music that can be heard 10 feet away. So, you "nudge."
Looking people in the eye: I learned this one the hard way. The first time I came to the city, when I was 19, I still had my Southern-mentality of looking and talking to everyone that looks and talks to you. That doesn't not work in Times Square! Do you know how many street vendors and hawkers call to people walking around? Do you know how they will pursue you if you actually look at them? I could barely shake some of them off! Blerg. Therefore, I quickly learned not to look at people on the streets. People could offer me all I've ever dreamed of and more, I'd just blaze on right past. Far cry from saying "hello" and waving to everyone you came across on the streets, like I did growing up.
So here I am now - a cold, jaded New Yorker. Always in a hurry, always in a rush.
One of my happiest moments, when unbidden, I yelled out, "hey! I'm walking here!" :)