It is a truth universally acknowledged that Monday morning rush hour riders do not like to engage in any verbal activity. However, they are willing to take any of the necessary physical steps to secure their coveted spots in overly crowded departing trains. I am no exception to the rule.
And I particularly do not like participating in conversation with an individual whose every word offends me. Case in point: This past Monday, while Aldie and I waited for the A train, a woman paused beside us and asked, rather innocently, when I was due. Now I know I’m not the world’s skinniest minnie, but seriously, do I look seven months pregnant?
Livid, I responded, “Any minute now.” Then the train arrived, and the conversation ceased entirely… until the next morning. While waiting for the very same A train, Aldie and I noticed the woman on the platform. Aldie determined to break his vow of silence in order to address her verbal misstep.
“Excuse, miss, but my babysitter isn’t pregnant. And she’s certainly not ready for the responsibilities that accompany motherhood. Do you know how expensive children are?” Then to illustrate that I, indeed, was without child, he unbuttoned my coat and highlighted my pseudo-flat stomach. “See, no baby. And no flab. My point is simple: You’ve offended my sensibilities, and hers. And you should apologize.”
The woman, rather shocked, responded, “My, you have a large vocabulary.” To which Aldie said, “And?” “And I am sorry for mistaking your babysitter for your pregnant mother.” I gave Aldie a look of approval, and he accepted her verbal articulation of remorse. Then I bought Aldie a croissant and told him that if he ever wanted to adopt a 20something obsessive compulsive coffee drinker, he should give me a call. Immediately. He smiled, and my ovaries whirled.