Chaps! Can I alert you to the existence of these? Buggies, strollers, pushchairs, call them what you will, women use them to transport your small children around. I’m telling you this because you seem to be completely oblivious to them. I was out the other day with Babymother who, I might add, is a mother of two and hence can carry a buggy complete with child, changing bag, kitchen sink and all up seventeen flights of stairs in her teeth, but even she appreciates a hand at times. Now obviously I was there to help, but even so we got the odd offer of assistance – and all of them came from other women. From the chaps? Not so much as a glance in our direction.
Then this morning, at the foot of the monstrous stairs (two straight flights) that are the only exit from Kew Bridge station, I saw another mother with a buggy, and offered her a hand. Were any of the gents streaming past us shamed into helping out? They were not. I’m sure had it been a suitcase – or perhaps if either of us had been blonder – there would have been offers aplenty. But a buggy? I don’t think men can even see them.
Now look, chaps. This is not some politically correct minefield we’re talking about here. Nobody’s going to glare at you and accuse you of opening doors for them. Nobody’s going to burst into tears because it turns out they’re just fat. Nobody lugging their precious infant up two flights of stairs is going to turn down any assistance wherever it comes from. Giving her a hand does not in any way imply she is not capable of carrying the buggy. It just implies that she might not want to have to every single time.
And you know what? Helping people gives you the warm fuzzies. It can perk up any commuter’s day. (It also gives you aching triceps but that’s a matter for another entry). Obviously I could keep this quiet and hog all the smug brownie points myself. But I just thought you gentlemen might want to share the joy…