As a New Yorker and a new mom, trust me, it's true. Forget chivalry, there is just a complete lack of common courtesy.
I can't tell you how many times I struggle to get through the door of a Starbucks or wherever else with my stroller and people just stare at me, annoyed that I'm taking too long. Or even better ... I've actually had people open the door next to me - not to help - but to go AROUND me. It's laughable.
Mind you, I actually don't need anyone's help. I have figured out how to manage on my own. It's more the principle than anything else.
One of my favorites is crossing the street. There is only one species in NY that needs the beveled edge on sidewalk corners ... people who travel with a wheeled apparatus of some kind (no, not you Citi-bikers). Everyone else can just step down off the curb with their legs. But, no. People squeeeeeze their way down and up the ramp on the corners, all packed together like a zombie marching band. While I pop a wheely with my sleeping infant's stroller up the curb, trying to not side-swipe a parked car or knock over a falafel guy sitting on a crate in front of me. Good times.
I went to the doctor the other week, which is in an office building that has several steps to get down into the lobby once you are through the door. A man (I'd say no more than 30 years old) came out just as I was walking in and said "I can help you with the door, but you're on your own with those steps." I'm like...thanks?
When these things happen, I try to come up with a narrative in my head that excuses the person's rude behavior. So for this guy I'm thinking: maybe he just found out that he has genital warts (fingers crossed) and he was in a rush to pick up his ball cream at the pharmacy.
Poor guy. Now I feel sorry for him and grateful that he didn't come near me or my baby.
The grocery store is always a doozy. The other day I turned to go down an aisle in Westerly and a man was reaching down, putting figs in a bag (in seemingly slow motion). I could tell he didn't see me so, I just waited. But when he finally noticed me, I just assumed he would scoot in so I could pass by. Nope. He looked at me, looked at my stroller, looked at me again - chewing my face with his eyes - and proceeded to select his beloved figs, one by one.
My first instinct was to ram him really hard in the ass and blame it on a runaway shopping cart. My second thought was to launch an object at his head ... but a rubber teething ring just wasn't going to cut it. So, I kept my cool and reminded myself that he's probably on his way sit on a park bench, eat his figs in solitude, and talk to the pigeons about his day ... and about how much he hates babies.
And then there is Whole Foods. Omg. I thought I was doing the smart thing by going there with a Babybjorn instead of a stroller. Strapping my daughter to my chest would surely take up less space and keep the haters at bay, right? Mmmm, no. I think the fact that she faces outward really puts people off because now they are face to face with 'the enemy'. Some people look at her and give half of a fake smile because they feel they have to. Others have a facial expression that says 'tell your baby to stop looking at me'. And most people just see me as a wide load that they still need to move out of the way for, but don't want to, and usually don't.
So, fine. Have it your way Whole Foods shoppers. Be a-holes. I just have one thing to say: If babies annoy you so badly then get out of the organic baby food section. I mean, seriously. I can guarantee that my child needs to eat more than you need to stand here, deciding which eco-friendly soy candle you should buy.
And there you have it...New Yorkers hate babies. Granted there are always a few exceptions, but overall, it's a tough crowd out there. And I know nothing I say is going to make a difference to the anti-baby brigade of NYC. But know this: At one time, you were all babies too! Bastards.