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« Pregnancy Perception | Main | Iron Baby »

Chivalry. It is not dead. 

There are mamas out there who have raised their children up right! My proof is my daily New York City subway commute. 

I have been taking an informal ethnography of the kind of person who gives up their seat to a pregnant lady on a crowded subway. I thought I would find that one demographic would be more likely to sacrifice but I was wrong. The well-mannered run the gamut in age, race, and gender. Although I will say, there are usually only one or two people per train ride that offer. Most people will pretend not to notice and keep their backsides planted. We'll deal with them in a less feel-good post. 

Truth be told, I felt entitled to the seat WAY before I was showing. Now that I am incontrovertibly pregnant looking, the seat is finally mine! I am offered a seat every day now, to and fro! You would think we were talking about a La-Z-Boy instead of a hard plastic subway seat but let me tell you, it is just as valuable! 

I will say that men of color have been the most likely to offer their seat up first. Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians in particular are the first to make eye contact and do the back-and-forth pointing gesture that means, "I'm going to switch places with you." When a teenage boy does it, I feel like crying and giving them a note to give to their mother that says, "Your son has manners. Good for you!" 

My pride tells me I don't need the seat and that I should just suck it up because there are plenty of preggos who have it a lot harder than I do. But I am trying to teach myself to accept help in my life and I am trying to do it with graciousness. So I accept the backside switcharoo and I make sure to let the giver know that I am very grateful. And I am!

So ladies, raise your children to be a Subway Seat Sacrificer. It is the right thing to do! 

Reader Comments (3)

Chivalry will never die even though it seems like it at times. To some of us, manners in general is second nature and sometime just common sense. I would love to see the not so "feel-good" post from you in regards to the people who don't offer up their seats to the pregnant women or elderly persons. Here in southern California, I have seen plenty of people honk and rev their engines at elderly people crossing the streets a little to slowly. As my mother always say "There's special place just for them in hell"

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike N

I do have plenty to say about people who are not kind to pregnant women! I'm trying not to dwell on unkindness but I can go there! Maybe I will sometime this weekend! - Natali

July 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatali

My momma raised me right... preggers or not, I would always offer a lady my seat .. it's just the right thing to do!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSB

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