Thursday, August 10, 2006

"The bag made me do it."

I went to the library after work today. I’m a big library fan. I blame this on my father. If you see me wandering through the stacks, it’s not because I’m lost. I worked at a library when I was in high school; I am well-acquainted with Dewey Decimal. I just happen to believe that I should give each book an equal opportunity to be read. And so I read about financial planning (I need to stop renting and invest in property of my own), true crime, Pilates, old Hollywood, interior design, and then I top it off with a novel or two (often picked somewhat randomly. Yes, I cover-judge).

The library excursion is not very plot-pertinent to my day, but I mention it because the event made me bring a canvas bag with me. This particular bag is clearly labeled: “Assembly 2004: Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada.” After filling it with a half-dozen books or so, I hopped on the streetcar and headed home.

Fast-forward to the subway. It’s packed. I’ve got an over-sized purse over one shoulder, a massive library bag over the other; I’m standing, trying to stay balanced while I fill out a crappy crossword puzzle (I tell you, you get what you pay for with those free newspapers). Finally, someone gets off so I can sit. I’m a little squished with two bags on my lap, but at least I’m no longer at risk of falling over.

There’s a cute little kid on the subway. Poor guy. He’s clearly tired and overwhelmed by the volume of people. A seat becomes available, and his mom tells him to take it. He runs for it, only to have a woman nearly sit on him. By nearly, I mean that her rear end actually touches his shoulder. She sees/feels the kid (who really is there first) and chooses to sit down anyway. Perhaps her pride won’t allow her to admit she sat on a toddler.

He starts whining. He loudly announces to everyone, “I want to sit down.” The response is the typical “how adorable” laughter, and yet no one moves. This is when I realize that my bag is facing him. The bag that announces, “This young woman identifies herself with the Church, and even more, with Jesus Christ.”

I tap him on the shoulder and offer him my seat. By the response around me, you would have thought that I just offered him my kidney. Nadine the superhero indulges the whiny kid.

I’m glad I gave up my seat. I just wish I didn’t need a bag to make me do it.

An unrelated side note: I seem to have misplaced two pairs of brown socks, two brown headbands, and two blue pens. If you happen to encounter twin thieves, please notify me.


pastor mike said...

A truely eclectic selection of books - that's my daughter!

michael lewis said...

Does that canvas bag have labelling on both sides?

Perhaps next time, you could turn the labeled side inward, so that no one will be able to read and know.