A pregnant woman got on the bus. I did not give her my seat. What happens next will absolutely shock you!
Sidebar: Aren’t you sick of viral articles that begin like this?
I’m a conscientious transit rider and I really believe that there is a special circle in hell for people who don’t move to the back of the bus. Typically, even if there is a seat by the front, I end up moving back anyway because if someone who really needs it enters (expectant mother, elderly, etc.), I would just give it up.
Shout out to my parents who taught me this.
Yesterday, I boarded the bus and absent-mindedly sat down on one of those single seats near the front. It was mid-day and while the bus was full, everyone was still pretty comfortable. I sat and stared out the window, completely lost in my own world, and then a loud British accent started shouting all up in my ear:
“Excuse me! Are you okay? Are you alright?”
“Are you okay, sir? Are you injured? Are you hurt?”
“I’m sorry, I’m not sure what…”
She points to a pregnant woman nearby: “See her? She’s pregnant, yeah? She needs that seat, and you didn’t even get up”
“Oh man, I wasn’t even thinking..”
“And nothin’s wrong with you, yeah? She needs help.”
First of all, I was trapped in my own thoughts, probably thinking about what vegetables I can put into my new Vitamix. Secondly, other people were occupying other seats. I get that I look strong, able-bodied and funky-fresh-dressed-to-impress-ready-to-party, but that’s no reason to ignore the others and single me out. Finally, what was up with this loudmouthed bitch? What is she, an Avenger?
So I sheepishly looked at the expectant mother and mouthed an apology. She shook her head kindly and smiled while the insufferable jerk woman kept talking.
“Go on, then. Take a seat darlin’”.
I really wanted to give this woman a verbal smackdown but we had caused a big enough scene. She however, was doing that thing where you feel benevolent and vindicated, so you all of sudden talk super loud with a puffed up chest to no one in particular.
“I’m from Manchester. In England, yeah? Been in Canada for 2 years. You would never see that happen back ‘ome”.
Maybe it was my sensitivity and paranoia, but it felt like everyone on the bus was giving me a dirty look. I heard some people kissing their teeth, and some were making disappointed cluck-cluck noises with their throat and I’m positive that I heard someone say, “He ain’t right”. I kept my composure and though I wanted to scream, “NONE OF YOU BITCHES GOT UP EITHER!” I decided against it because I’ve seen enough episodes of The Real Housewives of Anywhere to know that you simply can not argue with angry and irrational people.
It’s funny how we’re so quick to villainize one another. This guy won’t give up his seat to a pregnant woman so he must be a terrible person. This guy is eating his lunch by himself in a park playground so he must be a pedophile (that happened to me last summer. I’ll tell you that story at another time). Kim Kardashian poses naked in a magazine so she must be the devil incarnate (that one is true though).
What is it that makes us lash out at one another in this way? Is it the world we live in? Is it these iModern times? Is it “society”?
Or is it internal? Are we walking around with so much of our own hurt and bruising that we’re quick to inflict any sort of pain on someone else?
Or is it projection? “Anyone else but me”? If I put the spotlight on how someone else is fucking up, no one’s going to notice my own flaws. Not even me.
I have no answers. It was just a very confusing moment in time. And I have no hard feelings for that loud British woman or anyone else on the 25 Don Mills bus. I’m sure that I too, have projected my own flaws, pain and insecurity on others. The only difference is that I have the decency to do it behind their backs and blog about it. Cause this bitch got some class.