Friday, July 18, 2008

Ask! Tell!

I'm having a love affair with my bump. The only thing that restrained me from ever taking my hands off of any of my friends' bellies was self-consciousness and, you know, boundaries. But I have no such boundary around my own belly. I can rub that thing all day and nobody's going to complain!

I also need to sit down these days. When I get on the subway, specifically. And I've been good about asking for seats, because I know I have the right to, but it's terribly hard. I mean, I'm pretty brash and ballsy -- er, ovaristic -- and I do come from the Land of Saying Shit. My 21-year-old stepson thinks it's hilarious and weird when I call people on their shit, and they just stare at me dumbfounded. "They have no idea what to do," he told me. "They're used to getting away with everything, and they just blink at you."

Today, an older woman asked, "Do you want my seat?" and I said "I don't want your seat," and glared at the mini gangster sitting next to her, who shot out of his seat quicker than you could say "why thank you, young man." Yesterday a little blonde wisp of a thing slipped right into the seat I was plodding towards, then buried her head in a GRE-prep book. I leaned down and intoned, "You'll be pregnant too someday, you know." Like Cassandra of the BART, I told her future, then repaired to the other side of the train, where I got a seat one stop later (I lived!) and stuck my own head in a book.

Here's the weird thing: This is unbearable. I get so -- it's so fraught. I need to sit, but then I feel bad about sitting; maybe because I'm not polite enough? But no, I thnk I'd feel just as bad! I just hate asking for things.

This is a theme in my life recently. Dishes in the sink? I do them rather than asking the various members of my household to do them. Backrub? I steam and stew and fume rather than asking for one, because I have decided ... never mind what I have decided, it is entirely too stupid. I hate, hate, hate passive aggressive behavior, but I am absolutely tortured by actually having to speak up for what I want, so I end up engaging in the very behavior i despise.

I've been told by those who've recently become moms that the horns come out within 8 weeks of the baby's arrival. "You will learn to ask for what you want. You won't be able to help it," they say. "You might be a bitch or you might just be firm, but you'l find your voice whether you want to or not."

I wonder if that's true. It sounds a little scary and out-of-control, but so does everything else.

2 comments:

lynncorinne said...

seats on the subway: welcome to my nightmare.
http://www.babble.com/content/articles/features/personalessays/Harris/Subway/index2.aspx

lynncorinne said...

oops sorry
http://www.babble.com/content/articles/features/personalessays/Harris/Subway/index.aspx