Private Moments In Public

December 8, 2006

There are times in our lives when we find our most private moments occurring in public. It can be embarrassing for us as well as those around. No one plans this to happen and most would certainly try to avoid it, but circumstances and emotions are rarely on fixed schedules. There are certain things our society doesn’t want to admit to — that people are scared, angry, sick or in this case — sad.

I got on the train with Archie and there was a middle-aged woman sitting down across from us looking vrey, very sad. She was dressed in modest business attire with her bag and purse on her lap.

Now, when we get on the train, there is a general staring and amusement at Archie poking his head out of his bag — as well as my carrying him. People smile and nudge their friends and family to point us out. The adventurous ask questions or pet Archie.

This woman was no different. While we we far enough away that she couldn’t talk with us, I did see her notice Archie and smile a little.

Of course, as the train barreled along, she relapsed back into her despair and soon began quietly crying. She looked miserable — face red, eyes welled up and just downright sad. Overall, just a bad day and another person in the crowded subway, right?

Not quite. As people shuffled on and off the train at each stop, Archie and I moved further into the car and soon found ourselves standing next to the woman.

To my surprise, she came out of her depression and offered us her seat. Now, Archie and I decline these offers as it’s more of a pain to situate our selves in a seat than to just keep standing.

But I was impressed that someone so obviously distraught could think of others at the same time.

It also re-enforced my understanding of the power of pets to help people. Archie makes people smile all the time.

I hope the woman feels better.