Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There is no hope.

Fro-Yo season has begun. Spring 2012.

Something happened on Sunday that I haven't been able to stop thinking about.  I will admit that I am a bit of a pessimist when it comes to society in general and people doing the right thing and the future of the human race.  Working in the Emergency Room doesn't help much either because people who come in there generally suck (no really, they do).  So here is what has been on my mind.

On Sunday, my husband and I took the T to meet our friends for brunch.  As you all know it was St Patrick's Day over the weekend but what you may not know is, in Boston, that translates to a three-day weekend of excessive drinking and debauchery for the millions of college-aged kids (and people wishing they were college-aged kids) in this town.  We live no where near South Boston which is essentially Mecca for St Patrick's Day celebrations but apparently everyone and their drunk dorm mate must go to South Boston for the St Patrick's Day parade and they must be ridiculously wasted upon arriving there.  So anyway, we got to the T just as it was pulling up so we hurried down the stairs and saw that the train was jam-packed with a few hundred people wearing Mardi Gras-style shamrock beads and every tacky shade of green imaginable.  Here's what happened next:

Husband:  Whoa.  That's a packed train.  Do you want to wait for the next one?
Me:  No.  We'll be late.  Let's see what happens when we get on this train.  It'll be a true test of the future of society.

I honestly said this in a joking tone as I thought for sure as we made our way onto the packed-to-the-gills train that someone would offer me a seat.  I mean, seriously.  I am obviously at the end of my pregnancy here.  It wasn't one of those is-that-chick-pregnant-or-just-fat moments... it's more like holy-shit-I-better-get-outta-the-way-she-might-deliver-at-any-second situations.  I really am huge (I happened to measure my waist that morning and my current girth is 44 inches, no joke).

So we squeeze onto the train and my husband and I got a bit separated.  I ended up standing right in front of two 20-something college girls, my belly hanging out in all of it's glory just inches from their green-glittered faces, thinking surely these able-bodied girls will look up, see my belly and offer me their seat.  

Um, no.  They avoided all eye contact with me, their eyes instantly glued to their iPhones.

Now you may say Maybe they didn't notice you!  Um.  No way.  I saw one of them look at me and then at my belly as I inched my way onto the train and then she probably muttered Oh no to her friend and they both averted their gaze.  You also may say Why didn't you or your husband say something to them or ask them to move?  You are absolutely right.  We could have done that.  I just thought that we have come far enough as a society and that people are inherently good enough that I wouldn't have to ask someone to allow me to sit my big pregnant self down while standing on a moving train.         

I was so angry the entire train ride.  My husband managed to make his way to my side and tried to calm me down as I muttered obscenities loud enough for the people standing near us to hear.  We arrived at our stop, peeled ourselves out of the train, and went to brunch.  I bitched about it to our friends upon our arrival but then I let it go and enjoyed our meal.

Until we had to take the T home.

We must have the worst timing in the world because we managed to hit the peak times that the drunk St Paddy's Day revelers were taking the train that day.  Again, the train was packed.  Again, my husband asked if I wanted to wait for the next train.  Again, I said no but this time I had no hope that someone would offer me their seat.  So we inch our way onto the train, my blood boiling, and we grab hold of whatever we can as the train begins to move.  And then I hear this... Um, ma'am?  Would you like to sit down?

I looked up and saw a teenage boy in a baseball uniform looking me straight in the eye and smiling as he offered me his seat.  I'll be honest.... tears sprung to my eyes.  I said yes and thank you and took his seat as he squeezed out of my way.  As I sat there I thought to myself that this is a kid who was raised to do the right thing.  His parents weren't sitting next to him encouraging him to give up his seat... he just saw a pregnant woman and then didn't hesitate in giving me his seat, knowing it was the right thing to do.  As we got off the train, I thanked him again.  He has no idea just how much that small gesture meant to me.  

And my faith in the future of society may have been restored just a little.           


  1. You have no idea how mad I got just reading your post!!! My blodd is boiling right now! I can imagine how you felt!!! I hate when that happens. And sadly, it happens pretty often. But there is a little hope and you are right, everything is about the way you are raised. There are still a few people out there that are not selfish.

  2. karma is a bitch!!!! that would piss me off to no end. i always offer my seat to older people, women with children, and most definitely pregnant women.

  3. So glad that there are some kids who are raised right still. What a sweet boy!

  4. I'm glad to know there are still respectful, nice people in the world. That kid's parents taught him well! Isn't it amazing how many people have absolutely no manners or no respect? I'm continually amazed at how rude people are when moving through an entrance/exit or coming on or off an elevator- always in such a hurry and with no respect for others.

    Hope you're feeling well. Any day now, right?

  5. Oh my gosh I was so MAD when I read about those teenage girls not offering you their seats. That is ridiculous and so disappointing. I am relieved that the boy did, though. It is a good reminder for me to be raising kids who think of others and not only themselves, and not just when I am with them. Thanks for this reminder, and I hope that is the last time you have to ride the T pregnant!

    Also, am I the only one who is growing to hate what iPhones are doing to our society?! I swear, the number of parents who are constantly on them when they are supposed to be watching their kids at the playground makes my blood boil!

  6. There are times in my life when I have wondered if people have NO common courtesty and common sense in the world. But then I think, yes there is. Children learn from the example set for them by their parents. When I see people who are disrespectful, I blame the parents. *We (parents) aren't perfect, I certainly made a lot of mistakes in my life. But in doing so, I hoped that I taught my girls, to be grateful for what they had, their health, their family, their friends. So glad you shared your story. That young man will remember you in the future and hopefully pass along his good common sense and courtesy to his children. I could go on and on. I love you Briana. xo Mom


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