Back in the old days -- days that predate Billy Idol, poufy bangs and slap bracelets -- men offered up their seats to women when buses or train cars were standing room only. In these days, rarely does it matter if you're in a skirt and heels carring a 15-pound briefcase and ovaries, that boy ain't givin' up his seat ... period. Chivalry is officially dead, for the able-bodied male, at least.
I slowly exhaled as I saw the two full rail cars pull up at Mockingbird station. In my two-and-a-half-inch wooden platform sandals, I'd be standing all the way into downtown. I climbed into the car and affirmed my suspicion. It's crowded, it's way too early and I'm one irritable girl. I propped myself up in a corner and resigned to my half-full thermal of coffee. Trying to distract myself, I clumsily foundered for my folded copy of Newsweek that taunted me, crammed irretrievably in the outer pocket of my case.
Then, a man stood up. It's about three minutes until the next stop, I thought. What gives? "Would you like to take my seat?" he asked me in a meek yet masculine tone. I nodded and sat down, and as I swept my skirt forward and fell into the seat, I watched him hobble toward the front of the car. His pantsleg was still disheveled from sitting and I noticed a metal rod glinting from a gap between his sock and cuff. He was missing a leg, and he was the only man in the entire car to be kind enough to give a clumsy young thing a seat on the train. What a shame.
I couldn't believe it, and in fact, I felt somewhat guilty for the rest of the time he and I were in the car together. He's a monoped, but I'm wearing heels ... who should be embarassed in this situation?