Thursday, 27 May 2010

Giving up seats for pregnant ladies on the tube

I went into town today, it's only three stops on the tube, and Squirrel tends to kick, wriggle, knit ~ whatever it does in there ~ quite a lot these days so I wasn't too bothered about sitting down, in fact I didn't want to sit down because I knew I would be sitting down all day.  A very sweet young man touched my arm and offered me his seat as soon as he saw me get on, and when I said 'oh thanks but I'm fine really, it's only a couple of stops' he seemed quite offended and flabbergasted almost and sat back down, looking around as if to say, did you see that? Offer a pregnant lady a seat and she refuses it, honestly!

Then a young German couple got on and when a seat became available instead of taking it the man asked me if I would like it, 'oh thanks but I'm getting off at the next stop I'm fine thank you though!'  More puzzled looks and whispering to his girlfriend and some odd looks from other passengers too.  I was quite happy perching on the cushioned rest, reading the man's paper next to me, then his mobile as he checked his very important messages about meeting with the Moroccan ambassador and Princess Laila and then looking around as if I wasn't reading it whenever he looked or the man on the other side of me caught me looking. Yes it was a fun journey indeed, but I did feel guilty, not just for reading the man's texts but for offending two very kind gentlemen who offered me seats.

After a very long, uncomfortable day I got back on the tube, desperate for the loo, hot, tired, hungry, and nobody offered me a seat, but I didn't really mind for it was only a few stops.  Then a gentleman excused himself past me to walk to the middle of the carriage, to stand and wait for a seat, saw me, then grabbed the young man sitting in the end seat and asked him to get up for the pregnant lady, the young man was instantly apologetic and grabbed his things together and gave me the seat, which this time I very gratefully accepted, and thanked the older gentleman too.  Sitting down, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with gratitude, a mixture of feelings welling up inside about accepting and declining seats and the whole protocol of it all and felt a huge burst of tears building up, but looked up and shut my eyes and let a small trickle of exhausted frustration run down my cheek quietly.

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