Transit City: An awkward, pregnant pause

I was wondering why she was reading a children’s book. I didn’t see the title page, didn’t catch its name. But I could see, peering down on her as I stood holding on to the pole in the subway, snooping, something in big, kid-friendly type, about frogs. She seemed engrossed; was reading intently.

This middle-aged woman wore a sheepskin hat, black curls peering out from underneath. Her face had a sophisticated, intelligent look that sat in opposition to the book she was reading.

Perhaps she’s learning English, I thought. I leaned in a bit. There weren’t any pictures on the page, so maybe she’d progressed to the mid-range list.

Perhaps she works at a publishing house and was reading some of the back catalogue.

Or maybe she’d picked up the book for her own child and wanted to give it a read before giving it to them. Maybe they were doing a project on frogs and their habitats that she was going to help with.

Speculating about other people’s lives helps make a bad transit ride bearable.

We came into the station, the doors opened and I was jostled by carelessly flung backpacks and pointy elbows. She got up to leave.

“Would you like to take this seat?” she asked me.

“Sure. Thanks!” I said, pleased to exchange courtesies with a stranger on the subway.

I sat down – but she didn’t get off. She grabbed the subway pole I’d just been holding on to.

“I hope you’re getting off at the next stop,” I said.

“Oh, don’t worry, I’m getting off soon enough,” she smiled.

It was then I realized in horror – she thought I was pregnant! That’s why she gave me the seat – so me and my unborn child wouldn’t be jostled and elbowed.

But you see, it was just a cold day and I’d folded up my bulky scarf under my coat. I was mortified.  But if I’d said to her, no, no, keep your seat, I’m not pregnant, then she would have been mortified. So, being courteous, I said nothing.

Oh well, I thought, trying not to be insulted. She was reading that children’s book. She must have had babies on the mind.

Read more Transit City posts:

Lying on the station floor

The lady with the gold ring

A reason to take public transit



  1. As a daily transit rider I’m often appalled by the people who DON’T stand up for pregnant, elderly and generally infirm. Last time I was on the subway with my 80 yr old mother-in-law (who walks with a stick) I actually had to ask a group of seated riders if one of them would please give her a seat.

  2. That’s a horrible story, Judy. Alas, I think your experience is far more common than mine. Courtesy sure isn’t what it used to be.

  3. Deb — that’s funny! At least you know now that a stuffed scarf is your ticket to a seat 😉 (I kid of course!)

    1. Oh but the humiliation of it all! Can you imagine her face if I’d said something?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Sharing a love for nature, heritage, animals and pets, including all things beautiful and surprising, driven by passionate curiosity, and compiled for you in articles, photographs and intriguing regular snippets.

Back On The Rock

Settled back in Jersey, heart still in Ireland....

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.


Writer, Columnist, Contributor, and Editor



the bippity boppity beautiful blog

let's create something beautiful - Katie Ann De Crescenzo

J T Weaver

And in the end the love you take, is equal to the love you make. -- The Beatles

Dianne Johnston

Living Life after 60

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Smashing Through Life!

kicking the shit out of life every day, right in the nuts

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More


Just another site


life without borders

Eat, Sleep, Television

Watch as I amaze and astound with opinions about what TV shows I like!

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

Dear Life, Said With Love.

Life as I usually, somewhat, sometimes, clearly see it.

%d bloggers like this: