BT Tuesdays: I Got Your Back, Preggos. And Your Belly.

I stopped by my neighbors’ apartment for Thanksgiving. They’re this adorable couple that have a dog and a cat and–at the time–were expecting their first child. On Thanksgiving Day, she was seven days past her due date.

Given this, I expected to find her resting on the couch, face in pain, hair in disarray from the anguish of get-this-baby-out-of-me syndrome that I imagined would plague all expectant mothers who’d gone this far past their due date.

I walked into find her cutting up a tray of meats and cheeses, coordinating potato dishes with her hubby, and in super good spirits.

Um, what? I couldn’t hide my surprise at how….good she looked. Granted, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman–in person–this far past her due date. And I know what I look like under far less stressful circumstances. So, yeah, I was shocked to see her buzzing about the kitchen, face bright, happy. Her mom was in town, and she was hosting a group of about eight people for dinner.

[Spoiler Alert: She had her baby the next day. Both mom and baby are healthy.]

But my neighbor’s performance on Thanksgiving just furthers my theory that pregnant women are superhuman creatures of the world and should be hailed by the rest of us mere mortals.

If I was pregnant, I don’t know how I’d be compassionate towards anyone else. It’s like, “Oh, you’re tired? Was work tough today? Was your boss riding your ass? I was making an ass. Yes, I made human butt cheeks today. Or maybe a thumb. Who knows?? But I’m sure as hell more tired than you.”

Think about it. No matter what, a pregnant woman’s accomplishments for the day outweigh a non-pregnant person’s. Because they are literally making small bodies with their bodies. It really makes that promotion/scarf you knit/presentation you nailed pale in comparison, eh?

I just think about how tired I get taking care of me. And I’m just one, grown ass person. I’m not producing another person. I see pregnant women working until the day they deliver, and I want to throw them a parade. Or make a couch magically appear so they can lay on it. And then have that couch, with them on it, delivered into their living room.

I asked my neighbor what it’s like to be a pregnant woman in Chicago. Ride the CTA, walk the busy streets, traverse through Mariano’s. She told me that many people were kind. But there were also many people who weren’t willing to make sacrifices such as holding doors or giving up seats on public transit. The worst offenders, she told me: white males. (I’ll just leave that there.)

And maybe people didn’t notice. I know I’ve been guilty of that. On more than one occasion, I’ve been in my own world, and not seen a pregnant woman standing on the subway until halfway through my ride. Nothing makes you feel like more of a millennial than not offering a pregnant woman your seat sooner because you were too busy trolling funny dog videos on Facebook. 

I ran into my neighbor yesterday. Outside. In the rain. Walking her dog. I told her she’s my hero. She laughed and said she wanted to get some fresh air. She just put a human in the world four days ago. Now she’s just walking around. In. The. Rain. 

Seriously, hats off to you, preggos of this world. And for the non-preggos, next time you see a pregnant woman, offer her your seat, open the door, produce the magic couch, because remember–no matter what–she’s done more than you today.

It’s On Wednesdays: On How I’ve Solved the Subway Problem

You guys. I’ve figured it out. 

So I love riding the el. It’s one of the few times a day I can listen to music, zone out, and fall in love. I am always falling in love on the subway. I don’t know where these cute guys are on the weekends, but during the work week, I can always find a few future boyfriends just standing across the car from me as I awkwardly/creepily stare on.

You cannot be expected to be taken seriously when your hat has balls at the end of it. Take that however you like.

Today on the red line, as I was listening to Trisha Yearwood, I noticed a beer bottle on the floor of the subway car. Drinking isn’t unusual on the el, but most people hide it in the ever-so-inconspicuous brown paper bag. Also odd was that the beer belonged to a kid who looked like he had just stepped off a ranch in North Dakota. He was wearing one of those hats that looks like it was made from a sweater–you know, with the ties hanging down the side. He also had a light yellow down jacket and corduroy pants the color of a Crayola burnt sienna crayon. His face said he was 19, but the beer said he was 62. (Heineken.)

Unfazed by the crowded car, he took his beer from the ground, and in one fluid motion tilted his head back and took another slug. I caught the eyes of a few other passengers and exchanged knowing looks. It was 11:27 A.M. And we were all extremely jealous.

The North Dakota kid got me thinking. That’s just what the el is missing. Booze. And not in some ashamed-brown-paper-bag way, but in a way to be celebrated. Like before noon on a Wednesday.

And then it hit me. We should create bar cars on el trains. It combines some of my favorite passions: riding the el, alcohol, and meeting new people. Just think of how much more jolly your commute home could be with a glass of wine. In a sippy cup, of course. We don’t want spillage, and I think we can all agree that class goes out the window when you’re drinking on the el.

You. Are. Welcome, Rahm. This one’s on me.