Friday, January 02, 2009

Stranger on a Train...and Other Strange Stories


A few days ago, I was taking the subway back after a day spent at the hospital with my baby girl. I've been feeling like a walking zombie these days because I'm just so tired. Tired of commuting to have to see my baby in the hospital! Anyway, I fell asleep probably before Union Station and opened my eyes when we reached Queen or Dundas. I looked up and there was this very pregnant woman standing in front of me. I quickly jumped up, hopped off my seat and said, "Excuse me. Would you like to sit down?" She gladly accepted and gestured to the man sitting next to me and said, "Yes, thank you! I thought that man was going to let me sit, but I guess there are no gentlemen left in the world." I knew she was being sarcastic and we both chuckled. I was shocked that no one offered her a seat. The subway was packed, but wouldn't you think that people would offer up their seat to anyone who was in need (like someone pregnant)?

"I would have offered you my seat earlier had I not fallen asleep", I said. "Oh, no problem. Thank you so much".

I asked her where she was from, because I detected a Monterrey accent. Yes, she was from Mexico and was surprised that I knew where she was from. We talked about how I teach ESL and have lots of Mexican students. We also chatted a bit in Spanish, and I apologized for being a bit rusty. She was just excited to be able to speak Spanish with me.

I then asked her where she was going to have her baby and she said, "I don't know if you know this place. It's Mount Sinai". "Oh! That's where my baby was born! I gave birth to her a few weeks ago!" "Oh! You just had a baby?! Do you want to sit down???" I said no and insisted that she sit down. We talked about Little One and her dramatic entrance into the world. Before I knew it, we had reached my stop. We departed as two long lost friends would. She was surprised to have met someone so friendly on a crowded subway.

I thought about that on the bus ride back to the place I am staying at. Why should it be such a surprise to meet someone friendly? It sometimes feels like we seem to lose that 'ability' or 'want' when it comes to being kind to strangers. Anyway, I left the subway station feeling pretty good and the conversation did make the ride seem to go by faster.

One last strange story before I call it a night. I had a disturbing (to me) conversation today with someone pretty close to me. It went something like this:

PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed: When you get back home with the baby you will have to do something about that weight. You have a lot of work ahead of you to get rid of all that weight and get healthy.

Me: (in total disbelief) I just had a baby seven weeks ago. Actually, I now weigh less than I did BEFORE I got pregnant. (Sheesh! Why are we having this conversation now? I've got a lot to deal with right now...namely having a baby in the hospital and desperately wanting her to be able to leave the level2 nursery so we can go home!)

PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed: Hmph. Okay. You say what you want. I think you know deep down what you need to do.

Me: I cannot believe we are having this conversation.

PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed: Fine. I'm not going to go there. You know what you need to do though.

Okay, perhaps said person has my best interests at heart, but most of the time it feels like said person is just being hurtful. I know that I will never be a size 0. I never was a size 0. Hubby and I are active and we eat healthy. At home I cook all our meals from scratch, we eat fresh produce that is mostly from our garden, and we don't eat much food that has preservatives or additives in it. Everything is mostly homemade and healthy.

If PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed were the poster child for healthy living, perhaps I might not be so upset. However, said person is not the picture of good health, so why is said person beating down on me when said person has a lot of health issues to contend with himself? It just made me so mad.

I just had a baby a few weeks ago. I've been commuting, breastfeeding, walking a great amount, running on no sleep...and have been losing weight because of this craziness ever since being discharged from the hospital. All of my clothes were too big that I had to buy new jeans and pants and my wedding ring and engagement ring are so loose now that they just slip off my finger. Actually, Hubby has been telling me that he hopes I don't disappear on him because every time he sees me (when he comes to Toronto to be with us every two weeks) he tells me not to keep shrinking so much.

By the way, I told Hubby about my rings being too big on me and he suggested getting them resized. I said I think I need new ones! ;) Just kidding!

36 comments:

Veronica said...

Wow, that is insane that someone would say stuff to you like that! How rude!

And sometimes strangers are lovely.

FancyPansy said...

OMG how rude. Don't even worry about it.

Karen MEG said...

That was a lovely encounter you had on the subway...I remember being pregnant riding alone on the TTC and NOT ONCE was I ever offered a seat ... by a man. I know that's a broad sweep, but there are very few gentlemen left in this world... luckily we're married to a couple :).

I wouldn't listen to "personwhoshallremainunnamed (chuckling about that moniker, BTW) ...sometimes people say things that they just don't realize are hurtful. You just keep up with your healthy lifestyle, your baby will be the better for it, and you should be carrying a little more weight anyway while you're nursing ... I'm concerned about you losing too much with the stress of everything!

Happy New Year to you, hubby and Little One, C. May it bring you lots of joy and happiness, and tons of baby giggles :)

Ellie said...

That is so incredibly rude, and if PersonWhoShallBeUnnamed reads this...shame on you!! Good grief, it takes all kinds I guess! It is a sad state of affairs when a stranger is kinder to you than a friend. Sheesh!! Don't worry about it kiddo, you look MAHVELOUS!!!!

Hugs!

Patti McKenzie said...

I find myself amazed at your story of meeting the stranger on the train, but why is it that that occurence is so unheard of lately? It seems that no one has enough respect to even speak to on another anymore, so this little story really perked me up!
As for the person who shall remain unnamed, SHAME ON YOU!!! No one has the right to tell someone else that they need to do something about their weight at any point in life, let alone JUST after giving birth!! This piece of your blog got me fired up, to say the least, and it's a good thing you did not name this person, because I would have given them a piece of my mind personally for you!! Don't worry about your weight. It sounds like you and Hubby live a healthy lifestyle, so just keep doing what you're doing. You're a beautiful person inside and out, so don't let inconsiderate comments such as this get to you. Keep your chin up!

Bristol said...

What an amazing and poignant post... a total stranger offers you emotions that make you feel alive and whole and happy, and a person close to you takes something away. I think sometimes the words of strangers settle so deeply because the person sees you and hears you for who you are... and the familiar person sees you and hears you for what she/he thinks you should be.

To be dealt with harshly at a trying time is unnecessary... and that is why you were sent the woman with child... perhaps? You are such a loving and brilliant and caring woman who is admired by all of us out here, and by the woman on the subway. She will never forget your kindnesses. She will tell her baby about you and Little One. You have changed her life.

As you think of the unkind words of the familiar person... let your mind reflect on the admiration and love you feel all around you, and think about the loving lessons you will be passing on to your beautiful little girl.

You are perfect.

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

C... I wrote the "Bristol" post! I forgot to sign out from my husband's name... but he knows all about you, too, and he would say the same things!
Love, Sharon

Dina said...

that was a really great encounter you had with the Mexican woman! You left her knowing that not all Canadians are rude and self centred!
As for those comments from Unnamed...boo on you! That is awfully rude- but perhaps, just perhaps, they didn't intend it to be as rude as it sounded?? (let us hope anyway!)

C said...

Veronica:
I know! Well, this person has always been pretty negative. It really grates on me sometimes, but I try not to let his comments bother me. I guess sometimes people focus on other people's lives so much because they don't feel content with their own lives. That, and perhaps this person really does care about my health, but I've been really healthy according to my doctor's visits.

Whatever. LOL!

Word ver: perculted

C said...

Fancy:
Thank you. I will try not to worry about it. I usually let this person's comments roll off my shoulder because this person has always said things that weren't encouraging. Oh well. I guess some people are just like that. Maybe this person is trying to be "helpful", but isn't coming across that way. The approach is a little off.

C said...

Karen:
Happy New Year to you guys too! I've been thinking of you. Hope to see you sometime soon. Hugs! XO

Rosie : ) said...

It's so nice to meet lovely strangers. Life gives us littel surprises and puts wonderful people in our path. I bet she talked about your meeting to her friends/family too. :)

As for hurtful/good-intentioned people, well, not much you can do. It will hurt, even if their intentions are the best in the world ~ words hurt. You are strong enough to get over this, and know that so many people love you just as you are! Including 7 little ones over at this end of Canada, who talk about you all the time. :)

C said...

Ellie:
Thank you! You are so sweet! I was talking to one of the other moms in the Level 2 nursery about this yesterday and she was shocked and said, "WHAT?!?! You don't even look like you just had a baby!" Even if she was just being nice because we're friends, it was sweet of her to say that! LOL!

C said...

Patti:
Hi! I have been thinking of you and your little one on the way! I want to see some baby bump pics, girlfriend!!! I cannot believe the last time I saw you was JUST after your wedding day! Ahhh...that seems like ages ago to me!

Thank you again for always checking in on Little One and me. You are so sweet.

Hopefully we will see you soon!!! I wonder if by the time Little One and I return, you'll have had your baby already?

VE said...

I just sent over my gnomes to have a discussion (read havoc)with personwhoshallbeunamed. They'll regret messing with my friend!

jan said...

There are always people who use the excuse that they are helping to become vicious. i don't understand why they want to be vicious.

C said...

Sharon/aka Bristol:
:) Say hi to "Dustin" for me! :) Thank you for this comment! How do you always know the right things to say to make a person feel better?

As for the encounter on the subway, I think it is so amazing and so special when you meet someone in such a random situation and just hit it off. If you think about how many people you come into contact with in your lifetime, it's amazing how many lives you touch even in a little way...and how many people touch your life and leave their imprint in your heart. I just love those kinds of experiences. Truly uplifting.

C said...

Dina:
I was about to call you earlier today/after lunch. I was just thinking of you and thought I'd pick up the phone (yeah, while pumping at the hospital...that's the only time I get to talk to people! LOL!).

We should touch base again soon. I had a great time with you, Danielle and the little ones! XOXO

C said...

Rosie:
Give those seven adorable kiddies a big squeeze for me! I am hoping to introduce your crew to Little One someday soon! Miss you! I have been meaning to call you! Soon...I promise! XOXO

C said...

VE:
:) That's right, my friend! Send over those gnomes!

Jan:
I know. *sigh* BTW, I really need to get over to yours soon! I miss you and your posts!! XO

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I love that you bonded on the train. :) The world is funny that way, huh?

My mom used to get the 'you need to lose weight' thing, sometimes from total strangers. She told me once, 'as if I don't know already that I'm fat (her word), people think I'm so dumb that I need to be reminded.' Grrr. I'm not commenting on your weight by this comment, I'm commenting on how people think it's their job to tell you what they think you need to hear.

You just go on with your lifestyle. You exercise, you eat well, and take care of yourself. Try to get as much rest as you can during this stressful and difficult time, and you'll be fine. Don't worry about idiots. There are plenty of them, and they often don't give up a seat for a pregnant woman.

Oh, and if someone says that's a sign of the times, when my mom was pregnant with my brother (who is now 45), she once rode a bus when she was VERY pregnant, and the healthy young men on the bus ignored her standing there, trying to manage her groceries, until a little old woman with a cane got on the bus. They tried to ignore her, too, but she hit them with her cane until two men were cowed into giving up their seats. HA!

Uncivil said...

First things first!
"PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed"...if you are reading this....Hug a root and get a life!

"PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed" could take a few lessons from you on how to brighten someone's day instead of belittling them.

We could all take lesson's from you on how to brighten someone's day!

I bet that little mexi-mamma felt like you were her angel when she got off the train?

caninecologne said...

hi c - that's so cool that you could tell that lady's accent was from Monterrey. the accents from Mexico that we hear down here are from Tijuana and sometimes, D.F. (Federal District - Mexico City). that was so very kind of you to give her a seat - it was unfortunate that no one offered her a seat before. that's awful. c'mon, a pregnant lady too.

now about that person who shall be unnamed - omg, she is completely tactless. you have better things to worry about than your "weight". she's the one with the problem obviously. maybe she has some self esteem issues and needs someone to dump on and you happened to be the dumpee. i can't believe someone would say such a thing. man, i would kick someone's ass if they said that to me after giving birth. well, i really woulnd't but i'd want to! maybe a verbal tongue lashing instead.

perhaps it's time to drop this bitch like a bad habit. oops, did i just say 'bitch'? sorry, but i call it as i see it. shame on her!!! this person is NOT a friend to you. surround yourself with positivity and not black holes of toxicity. okay, let me get off my soapbox now. but seriously...fk her!!!!

louann said...

About the train ride, apparently there are NO MORE gentlemen in this world. I as on the MTR in HK with an obvious pregnant belly and no one offered me a seat. Geez.

Anyway C, about the weight...don't pay much attention to that person. For as long as you are healthy, in good shape and feel good about yourself that's all that should matter.

And yes, it has only been 7 weeks!

Not who you think it is said...

I believe it to most probably be person(s) who shall remain unnamed... which I would also guess that they have nothing but good intentions and care deeply about your well being. Tact and diplomacy don't seem to be their strong suit, but malicious probably isn't something that suits that mold either.

Having said that, shame on you for subjecting the unnamed to others criticism and judgment. I would stand sword and shield to defend the unnamed as they are innocent until proven guilty. Only they know their intentions and we should not be the carriers of contempt.

BeachMama said...

Your kindness and good heart show through in your first meeting.

Your second one should have seen another side of you. Instead, you showed grace and disbelief. That person who is obviously talking from a jealous standpoint. Whenever I have lost weight in the past, someone always says I am fat and usually it is the one person who should be saying the other. If your clothes are loose and your rings are slipping off, then I would say you are in a pretty great place. I know it is hard to shake of those nasty comments, but I think you are doing awesome. And if I had your wonderful homegrown food to cook with, I would be so much healthier than I am. Kudos.

You and Baby will be home soon. Very soon.

C said...

Not Who You Think It Is:
I realize that the person who said that does have my best interests at heart, and that tact isn't a strong suit. This said, I hardly think it is this person's place to comment in the first place. I don't go around telling this person to lose weight or otherwise.

I think people know already what they need to do, and to reinforce things like a broken record when a person is already going through a rough time and has a lot of more pressing issues to contend with at the moment (ummm...like a baby in the hospital perhaps?!?!!), I think it is hardly the right time to be bringing up things like what that person was talking about.

Shame on me for "subjecting the unnamed to others for criticism and judgment"? That was not the intention. This post was about me feeling awful about what was said. After all, aren't I allowed to feel that way if someone tells me over and over what I already know and have been already working on? Right now is NOT the right time to be harrassing me with negativity and making me feel like shit when I am already going through a freaking rough time with the baby being in the hospital and me not having been home since October!!!!!

Again, this was not to be the "carrier of contempt". This is a place for me to work through my feelings and get things out. As for the "person(s)" (and it was only one person), I know that things were not said in malice.

Anyway, what would you do if someone nagged you all the time about the one thing you have been working on already? Wouldn't you be upset if someone repeated the same things over and over when you've just about had it already?

hotmommy said...

ok this is to "not who you think it is". you are an asshole to be saying what you just said. i think you should get off your high horse and not be the bearer of contempt yourself. shame on you for making someone who arleady feels badly even worse. put yourself in chrissy's shoes and ssee if you can deal and cope with things as well as she has been. that was pretty brutal of you

Uncivil said...

"PersonWhoShallRemainUnnamed"...I apologize for my rude comment.

I should try to be more positive like C, but it's my nature to be Uncivil, and I battle it daily!

We all "open mouth insert foot" occasionally, and now I'm world renown!

T said...

Obviously Unnamed Person has never had a baby. I have seen you in the hospital a few times since Little One was born and I can attest that you look FANTASTIC. You looked wonderful when you were pregnant and even BEFORE you got pregnant.

I can vouch for your healthy lifestyle because we've seen it when visiting you guys on the island. You do cook healthy and you are very active on the farm and with your students.

The reason I say that it is clear Unnamed Person has never given birth is because well, one, you stated that Unnamed Person is male, and two, a person who has given birth will know that it takes time to look normal again after just giving birth. God, you just had her a few weeks ago! And when I saw you at the hospital, you looked like you didn't just have a baby. You look fantastic.

As for the person who was defending Unnamed Person, obviously you haven't given birth to a baby either. YOUR comment was callous and you are now subjecting yourself to comments by writing what you just wrote. A person who has just given birth is hormonal, emotional, and what you just wrote was not very tactful either. I think Chrissy has the right to express herself. Plus, she never once mentioned anyone's name. How would you know who she was talking about?

I'm sorry if I am overstepping my limits here, Chris, but I just think that it is awful all around, especially for "Not Who You Think It Is" to add insult to injury.

DO NOT close down the blog. It has been a good place for you to share. You've kept all of us who know you in real life up to date with all the ongoings in yoru life and you have met a lot of great people on the blog. It has been a great support group to say the least.

Sorry for this long ass comment, but I had a lot to say. We'll see you at the hospital this week. Does Friday or Saturday work for you?

Jeanna said...

Hey C., probably too late for you to read my comment, but this kind of thing has made me unable to function on some levels, and blogging was the first to go.
I hear you, I feel you, I know the feeling, but what can I say. I'd send you a nasty piece of something my nasty NASTY exbutstillnextdoor neighbor wrote in the dirt of a car as an example, but it was too maddening to even post and not at all productive.
But you are, and you are doing too much.
I can lose 60 plus pounds and still get this shit. People don't know how to communicate and some plain don't understand what is healthy and how to get healthier.
You're a beautiful person, love you.
And you ARE gorgeous.

FancyMomma said...

No one (except maybe one's doctor, if there are health issues) should be telling someone else to lose weight. It is just the height of rudeness, irregardless of ones "good" intentions. Those that are overweight know it, afterall, and are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves when and if it is time to do something about it. C has just had a baby, and already lost her baby weight! She is doing just fine!

Chrissy looks great and there is no reason anyone shoud be telling her to loose weight.

C, if you need to take a break, do it. Otherwise...know trhat all but one comment on here have only been supportive of you. We all love you and hate that someone hurt your feelings and was so rude to you.

FancyMomma said...

P.s. it sucks when blogging interferes with your personal life, doesn't it. It is supposed to be our place to feel, journal and share...and I hate when people ruin it for me.

Palm Springs Savant said...

egads, what a bold statement to make. Seems like its an opportunity have said "buzz off" but then again, I suppose you know how to handle this person. You were a lot more kind that I think I would have been!

From One Mommy to Another said...

Still reeling with anger here. After reading this post and reading that another commenter supports and defends those comments, I was unable to sleep at night.

Kudos to you, kiddo for hanging strong. You are a very strong woman to be going through all that you are going through with having just had a baby and having that baby in the NICU and Level 2.

And, "I would stand sword and shield to defend the unnamed..."! Wow! Seriously? Who talks like that?

Ms. Mamma said...

OMG. I can't believe it. Rather that using the 'f' word in a plethora of ways...I'll change the subject.

Your babe is so dear and so cute...the little peanut. The xmas photo of you and hubs with the baby is gorgeous and it is very evident to me you've changed. Above all, you're always beautiful.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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