Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On behalf of all knitters, I apologize to the universe.

Maybe I'm an optimistic person, or maybe it's a little bit of self-centeredness, but I like to think that knitters on the whole are extra super. Something about how we're willing to spend hours and hours lovingly knitting something to give away to a special person in our lives has to mean we're just a little more caring and compassionate, right?

I was ashamed to be a knitter this morning.

Our bus is often very crowded in the mornings, and it takes about 20 minutes from my stop into work. I got on and noticed a woman knitting in the front seat; I'd seen her for the first time yesterday wearing very nice handknit gloves, although she wasn't knitting at that point.

I had N. with me, and had to walk halfway down the bus, at which point a young man (who my parents would've called a ruffian) popped up like a toaster so that I could sit down. No big deal; there was one more empty seat way in the back anyway, so we all got settled. Knitter Girl just kept going, working on what looked like either a plain vanilla sock or glove on dpns, no heel or fingers in sight - just the tube.

I didn't think much of it, since at my stop everyone got a seat.

The next stop, however, about 20 people began to pack on like sardines. The back seats were taken and the entire aisle filled up with standees. And when I looked to the front of the bus, Knitter Girl was sitting there working on her project, while a mother with TWO kids, 4yrs and 15 months, was standing. HOLDING THE FIFTEEN MONTH OLD, WITH NO GRIP BAR AROUND TO STEADY HERSELF.

And she just kept on knitting. The little 4 year old was squished into the corner of another seat next to Knitter, but she never made a move to let the mom sit down with the baby. It wasn't like she was in the middle of something complicated - I watched her for a few minutes, and she was a very competent knitter who could have easily put her project away at any point.

I don't knit on the bus much because I have N., but when I have the luxury of a mommy-alone busride, I also don't knit when it's crowded, and I don't hog seats. My bag goes on my lap or the floor. I give seats to moms and kids, to pregnant women (don't get me started on how the people at this ever-so-intelligent ivy league school treat pregnant women on the bus. they're horrible) and to elderly faculty members. And they're always appreciative, as I am when I'm in the same situation.

I know, I know, people tell me that breeders like me don't deserve seats on the bus by default. I get it - I chose to have kids, and so did the mother on the bus this morning. But we're entitled to ride the bus with our kids. Purely from a safety perspective, if the driver had to slam on the breaks, that baby was going to go flying. It's common consideration, people; it's the right thing to do. And for those who are against 'breeders', who give me dirty looks when I get on the bus with my kid, they all conveniently forget that they themselves were a pain in somebody's arse for a lot of years before becoming a so-called contributing member of society.

So for every person who sees me knitting on the bus in the future, please know I'll gladly stop and give up my seat. And for every person who gives me the stink eye when I get on the bus with N., wait five freakin seconds. You'll quickly realize he's likely the quietest, best behaved child on this bus, and he'll smile at you and probably melt your heart. If you give up your seat, I'll thank you a million times over. And I'll mean it.

/end rant

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