Coffee Rhetoric: Parents Gone Wild

August 21, 2007

Parents Gone Wild

Dear New Age and Young Mothers Who Ride Public Transportation:
I don't mean to sound rude, insensitive or grouchy, but as someone who has no children I feel compelled to speak out on the behalf of childless singles like myself who navigate your world. Yes, I've chosen to appoint myself unofficial spokeswhore because I know deep down inside, similar minds feel the exact same way. This comment thread on this blog pretty much indicates as much. And this article illustrates the universality of the problem. I see the looks of slight agitation briefly cross faces as victimized passengers board the bus (particularly in the morning). Why are they, we agitated? Because many parents (young parents especially) have no consideration for the rest of the general populace trying to get from point A to point B. I cross your paths each time I step foot in a mall (love how you bogart the aisles in Claires), restaurant, or cafe. My mouth puckers with distaste when you all come into the museum where I work ignoring the rules and the fact that other patrons are trying to enjoy the museum's offerings, or into a clothing store where I'm trying to concentrate or maneuver my way around, but can't because you're in the way with strollers and steadfastly refuse to move, or I'm being knocked into and jostled about near the clothing racks by ripping and running 4 or 5 year olds, much to the chagrin of the shop girls as you continue to browse, indifferent and undaunted. Enough is enough! I have to put my foot down at least where the bus is concerned. I try to be understanding in regard to such matters. I really do but, the sign on the bus POLITELY READS that you're supposed to fold or collapse your bulky strollers before you board. For your safety and for the rest of ours. Not to mention you're blocking the aisle, hindering other passengers from finding a seat or even getting beyond the front. Do you take heed or care? Noooo. You all defiantly leave your carriages open, obstructing the bus aisle because you feel some sense of entitlement! Because even though the driver may remind you to fold the carriage, he can't force you to or boot you off. Don't think I don't notice the looks on your faces... daring or challenging anyone to protest or ask you to please excuse them as they desperately try to squeeze by and take a seat, before the bus lurches forward. I see you roll your eyes if the driver does, in fact, remind you of the rule. People like myself put up with a lot! We smile empathetically in your direction when your unruly toddlers screech and scream shrilly on the bus and on planes. Arching their bodies as you try to hold them in place. We turn around and smile at you pleadingly when the backs of our chairs are kicked over and over again. Hard. But to know avail, because you do nothing about it. Well, I implore you all to at least show some effing courtesy where public transportation is concerned! I did not appreciate, for the second consecutive day in a row this week, having to stumble my way by your bulky stroller(s) that blocked the aisle, as you sat comfortably in your seat. Watching me teeter on heels, balancing coffee, a large tote bag, and my oversize purse... squeeeeezing and trying in vain, not to knock other passengers in the face with my cargo. You've no manners. You may argue that it's difficult and too complex a task to be bothered with holding a baby, and collapsing a stroller at once. Hey guess what? It's just as difficult trying to maneuver around some large, industrial sized carriage, blocking the bus aisle... particularly when crowded. You know what else? You should collapse the stroller BEFORE the bus appears at your stop or plan accordingly if you're traveling with baby and carriage in-tow. Rest assured, both our mornings (afternoons and evenings) will be a little less stressful and hate filled.
xoxo Coffey