I was on the train yesterday. I got on at an earlier station than normal so I got a seat and gladly got comfy in it. We pulled into the next station and a pretty large group of people piled on. I was happily reading my newspaper when out of the corner of my eye I noticed the man opposite me looking up worridly every 30 seconds or so behind me. Being the nosey person I am I turned around and saw a lady with a baby bump. It was a pretty tidy little baby bump and hidden by her coat mostly, but there was no doubting it with the way she cupped one hand under it and rubbed it with her other hand.
Without thinking I automatically sprung out of my seat, tapped the lady on the arm, apologised for not noticing that she was behind me and offered her my seat. She deserved it, I can't imagine carrying around a baby belly is very comfortable. It's tough enough carrying around my pizza belly.
There were two points to this that really annoyed me. Firstly that the man opposite me had clearly clocked her but didn't offer her his seat. This was probably because I was a couple of inches closer, but the simple fact is he saw her. In fact all the people sitting down were around me, and at the next stop I had to actually ask one of the men to give up their seat for an old lady who was struggling to keep upright. Where are their manners?
Second point. The pregnant woman was clearly in discomfort and was really relieved when she got to sit down. Why didn't she just ask someone? She was wearing quite a baggy coat and if she hadn't have been so slim otherwise I would have probably just thought she was tubby. TFL are giving out great "baby on board" badges for mums-to-be, but sometimes I think if people just asked it would be easier. Same for older people. I know they shouldn't have to, but if the general public don't have the manners to offer a seat, then why stand, struggle and complain about it later when just asking would do?
This isn't the first time I've been on a train and noticed that everyone either has their back to a pregnant lady, or is busy reading a book or the Metro. They aren't not offering seats often because they don't want to, but simply because they haven't noticed. I know if I am ever pregnant and I want a seat, I'll be a little bit cheeky and ask someone.
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