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.