I walked into the crowded SkyTrain (the rapid transit line in Metro Vancouver, where I live) this morning and felt a slight sense of panic. It’s kind of a mild anxiety I often experience when thinking ahead to how my commute might go. Nothing bad ever happens, but the potential for disaster (i.e. a slight embarrassment, a full-on assault) is always there.
Also, it’s not that I’m super pregnant yet but I definitely have a baby bump and my stomach feels heavy. Standing isn’t bad most of the time, but a few stops in and I often wish someone would give me their seat.
Today, a stranger offered me his. I wasn’t even standing very close—there was another lady sitting between us. At first I declined. I don’t know why I do that. I think I’m scared of being a burden and having a stranger think “oh geez, I have to give up my seat for the pregnant lady, boo.”My husband thinks I should rub my stomach or sigh pitifully to draw attention to myself, but it seems undignified. Despite my weak protestations, the stranger said, “No, I insist,” and promptly got up.
He had a kind face. He wore a turban and might have been Sikh. His eyes were pleasant but I only took a quick glimpse, the embarrassment kicking in. My ride was pleasant and the whole way I felt grateful to him. He remained standing nearby by the way, I thanked him again on my out.
It’s probably unrealistic to think I will always remember his face, or the kind gesture, or even my daily commute on the SkyTrain, or even what a SkyTrain is. OK that might be too far, I hope I won’t lose my memory so completely! But my point is, he was a cool guy and he didn’t have to be nice, but he was.