Tomorrow I will be 18 weeks pregnant. Friends accidentally refer to me as six months along, even though I am only four. I am totally, hugely, obviously preggers.
And yet I stand almost every day through my entire 45-minute subway commute from Brooklyn. I have been offered a seat a grand total of twice -- and one barely counts since the guy let me stand for 30 minutes before gallantly offering his seat as he exited the train. I’ll give you that winter coats make it hard to tell -- and I understand the fear of not wanting to offend a woman who’s maybe just a little round around the middle -- but I make it easy by unbuttoning my coat, popping out my midsection and shamelessly rubbing my belly. And yet no dice.
There are good reasons a prego like myself should sit. With my center of gravity shifting, I am off-balance and clumsy. Also, after a near-fainting a couple weeks ago, I realize the crowds and the hot winter layers can really get to me.
Many people see my bump and then pretend to fall sleep (does it have narcoleptic powers?). Many others are so involved in their Blackberries/PSPs/books that they don’t even look up. Perhaps we’re all just too wrapped up in the world of one, so it’s not so much a slight as ignorance. But I have another theory: I think the economy is making people less giving, whether it’s to charity organizations or the people around us. Clearly few people have extra cash to spare these days. But generosity of spirit? Doesn’t cost a thing.