Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preparation for the Iditarod. Plus, the kindness of strangers.

Yesterday, snowy, slushy, icy yesterday, Big J had his four-month checkup.

Which went really well. And confirmed that he is ginormous.

My office was closed due to snow. Which was lucky, because Betty was snowed in at her house. And Jordan can't yet fix himself lunch.

It took us forevvvvver to get to the appointment.

Quite frankly, I generally hate snow, in the same way that I hate all inclement weather. I try to keep it to myself, because everyone is always, oh, so beautiful! Lalalala! Snowmen! Unicorns! Happiness!

And I am all grrr, fuck, cold, wet, grr.

The only way I like snow is when I can look at it through the windows. And can poke my nose outside, enjoy it for a few moments, and then come back in and get all toasty.

So yesterday. My car was firmly stuck in a snow bank. So I hauled my big boy in his stroller a mile and a half over way too many unshoveled sidewalks.

I don't know if you have any idea how hard it is to get a stroller down iced-over sidewalks and through half-frozen half-slushy piles of snow.

I certainly didn't.

The answer is: Very.

I wound up pulling the stroller much of the way, rather than pushing. Also, when the sidewalk was pure ice, it slid and I slid and it was all very terrible.

It was incredibly bumpy, and initially Jordan had this alarmed look on his face, and at a couple points he was trying unsuccessfully to hold on for dear life. If only he had more arm and hand control! If only!

But then remarkably enough, he just went ahead and went to sleep, despite my string of profanity, despite the occasional perilous angling of the stroller.

So, on the bright side, this experience was such a good reminder that people are kind.

At least 10 different people helped me when I was stuck trying to get over a particularly huge pile at a curb. I was incredibly grateful.

They were all men, except one.

This surprised me, if only because I would assume women would be more sympathetic.

At one point, I was struggling to get over a big snow hump and cross a street, and just at the crest of the snow pile, a woman stopped me to ask me for directions to the metro.

I was thinking, seriously, me? The woman gasping for breath, hair in face, tugging a load of baby on pointless wheels through a mound of snow? Are you fucking kidding me?

So, huffing and puffing and pulling and sweating, I pointed her and her male companion in the right direction, while breathlessly giving them instructions.

She thanked me and turned to go. At which point the guy she was with asked if I needed help, took the other end of the stroller, and helped me carry it across the street.

I could've kissed him. I kind of wanted to, just to be spiteful. But then I remembered I'm married and that kind of thing is Not OK.

So instead I beamed at him, thanked him profusely, and trundled off to the next Curb of Death, stroller firmly in hand.


  1. i assume this is because us women tend to be bitter and i'm sure many women who saw you struggling figured "i remember having to do that, boy does it suck. she'll learn" or something that effect.
    and men are happy to help a damsel in distress... or at least gentlemen are.

  2. Do you really think that about women? I dunno. I'd totally help someone.

    I felt guilty about feeling all bitter and spiteful towards that woman - it's not like she needed to help me. But I was so annoyed at her for stopping me when there were a ton of other people around.

  3. I feel the same way about snow. One of the reason I live where we rarely ever see snow, and when we do, everything closes.

    That woman probably gave him the cold shoulder for paying attention to you. She sounds like one of *those* women.

  4. Hm. I hope that she just didn't register what was happening - that she was so deep inside her head that she maybe didn't sense your distress?

    I'm so very glad there were Helpful People about.

  5. I agree with nosojenny. Men still have the damsel in distress thing. Women don't think about that as much. I'm more than willing to help, but I know some women aren't!

    Glad everyone made it in one piece and that Jordan is growing like a weed! (A very very cute weed, BTW!)

  6. cla's right. If you'd been a guy none of them would have offered to help. All of them would have been laughing at you (probably out loud) for two reasons: 1. you're pulling a stroller over a snow bank, and 2. how silly you look doing it.

    We men are fickle creatures always in the market to laugh at our fellow man's pain.

  7. you're a better woman than I - I would have given them incorrect directions.

  8. I've always quietly laughed at the intellectual dishonesty of people in this area regarding snow. These days we get so little (as opposed to how common it was during my youth) that most people profess a love for it when falling, generally failing to recall what happens as the colors shift to every hue but that of freshly fallen snow.

    That this woman was so self absorbed (yes, I'm totally OK with calling her that) just makes me all kinds of offended on your behalf.

    I am glad you and Big J made it there safely.

  9. That woman was not a mother. Had she been she would have helped, no doubt about it.

  10. I don't know how I'd feel about offering to pick up a stroller with a strange lady's baby in it. Lots of mothers are (rightfully) uptight about strangers going near their kids. I'm sure I would have offered to help, but would have felt a bit intrusive doing so and would have understood if the mom had said no. I speak from experience - I once got barked at for helping a lady pull her stroller through a closing Metro door. (Seriously, ma'am, I'm trying to keep your kid from being crushed! I don't want to steal your baby!)

    Most men I know wouldn't care as much about the notion of "mommy territoriality" and would therefore be more likely to jump up and help.

  11. I would help, too. I would like to believe most people would, regardless of their gender.

    Maybe she was just one of those rare meanies in the world. Good thing the fella was around to balance the whole Goofus/Gallant thing out.

    Happy Holidays! Can George borrow that bear suit when Jordan is done with it? I think it would suit him.

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