Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In which Barefoot complains about public transportation

[Happy ICLW! For new visitors, here's the brief scoop -- I'm 32 weeks pregnant after 2.5 years of infertility and an IVF cycle. I talk about pregnancy a LOT -- it's kind of all I have going on right now -- so please beware if you're not into that. If you would like to read more about my cycle, you can find all kinds of blather on that in the archives between March and May of 2009.]

I know, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. (BTW, does anyone actually do this? I use this phrase all the time and the thought of actually taking a gun to a barrel of fish is simultaneously amusing and horrifying.) Public transportation, while often preferable to sitting in traffic for hours on end, generally sucks. Especially now that every time someone coughs on the train, you can feel a stiff breeze from all of the heads turning and eyes narrowing. It's easy to complain.

As public transportation goes, I'm pretty lucky. I live in the SF Bay Area and ride BART, which all in all is a pretty comfy ride. Padded seats, not too many bumps, etc. But let's face it: when you've got a watermelon strapped to your front, there is no "fun" in, um, public transportation.

Now that I'm visibly pregnant, people for the most part have been pretty great about the whole giving up the seat thing. Which is nice, because feel like such an a**hole asking that I'll just stand and bear it. Usually after a few minutes, I smack enough people with my belly that someone notices. Or, if I'm really desperate, I'll give the bump a couple of "absentminded" rubs. And honestly, it's less about having to stand (which is not such a big deal yet), and more about having a little extra space so that the chicklette's not getting an accidental elbow to the head.

But wouldn't you know it, the few times when I'm super-tired or having lower back pain or general crampiness are the times when no one will give it up. And you know what? It's always some 25-year old clean-cut guy in business gear, sitting in the "reserved for seniors or people with disabilities" seats, tapping away on his BlackBerry. Not that I have anything against corporate preppy guys -- heck, I married one -- but COME ON. Are you really going to avert your eyes and ignore me for a half-hour?!? Are you really going to make me ask? DO YOU REALLY ENJOY HAVING MY BELLY SIX INCHES AWAY FROM YOUR FACE? (And on a related note, Mr. Gap Man, did you really just cut me off to sneak into the LADIES room at the BART station?)

I know I probably just need to sack up and ask for a seat when I need one. Nothing less attractive than a passive-aggressive preggo.

But I don't liiiiiike to. Wah.

[New visitors, aren't you glad you stopped by this whine-a-thon?]


Sue said...

I am so not passive aggressive typically. I'm usually totally direct and say what I think, but I wouldn't be able to ask for a seat is just so awkward and totally something that people should offer without even a thought! Ugh. I'm originally from NYC and worked there after college for years so am a veteran of mass transportation and you just talking about this makes me angry!

Brooke said...

People can be truly selfish. It seems appalling to me that someone would really ignore a visibly pregnant lady's needing to sit down. I had a interesting situation the other night when our delivery guy asked me to move a pallet of crates for him because they weren't in the right place. He has a dolly!! He is supposed to use that to move stuff but because they weren't in the designated area he was going to teach me a lesson and make me move them. I politely told him that I was 7 months pregnant and I would have to find someone else to move them for him. He felt like a a$$ I think and decided to move them for me "just this once" WOW!!

Brittney said...

I'm SO with you!! I am appalled that there are actually people out there who AREN'T giving up their seat for you? That's awful. You should definitely not have to ask. I would go ahead and be rude about it though if you do ask - because they're being rude to not offer you a seat initially!

Ok, I've put in my two-sense:) I'm sorry you're having to experience that.

K said...

Ah BART, my old friend. What a shame people in the most progressive city in the world still fail to pull their heads out sometimes. But they'll sure manage to recycle their compost material in the green carts. Sigh. Still love that place. But really, you shouldn't HAVE to ask for a seat.

Michele said...

It's times like yours that I appreciate gentlemen in the world!

Kerri said...

Hahaha...people suck. I blogged about this a few days ago, but at my L&D tour, one of the women's husbands took one of the very few seats in the room and left the rest of us pregnant women standing. Awesome.


Barefoot said...

Kerri, I read that post and was APPALLED! People can be so clueless.

Ben & Anne said...

I have had the same experience countless times on the tube in London. By about 6 months I just got to the stage where I started outright asking people to move when they were in the disability/ pregnant seat. A couple of times I have had suited and booted corporate type guys actually huff or roll their eyes! Beyond rude!

Anonymous said...

Here via iclw. Congratulations on the baby girl! Love the shoes in your pic, too!


Suraita said...

I'm not sure if this makes me miss public transportation because it would be nice not to have to do all the driving or not because the people who don't give up seats and sit in the for seniors and people with disablilities section drove me insane.

The dude sneaking into the ladies really mystifies me.

Completely unrelated - thanks for the comment you left at my place!


Saige said...

You're too cute. I always hated asking people to give up seats when I was pg too. I hated the special attention in the beginning, but began to love it at the end. Maybe you could feign nausea next time you end up standing in front of Mr. Preppy. That would get his attention!

Anonymous said...

I probably wouldn't ask for a seat either but it sucks that people are such idiots. I would ask the guy with the bberry or cell phone. Hey can I get your number so I can text you that I NEED TO SIT DOWN! lol

Anonymous said...

Right there with ya, sister! As a frequent user of public transportation, I have mastered the art of the belly rub/slight "oh my aching back" backbend as a means of getting a seat. I live in a place where it's already been quite cold, and since the bump isn't quite as noticeable with my michelan man coat, I take it one step further. I actually unzip my coat to further emphasize the bump. Success rate? About 50%