Sunday, February 18, 2007

Whale Crossing

Sometime over the summer or early fall, I read a hilarious post by one of our fellow IFers about how she conducted a social experiment on how people yield right of way when walking down the street. She said as a result of not yielding to other people like she normally does, she got knocked into quite a lot, I believe mostly by old women and mothers with kids with them. I can't find the post for the life of me (I thought it might have been Hope548's???. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, please let me know so I can link to it!)

Anyway, my experiences this week had me thinking about that post a lot. I've read from a lot of expecting women that one thing they really have liked about pregnancy is how courteous strangers have been to them. Boy, have I had the reverse experience lately!

It started Thursday as I waited in line to catch the bus home. I was first in line, standing with my feet carefully planted so as not to fall since the median strip was still covered in snow and ice. When the bus finally showed, it didn't pull up all the way, which meant a little walk from where we were all standing. Given the snow and ice, I was watching my step carefully as I headed towards the bus. The guy behind must not have thought I was moving fast enough, because he swept around me and cut right ahead, brushing into me as he did. Now, the people on my bus are all professionals and there is strict but unspoken bus etiquette. I was shocked that this guy would do that to anybody, let alone a small whale with poor footing. I know I'm moving slow these days, but not that slow! The bus driver gave him a really dirty look but didn't say anything.

Then, I'm on the elevator headed to my doctor's office. When the elevator doors open, I get rushed by two kids pushing to get on before I can get off. Now, their mother tried to hold them back and this is typical kid behavior, so it didn't bother me at all. What bothered me is that as I continued to try to get off the elevator, a herd of old women--probably in their late 60's--continued to push past me to get on before I could get off. They knocked right into me, and I was the only one to say excuse me! (and I still said it nicely, I might add)

Before this pregnancy, I was a fast walker and always on the go. I always yielded right of way to other people, no matter what. Now that I'm so big and every waddling step really does take quite a bit of effort, I'm getting really tired of people knocking into me, especially since my balance is so off. I can't easily change paths, and surely given my size people see me coming! I'm just surprised at how rude people have been. It's been like this on the city streets all week, as people have brushed past me in a hurry.

Then, last night, I met the rudest woman of all. H and I were going to dinner at a busy chain restaurant. I was in line to put in our name as he parked the car. When I had entered, there was plenty of seating in the waiting area, but somehow it all disappeared just as I finished putting in our name. I eyed one last seat, and as I made my slow way to it, a women in her late 30's or early 40's standing by the seat made eye contact with me and then sat down. Okay...thanks. I just stared at her for a moment. The woman next to her, probably in her 50's, saw what happened and immediately offered me her seat, which I graciously accepted, noting that I probably wouldn't have been able to stand for the 40 minute wait.

Then, the be-otch who had taken the last seat turns to me and says, "Wasn't that soooo nice of her? This must be your lucky day. Though you must not really be doing that bad if you can sit for 40 minutes."

WTF???? I didn't know what to say to that, and since it was loud I just muttered a "yeah" and looked away. Then H arrived, and he stood in an empty spot next to be-otch. Be-otch turns to me again and says, "Oh--is that your husband? Well, this really is your lucky day, because I'm willing to switch seats with you so he can stand right next to you." I was about to say, "that's quite alright!" (as in, don't do me any favors, be-otch!) but she immediately stood up to switch with me. So I moved, muttered a thank you, and tried to turn my attention to H.

Be-otch continued to talk to me, saying it was no problem. Because her husband was still shopping, she could afford to move over for me. Again, WTF????

Then be-otch's husband arrived, and it was funny to see how she immediatley grabbed an open seat for him next to her when another party left, even though there were lots of older people and people holding kids around. H would have never taken a seat, even if one had opened up, for that very reason. He is extremely courteous that way. Pre-pregnancy I would never sit either if there were other people standing, so I was annoyed that this be-otch was treating me like this when I had a good reason to get off my feet.

I had to wonder what was behind her attitude. Perhaps she was an infertile having a bad day and didn't need a hugely pregnant woman in her face? I can understand that. She doesn't know what I've been through to get to this point. Or maybe she's just a mean person. Still, I think there had to be a reason for it, and I hope things go better for her whatever it is.


Brandy said...

I just have to say you are so, so, so much nicer than I would have been. I would have definitely given that woman a piece of my mind, that's for darn sure. I would never think to sit down before someone who was elderly and neither would my husband. I've been lucky enough not to have to deal with people like that during pregnancy. I'm sure otherwise my hormones would have raged and there would have definitely been an altercation. :-)

GLouise said...

some people are so rude! Really, I think "common courtesy" is a thing of the past!

Meg said...

I have a *feeling* that it might have been stellanove at Wishing on a Star who wrote that post. But I can't be sure. I do remember it though. Or it was another of my fellow Australians, Bea from infertilefantasies.blogspot. Not sure which.

I know what you mean about this yeilding business. I went (foolishly) to a concert last night, and NO ONE would give way to me. I had to stand behind my hubby with my hands on his hips to make a safe belly space. It's obscene really.