I was at the mall this weekend finishing up a little Christmas shopping. My husband and stepson were there also and we split up for a bit because my stepson wanted to shop for me. (So sweet and thoughtful!) We made arrangements to meet up in front of a particular store an hour later, which worked out nicely because there was a row of three couches there.
I got to our meeting spot about 10 minutes early, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to rest my feet. After all, I’m now eight months into this pregnancy and carrying around much more weight than I’m used to. When I got there, however, all of the seats were full.
Now I’m not the type to ask people to get up and I was content to stand while I waited, but I also thought it would be a good opportunity to run a little experiment to see if anyone would offer up a seat to the pregnant woman.
I positioned myself at the end of the row where most everyone sitting would be able to see me and I set my bags on the ground. I should add that I was wearing leggings and a fitted sweater, so unless someone thinks I actually swallowed a basketball, it is very obvious that I am very pregnant.
Let’s also consider that this is Christmas time, generally a time of year when people may be feeling more generous.
So what do you think happened?
Did any of the four men occupying one couch get up? No. A few of them made eye contact, but that was it.
Did any of the women occupying another couch get up? No. Some of them didn’t notice me at all, though one made eye contact and looked away.
But here’s the kicker… did the woman closest to me, who had her packages on the couch next to her offer to move her packages so I could sit? No.
Honestly, I was surprised, especially when it comes to the woman who took up seating with her shopping bags. How sad that courtesy and compassion has sunk this low, particularly at a time of cheer.
After 5 or 6 minutes, someone got up to leave and I took their seat. Incidentally, it happened to be the seat on the other side of the shopping bags. And yes, I smiled at the woman across her shopping bags. Not a nasty, sneering smile, but a genuine smile. And I felt really good about it.
Now let me restore your faith in humanity a little bit. After meeting back up with my husband and stepson, we went to Brookstone where between my belly, the bags I was carrying, and the mass of people in the store, I found it difficult to maneuver the small aisles, so I found a somewhat out of the way spot to stand while my men went to browse.
I was standing there for probably two minutes when a Brookstone employee came over and asked if I’d like to sit in the massage chair. She explained that we couldn’t run the chair since I’m pregnant, but she welcomed me to rest as long as I would like.
Maybe kindness isn’t dead yet.
What do you think? Have you experienced or witnessed any seat offerings for pregnant women, the elderly, or otherwise?