Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sometimes People Suck

Really? No, Really?

Sometimes people surprise you. In a bad way. In the past I have often marvelled at how lovely people can be in the presence of a pregnant lady. They offer to carry your packages, they inquire about your due date, they offer you their seat on a crowded BART train. Let me repeat that. They offer you their seat on a crowded BART train.

Or not.

I am starting to wonder just how large I am going to have to get before someone....ANYONE, offers me their seat. I am clearly, visibly knocked up at this point, and I am quite sure that no sighted person could miss my protruding stomach. Yet day after day, I stand fighting for space on the hand rail. Perhaps I have to start moaning loudly and grabbing my belly to get the attention of a comfortable sitting passenger.

Today was no different, however there was an added twist. One that shined a glaring spotlight on how insensitive a train full of people can be. I boarded a crowded car. There was no place to sit. I noticed a very large man with a cane standing, his back pressed up against a wall. I shuffled in and found a spot in front of the seats reserved for people with disabilities, occupied by seemingly healthy young professionals. I stood. The car moved through the tunnel. Eight minutes later we arrived on the other side. The train came to a stop, and one seat was vacated. I made a move for the open spot, but then noticed that the man with the cane was going for the very same spot. I nodded to the man and relinquished the seat. He thanked me and sat down.

I looked around. Did anyone notice that the pregnant lady just had to give up her seat to a disabled man because nobody else would do it?

I shook my head silently and promised myself that I would teach my own children better manners.


  1. I hear you! I think common courtesy is nearly extinct which is unfortunate. Men used to throw their coats across puddles so ladies could walk across them. Where's my time machine darn it;)

  2. That's all you can do....manners aren't automatically taught to kids anymore....just saying please and thank you aren't enough....

    It's the lessons of being aware of more than just yourself that are lacking....with ipods permanently attached to ears, texting, laptops, and handheld video games, we are sending the message that being "present" is doing nothing...

    ...and so, as a society, we fill our idle minutes with stimulation, distraction and instant gratification....

    It is all so "Matrixy" to we are all just wandering around in a computer program...believing it's our reality only because it is dotted with pain, dissatisfaction and fear...

    Sorry, I'm rambling...and a bit off topic, too :D
    I have a memory that pops up now, during the 10 years I waited tables...this couple asked me how I learned to be so respectful and polite for someone so young. The first and only thing that came to mind....was, my parents instilled that in me. I remember the look on their it was the last answer they expected...then, the biggest smiles I had seen on them yet... They told me my parents would be proud to hear that...then left me a big tip :)

    I'm the one who was proud...for having them as parents!

  3. That's the difference between you and me… I would have told someone to move for the disabled man AND the pregnant lady :)

  4. Oy vey- I swear in Toronto this type of stuff didn't happen when I used to ride the rocket-

  5. Shame on them! More motivation to teach our children respect. Around here, most people give up seats on public transit for the pregnant chicks. Of course, at any given time, half of Jerusalem is pregnant, so I guess we're all used to it.

  6. I'm sad to hear you had to stand. That sort of thing happens all the time here too.

  7. You're kidding?!?! People have no decency or manners anymore. They're just a thing of the past. Wait until you get a little farther along and your feet start swelling. Maybe start rubbing your belly more?

  8. I wonder how many people looked around and saw you, then just cranked up their I-Pod. =*(

  9. This makes me more aware that I need to SHOW my kids more manners and courtesies out in public... make sure they see me offering up my seat. Sorry you had to stand there. :(

  10. Ugh, this is a disgraceful story. Sorry you're dealing with such jerks. I agree with Phoenix -- we have to show our kids how to act.

  11. This story makes me so so sad. Do these people not ask themselves what kind of world THEY want? Or has cynicism just won over completely?

  12. About half the time I ride lightrail to work, and see that stuff all the time (a little north of you in Sacramento) - it amazes me. When I ride home, its almost always standing room only, and its sad how lots of older people clearly should be sitting, but loads of teenagers are taking up multiple seats and are oblivious. Sigh.