There isn’t much in the world that still surprises me. Admittedly, I am a fairly cynical person by nature. That being said, there are a few common courtesies that I would have assumed others would be privy to during this pregnancy. Now before I sound like a total diva…allow me to explain.

There are really only two things that have genuinely driven me crazy about others complete lack of manners.

1) If I’m standing in a crowded room for heaven’s sake please offer a seat.

Doesn’t my endless swaying back and forth to take weight off my swollen kankles give you a clue that I might be uncomfortable? NO, not that observant….well then I’m sure you wouldn’t have missed the profuse sweating and heavy breathing. 

2) If we are walking through a narrow space please, oh please allow me to waddle through the aisle without trying to squeeze past you. Having others bump into my bump is quite uncomfortable…surprising I know.

I promise it’s not a pillow under there people. I already have some little being all up in my personal space…so adding you to the mix, mere stranger isn’t at the top of my favorite things to do.

A couple of weeks ago, Pat took me out to dinner. It was a Saturday evening and prime time for dining, yet for some reason we just hadn’t thought of that. As we entered the restaurant it was of course crowded…I’m talking like shoulder to shoulder crowded.

That’s what we should have expected though right? Perhaps.

As we quickly scanned the lobby area with no seats to be found, we made our way around to the bar hoping to find a stool or at the very least a wall to lean up against. It was like Mary and Joseph searching desperately for a place to stay at the inn…except in this case the inn was a bar and no one would ever mistake my utter lack of virtue for Mary. Plus, there were no donkeys involved.

See also: Musings on Motherhood: Pregzilla Strikes! | Musings on Motherhood: Diaper Aisles Exist to Make You Cry

Alas, just as my already low patience level was dwindling Pat spotted a table in the bar no more than ten feet away from where my swollen and sweaty feet were planted. But just as the bright star sent by God had led us to this table…it just as quickly burned out. A man walked up to the table and snagged it from us… grrr.

Okay, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he didn’t notice me in my sweaty, gigantic, waddling state.

Except that wasn’t the case. As he snagged the table, this man-made eye contact with me, gazed at my gigantic belly and without a second thought of hesitation waved his friends over at his new-found prize. I was fumming…complete with the evil eye and all.

As my faith in the goodness of humanity plummeted I weaved through the crowd eager to find some space to breath. Pat continued his search for a chair. When I found a free nook around the corner I overheard the remarks of man speaking in my defense, sharing his shock at what he had just witnessed. It was like a  knight coming to the defense of his maiden…except I didn’t know this man, nor did he have any reason to be making such an uproar over this injustice (if this incident can even be given such a title).

Well at least some people still have class.

Meanwhile on the other side of the bar, Pat was holding on tightly to some bar stools he had found. He was trying to get my attention but to no avail, I was overcome with emotion by the comments of this stranger. Finally, a woman came over to tell me that Pat had found some seats. Soon enough we were directed to our table, but before leaving the bar area we made sure to thank these kind customers who were looking our for us. It was so thoughtful.

But wait it gets better…

The evening continued as planned and Pat and I enjoyed a delicious, Mexican cuisine. As we scrapped off our plates, savoring the remains of our dinner, we naturally asked our waitress for the check. Much to our surprise she informed us that an anonymous stranger offered to pay for our meal, stating that the gentleman observed we were pregnant with our first, and knew that money could be tight. I was overcome with joy and in my highly emotional and swollen state had to fight back tears. Just as I seemed to be losing hope in people’s consideration for others this stranger went above and beyond anything I could have expected.

It’s amazing how one simple gesture of kindness can have such a lasting effect on someone…so lasting that I’m writing a post on it nearly three weeks later and still glowing from the joy it has brought me.

So, allow me to take this moment to thank this kind stranger who stepped out of his own world for just a moment and noticed me in mine. You are a true gentlemen who has inspired and reminded me of the importance of looking beyond myself to the needs of another. I pray that the Lord will grant me the opportunity to pass along such a favor to another someday.

[Image credit: Danielle Scott]