Monday, September 19, 2011


There have been a couple of incidents that have happened over this pregnancy that have really had my questioning the decency of human kind these days.  And I have to say, it isn't because I feel entitled to any special treatment because I'm pregnant, but rather because I feel like I'm entitled to people not flat-out being rude to me.  That said, both of these situations were pregnancy related, thus pregnancy driven.

The first occurred in mid-July just after the U2 concert in Philadelphia.  My sister and I were headed back to our hotel on the subway and the trains weren't air conditioned and were packed tighter than the T after the Pops on 4th of July...which for the uninitiated is SCARY-packed.

A man and his fiance were sitting down already when we got on the train and I certainly have no expectations for people to get up for me, since they rarely do it anyway, so I stood in front of them with my sister while the train continued to fill up.  The problem was that as it got more and more packed, I was getting more and more jostled and unable to find a place to hold onto so that I wouldn't fall over once the train started to move.  The doors finally shut, and thankfully I'm tall, so I was able to put my hand on the ceiling to keep my balance.  But with the overwhelming heat in the car combined with my being pregnant combined with with over crowding situation and my arm up above my head desperately trying to keep my balance, I was starting to get very dizzy.  I didn't want to cause a situation and ask the man to move because I could only imagine he would wonder why I didn't need him to move earlier...and quite frankly, I was afraid he would say 'no'.  But at this point, my belly was so far in the couple's face that they couldn't talk to each other.  My sister, told me afterwards that I looked like I was going to faint at any moment.  Eventually, a very long time later, we finally made it to our stop and out to the fresh air.  And I just wish I had had the opportunity to say to the man, "next time, when you see someone who looks like they could use a seat more than you, consider giving it up to them".  But instead I seethed.  I seethe well.

Then, this past weekend, my friends and I went to the Big E, the state fair for the New England States held in Western Massachusetts.  We had a great time and the day was lots of fun, but I would be lying if I said my body wasn't exhausted by the end of the day.  Towards the end of the day, we headed into the Better Living Center to find something from a specific vendor that my friend wanted to purchase something from.  There was a bit of a line, and my back was KILLING me and right across the exhibit space from where we were standing and waiting was an exhibit for Air Chairs...the kind that hang from ropes like a hammock, but are a bit more structured like a chair.  My father actually used to sell these chairs himself, I know the chair well.

I lumbered over to the chairs and sat down in one of the models.  A young salesman came up to me to tell me all about the chair and I told him, "I'm going to be honest, I'm not going to purchase a chair today, but it is very, VERY comfortable and I truly appreciate your letting me sit here".  I sat there for a few minutes and one of our friends came up to me and chatted with me for a bit.  I mentioned how comfortable the chair was and how I would TOTALLY buy one for our beach know...some day...if we ever actually get to have a beach house.  While I was sitting there, pretty much 70% of the people who walked by the booth saw an extremely pregnant woman lounging in a chair who was clearly comfortable because of the blissed out look on her face.  100% of those people who noticed I was there, smiled at me.

Then, another salesman, in his 40's-50's, walked up to me and said very curtly, "So are you buying a chair or not?"  I started to answer him by saying, "I know, I'm in one of your chairs and I'm not buying one, but I truly appreciate the chance as a very pregnant woman to sit is very comfortable".  He cut me off half way, and snarled, "you need to leave now".  I was pretty much in shock.  I mean...I get it...they need to sell chairs and it is the fair and people probably try to sit in them all day who aren't planning on buying them.  My dad used to deal with that all the time.  But you know dad would have recognized that I was the PERFECT MODEL for just how comfortable those chairs were.  This man, instead, snarled, "I let you sit for 15 minutes" -- an out and out lie, by the way -- "you need to leave".

The funny thing is, on my way out of the fair, I told just as many people that I would have told about the comfortable chair about how rude the chair salesman instead of being smart and using me for good publicity, he left a bad taste in my mouth and in the mouth of every person I have shared this story with.  Again, my being pregnant has SOMETHING to do with the situation, but I'm upset because he was rude.  And the thing is, I WOULD have bought an air chair some day in the future...maybe not from him, because who knows if I would ever find him again, but at some point I would have.  And now, I can honestly say I will NEVER allow an air chair in my home or in the home of anyone I love.

Extreme?  Sure.  Pregnancy hormones?  If you want to blame that, go ahead.  But I don't tolerate rude vendors - pregnant or not.


  1. It has nothing to do with being pregnant. I was on crutches for awhile recently and you would be shocked at how many times people didn't offer me a seat on the train! I assumed it was just NYC! 

  2. I'm sorry that you had such bad experiences. Part of the problem is of course that some people are just rude and inconsiderate. 

    But sometimes, I think people just don't notice what's going on around them (like that you are pregnant, dizzy, or crippled). I've had the embarrassing experience of being totally spaced out in my own little world on a crowded train, and then when getting up for my stop, realizing a disabled elderly lady had been standing in front of me the whole time! Ugh.

    Also, sometimes the sitting people really do need their seats, even if it's not obvious. My sister had a foot condition in her early 20s which basically crippled her and made it impossible for her to stand or walk more than a block or two. But she looked young and healthy, so people would give her attitude sometimes (like on the bus when she sat in the handicapped section). 

    That's why it's so important to ask for what you need, because then you're giving people the benefit of the doubt and assuming they are basically nice. It's a win-win!

    (I don't think there's any help for that horrible salesman though.)

  3. I'm convinced some people just don't care who you are, they'll be rude no matter what. I am pretty shocked the chair vendor guy was that bad. I mean, how awful!

  4. I agree 100% on this. Sometimes, people on public transportation are in their own world. I know that I go out of my way to not make eye contact on the subway or bus here in Philly, and bury my head in a book instead. So I probably wouldn't notice if someone else needed my seat instead unless they specifically asked me to give it up.

    And yes, sometimes people do need the seats even if it's not totally obvious. I injured my foot and ankle a few years ago (had stitches in my foot and a badly sprained ankle) but because nobody could see my bandages under my pants and shoes, I got a LOT of dirty looks (and a nasty comment or two) for not giving up my seat on the bus.The salesman was rude, though. Even if he didn't want you sitting there, he could've at least asked you nicely to leave. I'm sorry he was so nasty to you.

  5. Yeah...I hear you that you can't always tell if someone does or does not have a reason to stay seated.  Believe me, I got my share of glares on the bus with my stroller when Little G LOOKED like he was old enough to walk, but actually couldn't and thus I couldn't take him out of the stroller to get on the bus.  But I do think that the man on the train after the concert was just plain rude.  And I know he saw me.  And really, I should have swallowed my pride and just requested that he give up his seat.

    I do encourage you who have commented that you frequently have your nose in a book, to look up at the stops to see if someone could use a seat.  I wrote a post about this the last time I was pregnant.  I was shocked by how the higher up you got in 'class', the less likely people were to acknowledge your potentially needing a seat on public transportation.  i.e. when I ride the commuter rail, I basically have to announce that I need a seat and then wait for people to stop hemming and hawing - hoping that someone else will offer it up.  When I ride the T, 50% of the time someone will offer me their seat....that ratio goes up if the train is crowded.  When I ride the bus, no one ever fails to offer up a seat.  So while we COULD give the benefit of the doubt to everyone and assume that they must have a good reason for not offering up their seat, the reality is that people are just too self centered to care about anyone else.

  6. i raced down to the comment page and was about to go on and on about how dare they not get up and give you a seat, when i thought back and remember how this old lady asked me to get up and give her a seat when there was an empty seat 3 seats away from where i was. of course i being a new yorker, told her she's racist and said no. she yelled at me for 5 mins and finally moved her butt to the seat 3 seats away from me and gave me dirty looks till i got off. honestly i dont regret not getting up for her.

  7. When I was pregnant, I had to take my computer to the Apple store to get fixed. I was also a nanny so I had a 4 year old with me. I went to sit down on one of the stools, and one of the employees came up and told me I couldn't sit there. I guess these stools were for people getting their computer set up or something. Even after he saw I was really pregnant, he wouldn't let me sit there (there were maybe 6-8 stools around a table that no one was using)! I started crying. 

  8. Sigh. I honestly think that manners are going out the door slowly but surely...I guarantee you that if the couple would have been me and my husband, we would have been insisting you sit down. But sadly, it doesn't surprise me to hear that no one would go out of their way.

    And seriously?!?! That chair salesman. I want to punch him. Yeah, they might not have been excited that you were taking up space on the chair, but the grand scheme of things...were you really impeding them from making a sale? Was there a line behind you waiting to test out the chair? Probably not, right? What a butt hole.