Monday, December 12, 2005

You are the camera

On the subway home on saturday night I had this following encounter. What does it mean? It has bugged me since it happened.
I was sitting on the Bloor line heading East. This woman got on with her two kids, one about three and the other under one year. The woman took up five seats with her kids and bags. I immediatly thought that was a bad idea considering it was weekend rush hour.
So along we go on the line and the baby begins to fuss and cry. My co-worker gets off about this time, and a young woman sits down next to me, but one seat over. She immediatly starts to play peak-a-boo with the three year old. It was very cute.
Then a third woman with blond hair got on and sat down in between us. At this point the baby begn to cry, the mother was doing her best to calm the child but it was having none of that (I only called the baby "It" becuase I am not clear if it was a boy or a girl). The woman was trying to breast feed but had bags on the stroller so it was awkward to get the child out of the stroller. I saw what was going on and grabbed the stroller as it began to fall, but so did blond girl. I caught the stroller first but the mother only thanked the blond girl. I was a bit annoyed that I was snubbed for no apparent reason.
Then a man got on and sat between the mother and her three year old. Now let me help you see this picture, the child was seated as far away from her mother as she could be with the mother on a perpindicular two seat and the three year old on the three seat right next to the door. The train was very crowded at this point and the man sat down because it was an open seat. The train moved on.
The man began to try to make conversation with the woman as she was struggling with all of her stuff and the baby. He asked her "What stop are you going to?"
The woman asked "Why do you want to know?"
He replied "I just want to know if you have further to go"
and she once again asked "Why do you want to know?"
It was an awkward moment, but I don't understand why the woman was so defensive, the man was just trying to be nice.
Then Blond girl gets in on the action and says very loudly to him "Are you seriously complaining about the baby crying?"
He said "What?"
She said "Are you serious? You are gonna complain about that?"
He said nothing.
Blond girl gave him a dirty look.
Then the mother beckoned for the three year old to come to her.
She did.
The man then slid down to the last seat and the blond girl got up and sat down in between the mother, her kids and the man and then proceeded to apologise for the mans rudeness.
The two then humilated this man for no reason. At least no reason that I could see.
Now I understand that it can be a scary world we live in, but I don't understand what happened in this situation. The man was trying hard to be nice, and he did a very awkward job of it. And I admit that his question could have been better stated but I don't get why both women took such offense to him. He was not being threatening or orvert, he was just trying to be nice and I was not impressed with the way that these two women alienated him and humiliated him. It made me want to go to him and apologize for their behaviour, but I did not.
What the fuck happened here? Did I miss something? And why is it bugging me so much?


At Monday, 12 December, 2005, Blogger Snooze said...

What a horrible incident to have witnessed. I think people have become OVERLY paranoid about how many child molesters and strangers are out there, and quite frankly, as you pointed out, I don't see why the mother took up so many seats to begin with.

At Monday, 12 December, 2005, Blogger Snooze said...

I meant - stranger abductions. Of course there are many strangers in the world.


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