Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Silver Lining

Another day… another strange tram experience… I spend way too many hours of my week on the 57 tram and, of all the tram routes I have lived on (including St Kilda and Fitzroy!), I can definitely say it is the craziest.

I am no stranger to weird public transport encounters because I have one of those faces that says “pick me to harass or ask for money”. It really doesn’t bother me because I most of these people are mentally ill or drug affected and just need a little help or someone to listen to them.

The other day a young man, who was mostly likely under the influence of drugs, decided he didn’t like me.  So he proceeded to spend 15 minutes screaming abuse at me. He called me every name under the sun and made threats against me without even taking a breath. Apparently everything about me from my clothes, sun glasses and hair bothered him and he let me know, interspersed with a lot of ‘F’ and ‘C’ words.

I was relieved when I finally came to my stop and got off the tram because it was getting a bit embarrassing. When AJ got home I told him what had happened and some of the crazy names this guy had called me. AJ’s response made me laugh, he said:

AJ: “Did he call you fat?”
ME: “No he didn’t actually”
AJ: “Well that’s good then isn’t it!”

I guess I should be thankful for small mercies!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What To Expect When You're Expecting

Spring has arrived in Melbourne so do you know what that means for me? Repeatedly being mistaken for a pregnant woman on public transport.

Last summer I was offered a seat on public transport 11 times due to people thinking I was pregnant. It wasn't only by men either, once a woman offered me her seat, which is only about a thousand times more mortifying. I really did have a sense of humour about it the first 5 times, but it is starting to get less and less funny.

I very much enjoyed the winter months when I wore a thick coat and scarf that covered my fat stomach and no one ever offered me their seat because they thought I was with child. Today was the first day that the sun was shining enough for me to take the tram to work without wearing my winter jacket and guess what? I step on a crowded tram and a man gets up and offers me his seat. Surely this sort of public humiliation is sufficient grounds for Medicare to pay for me to get a tummy tuck!

I know some people might think that is fantastic and I should just take the seat, but I am clearly not pregnant. I do have a fat stomach, but it is separated into two distinct rolls, it is not a nice round little bump. The worst bit is when I decline the offer of the seat I can see the other 80 people crammed next to me on the tram looking at me thinking “is she, or isn’t she?”. I then usually hold my big handbag over my stomach and stare very intently at the floor until I get off the tram.

It also makes me wonder, if 11 people were so sure that I was pregnant that they offered me their seat, how many other people must wonder if I am pregnant but just aren't sure? I was wearing a fitted skirt to work last month and a colleague couldn't stop staring at my stomach and seemed to want to ask if I was pregnant. I quickly worked a comment about going home to drink a bottle of wine after work into the conversation. Better she think I am an alcoholic than pregnant...

I know I should probably wear spanx to work, but it’s really not comfortable to wear a skin tight body suit all day in the summer. Not to mention that I just cannot get the hang of those clips that are supposed to enable me to use the bathroom without undressing and I do not need an underwear malfunction at work.

Well it’s the end of September now; I guess I only have to endure this humiliation until about April. Great.