A heavily pregnant woman, who was forced to stand for nearly an hour on a train as a laughing businessman hogged the seat she had booked, might be forgiven for thinking that chivalry is, indeed, dead.
Mhari-Claire Doolan, who is 34 weeks pregnant, was forced to endure the train trip from hell when she boarded the train from Birmingham New Street to Manchester Piccadilly on the evening of August 26 and encountered the most ungallant cad.
Taking the wise precaution of booking a seat prior to her journey, Ms. Doolan boarded the train and was looking forward to taking the weight off for a bit, resting her swollen ankles and unwinding in a comfy seat as she admired the dreamy landscape of Northern England.
Ms. Doolan explained, “I was already tired and in pain and to be honest I’m so heavily pregnant I should probably not be travelling by train, so I made sure I had a seat booked.”
However, what should have been a comfortable and stress free journey turned into something of a nightmare of epic proportions, as Ms. Doolan arrived at her seat only to find an absolute bounder had already stolen her perch.
Willing to give this unreconstructed sloth the benefit of the doubt, Ms. Doolan informed him that she had already booked the seat and standing was going to be an issue for her because she was heavily pregnant.
“I told him I had that seat booked and positioned myself so that he could see I was pregnant but he just ignored me.
The electronic booking system had broken so I showed him my ticket. He looked at it and then just laughed in my face and turned away.”
Obviously, all the gentlemen of good conduct and impeccable manners had stayed at home that day, because no one else on the train offered an obviously distressed Ms. Doolan a seat, either.
“No one did anything to help or intervene and no one offered me their seat. People just averted their eyes and pretended they hadn’t seen it.”
Yet, the 29-year-old tenacious mom to be didn’t let such repugnant conduct bother her, but merely gritted her teeth, made a fist of things, and persevered.
“I was left standing for more than half an hour, which was almost unbearable but I didn’t want to ask for someone else’s seat and get laughed at again. My back ached, my feet ached and I felt sick. I was in a lot of pain but luckily a seat eventually came free.”
Obviously, the whole sorry and ill-mannered experience has left its mark on Ms. Doolan, who explained to the Daily Mail that she was brought up to believe that in a civilized country, men would give up their seats for both old people and heavily pregnant ladies.
“My mum would be angry with me if she ever saw me treating people like that. My boyfriend Dan was very angry about it. He was fuming that this man could do this to me.
I always thought it was an unspoken rule that you give up your seat for pregnant ladies or you allow them to get on the train first. It’s just polite. But everyone just pushed me out of the way to get on the train and this man just laughed in my face when I said I had reserved the seat — maybe this is how people travel now?”
[Image Credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images]