Friday, September 19, 2008

Deep Thoughts about the City

I have so many things swirling in my mind that I could post about on any given day, but I just don't get the quiet time to actually write a cohesive essay about a topic. Well, that's not true, I could type away during nap time, but that's for spinning and knitting. It's when thoughts fly around freely here and there, and I enjoy that.

Anyhow, first thing is I don't usually buy magazines at the market, but I did pick up Shambhala Sun this afternoon. It's a Buddhist magazine, and I'm far from being a Buddhist, not even a wannabe, but I like reading about it. When I start getting down about the world and wonder if humans are all just out for themselves at all costs, it's nice to know that there are people who are self-aware and want to practice compassion.

Part of the reason that I'm down on humanity is this city. If you read local blogs and the comments in articles in the paper you come to realize that a lot of San Franciscans hate kids and parents. I know that there are tons of transplants here, and they are young. I have almost given up making good friends because I have had so many move away. San Francisco was just a stop in their lives, not a real home.

What's really got me ticked off is people complaining about kids on the bus. They seem to think that MUNI is only for young hipsters and if you are a little slow or take up too much room you don't deserve to ride the bus. Why is it okay to complain about moms and kids? Why not complain about the times the bus has to stop and lower the front steps to let a wheelchair on? Or complain that the front seats are given to the elderly?

One blogger suggested that people bring extra pacifiers on the bus because she doesn't want to hear babies cry. What a clueless, and no doubt childless, person! Number one - I don't want to hear my kid cry anymore than you do. Number two - you are probably yakking away on your cell phone about what you are going to wear out partying tonight. I don't want to hear that crap, keep your voice down. Ditto your ipod that you have turned up too loud. Number three - pacifier, really? Do you think it is that easy? I wish I could be there to see you struggle with your first baby who just cries all the time, about who knows what, and you can't get him to stop. I wonder if you will feel bad about what I child-hater you were, and wish you could ask one of those moms you dissed for advice.

Actually I don't wish that on anyone. I just don't know how to explain to you people that the world doesn't revolve around you, and actually people aren't trying to inconvenience you on MUNI, they are just trying to live their lives.

And I'm not a goo-goo gaa-gaa person at all. When I'm out without my kid I avoid other kids. I understand that some people don't like kids. I'm not saying everything should be geared toward kids. I'm just sick of people who complain about moms going about their daily life. I don't like getting rammed in the back of the foot with a stroller. I don't like screaming babies in movie theaters. And I don't think ill-behaved kids belong in fancy restaurants late at night. But how are kids going to learn how to behave in public if they aren't exposed to diners or the bus or the museum?

I don't know, are there really places in the U.S. that are nicer to families? Or is that just a myth? I know that some malls have parking places for expectant mothers. And restaurants have kids menus and crayons.

I was born and grew up here, and I know a few other natives. Was the city always so anti-child, or has it gotten worse? I never noticed when I was a kid, I had fun and don't recall any bad experiences. I went to a high school that is consistently one of the best in they country, so there must be some level of understanding that children are part of life. I think part of it is that I grew up in the Sunset which is full of families. But their are families in other parts of town, and not all young single people are anti-child, I know. Maybe it is just that young single people have more time to be on the internet complaining, while people with families are busy.

I would love to hear from some other San Franciscans about this.


Fluffy said...

Is the zoo still anti-stroller? I remember not being able to see several areas because I had a stroller. I was really pissed at the time and told the keeper that the Baltimore and Washington DC were fully accessible and they were much better anyway. I never found out if they were or not, but I felt much better for having said it.

Janice said...

Nope, they allow strollers, and rent out behemoth safari Jeep strollers for $10. Crazy they wouldn't allow strollers! In a museum maybe, but outdoors in a giant park?

I can't remember way back, but I know I wasn't in a stroller when I was a toddler, so it wouldn't have been an issue. They had a pram when I was an infant, that was it.

They don't let you bring your kid on a trike, which I understand, but I wish they would let me bring his trike that I push. It is much smaller than a lot of strollers, actually.