I was struggling to open a new pouch of almonds while standing with some heavy bags on the 2 train. A seated woman, noting my conundrum, offered some advice: pop the bag open from the bottom. I tried, but ended up with unwanted holes. Sealing up an unsealable bag of snacks is one of life’s big dilemmas, you know, so I was lost in thought. A rude voice from behind and a thudding at my ankles brought me back to my Manhattan-bound reality: “Miss, couldn’t you feel me hittin’ you with my stroller, and you can’t get out of the way?” She drove the stroller wheels into my boots to make her point. It felt ironic, being blamed while she was doing the hitting, but I went for the annoyingly polite and dismissive response and shrugged it off. Almond Expert, still invested in my plight, decided it would help to regale me with stories of her peanut allergy, from which she was currently suffering after a confrontation with a mislabled candy bar. A woman beside her looked alarmed, but she showed me her newly formed hives with casual pride. “I got my epi pen, I’ll be ok.” Split between disgust and concern, I feigned interest to help me ignore Stroller Woman, who continued to complain about me loudly to nobody. Not wanting to stoop to that level, I resisted the urge to talk back, and Almond Expert carried on in her distract-and-diffuse method of conflict resolution. “You put those almonds in a Ziploc bag when you get home, you’ll be ok.” She laughed, and I wished her luck with her allergy – the cheeriest allergy sufferer I’ve met in a good while.