Friday, June 22, 2007

Chivarly is dead

Now that I'm three weeks from my due date and extended periods of walking around provoke contractions or abdominal muscle aches, I rarely take the Métro. In fact, I rarely leave the apartment: the metamorphosis to sofa slug has been easier and more rapid than I expected.

The other day I managed to motivate myself to go out and find materials to make my own birth announcements. I'm no Martha Stewart, but I figured I'd make an effort, especially since getting exactly the right wording in French and English and the right conversion from kilograms to pounds seemed much easier to do on my own than to trust to some expensive printer. Of course, I didn't actually find the energy to go out until after five o'clock on the hottest, most humid day we've had this month of June. Rush hour had started early, and the whole of Paris was one hot, sticky, sweaty mass of people.

Yuck. When I pushed my way into the second, crowded Métro car, I started to think I should have just stayed home and waited for the evening's thunder shower to come through and cool things off. But I feel I must accomplish at least one thing every day. (Some days that one thing is simply going one block to the grocery store. As you may have noticed, I've been losing energy for everything, including blog entries.)

The Métro actually felt cooler than outside on the street, which is never a good sign. I had self-consciously left the apartment in shorts, and it was so hot I almost didn't care that I was commiting a terrible fashion faux pas. A parisienne in shorts on a Friday afternoon in the month of June is simply not done, even if she is 8 months pregnant. Perhaps it would pass in August on the beach at Ile de Ré, et encore! (Let me just say that faux pas or no, this pair of shorts is making the last six weeks of my pregnancy bearable, and many thanks to the kind person who bought them for me.)

Seconds after I got onto the Métro someone got up to offer me their seat, which I gratefully accepted. I would like to point out that in the months since I started to look pregnant to the casual observer, not a single one of the many kind people who have offered me their seat on the Métro has been a man. Not one.

What's up, guys? Are you so caught up in L'Equipe that you can't notice the people around you? Are women equipped with some special pregnancy radar? Or is chivalry reserved for women who aren't so obviously off the dating market?

I expect better. You've got three more weeks to prove your worth.

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