6/20/2006

hello...can you see me?

Every morning I ride the El train smashed in between dozens of self absorbed people. Did you know that it's an unspoken rule that you can't talk to people while riding public transportation? If you do speak, everyone stops and stares at you as if you've just broken commandment number one. People read their papers, listen to their Ipods, stare out the window at a tunnel of darkness and absolutely never ever make eye contact. I suppose that may be the reason that no one seems to notice the belly protruding from my cute maternity dress. It must be why not one single person offers me a seat because if they actually looked at me they would have to realize that I'm pregnant and pregnant ladies hate standing on their already swollen feet. I have to believe it's because they don't see me because if I did actually pass through their field of vision, wouldn't that make them....well...arseholes? I'm not sure why I keep expecting some nice young man to offer me his seat because honestly it never happens. When I was pregnant with Alice and my stomach was out to -------> there...I was only offered a seat twice and both times it was a woman who graciously gave up her comfy germ infested seat. I want to know why? Why are people so afraid to make eye contact? Why is it against the rules to say hello to your fellow passengers? When the hell did we become so self absorbed and who let us continue to be that way?

You know honestly it's not so much about me needing a seat as it is about realizing how invisible you can actually be in a city of 3 million people.

7 Comments:

  1. bornfool said...
    That makes me sad. I always give up my seat to the elderly, pregnant women, etc. Of course, I don't live where you do, but good manners are becoming hard to find around here, too.
    sirreene said...
    Either things have changed or it is your unfriendly city. I had both of my children in Philly and rode public transportation when pregnant & was offered seats on Septa. I rarely use public transportation these days but when I do, I will still stand up and offer my seat to an elderly person or pregnant person as would my now teenage children.
    Michelle said...
    I visit Chicago every year and ride the L when I am there, and I never knew there was an unspoken rule as to not talk to the other passengers. We always do, mostly for directions to where we are going. And I have to say that we met a woman on her way to work that led us most of the way to where we were going, she was very kind.
    I too will give up my seat for an elderly person, a mom to be or someone with children. After all the things we see in the media, it should come as not surprise that thre are rude people in this world, it is just sad to see how many of them there are.
    NML said...
    We all ignore each other on the Tube. To be fair though, I travel to work with a load of stinking people...
    k o w said...
    Finally I can see and read you site again!
    Fitèna said...
    When I posted "Tomatoes" those who commented all said the same thing. People don't talk to each other on their parts of the globe. I wa sitting once in a bus with a guy next to me. Some people were standing. We reached a station from were a lady got on the bus. the guy next to me stood up to give her his seat. you wouldn't believe this but one standing guy actually pushed around to take the just-vacanted-seat!

    Fitèna
    Seven said...
    When I left west Texas for Dallas many years ago I didn't expect to find what you describe so well.
    Deep in west Texas in cotton farming land the people are still so genuine and kind that it is now disarming to me when I return.
    I still have some of that genuine 'howdiness' in me and often it is met with a scowl from urban dwellers.
    I think it is a form of protective behavior. No one can really be trusted so no engagement is safe.
    Too bad isn't it?

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