Almost Pepper-Sprayed: The Unintentional Breach of Privacy



After traipsing through the giant Minneapolis St. Paul airport, I arrived at my gate with a half hour to spare. I noticed that my phone charge was running low so I sought an empty seat near a charging station. I spotted an open seat and made a beeline for it.

As I sat down next to the young lady who was using the other side of it, I immediately noticed that she was breastfeeding her child and that the other people in the terminal area were giving her space with understood respect and a relative degree of privacy.

When I realized what I had done, I wanted to profusely apologize and issue a “Good for you!” or some other sort of congratulatory remark and to express my regret for invading her space, letting her know that I wasn’t a pervert trying to get a sneak peak – or maybe even worse, one of those weirdos who is disgusted by it because they think that breastfeeding in public is akin to taking a dump in front of everyone (or equating other bodily functions that we don’t necessarily do in public). I wanted to explain that my insistence on removing myself from the area was strictly based upon courtesy and maintaining her privacy. Instead, I issued an involuntary, indecipherable anxious noise, got up and scurried away, embarrassed and red-faced at the fact that I hadn’t noticed what was going on until I sat down.

I saw a couple of guys a few rows over notice my awkward and hasty departure. I’d bet they were probably thinking about the parallels of the breastfeeding scene from the movie Me, Myself and Irene as they nudged each other in the ribs and stifled their laughter. Exactly what I would have done had I been in their shoes.

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3 Responses to Almost Pepper-Sprayed: The Unintentional Breach of Privacy

  1. Sonia says:

    In India, nobody even notices when women breastfeed the baby. 🙂 But this account sure is interesting.


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