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Most of the time I’m conditioned to ignore people doing bad things in New York City. There is always going to be some Neanderthal who insists on leaving a big glob of dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk so some unsuspecting mom can inadvertently push her stroller through it. There is always that schlubb who drops his coffee on the subway and makes no attempt to clean it up. So hot, sticky coffee haphazardly streams towards people’s feet and bags with each jerk of the train.

But now and then, I reach my limit. I just can’t keep my mouth shut. I tire of these people who seem to disregard the fact that we live in an interwoven, civilized society where each of our actions can affect another person’s day or life. Or more succinctly, it pisses me off when I step in dog crap.

cigarette-pic.jpgToday was one of those days. I watched a woman nonchalantly flick her half-smoked cigarette to the ground. First of all, she threw it much too close to my stroller. I will confess that the stroller was empty because I had just dropped my daughter Dylan off at preschool. But STILL – she couldn’t see it was empty. Plus, she tossed it on the ground two feet from a trash can. Isn’t a cigarette litter? Shouldn’t it be extinguished and then deposited IN the trashcan?

So I tried to let it go. Ok, I didn’t try that hard. My self-righteous self took over. “Ma’am, the next time you throw out your cigarette, could you PLEASE do it in the trash can.” I know I called her “Ma’am” because it bugs any woman over thirty to be called ma’am and this woman was definitely over thirty. This cig loving New Yorker just stared at me with bewilderment. She said nothing. I said nothing. Then, I kept walking.

Did I make a point? I don’t know. Maybe now, she’ll consider throwing her butts in the trash cans, conveniently placed at the corner of EVERY block in Manhattan. Or maybe, to spite the obnoxious blond stranger with the empty stroller, she’ll smoke an extra pack today and throw all the butts onto the city streets.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. In The World. The butts are not biodegradable. The filters take years to decompose and long before that, often end up in our waterways, leaking toxins into our water supply. Gross.

At least I spoke up this time.

mama bird notes

Contributing mama Jordana Bales is wondering if she is a POF these days. Never heard of it?! Click on “contributing mamas” under the menu bar to read more.

This week Alex is talking about something near and dear to our hearts butts – cellulite. You got it? Flaunt it! Wait, I mean read “the beauty diary” on what to do about it.

3 Responses to ma’am, your butt is on my sidewalk

  • Quinn says:

    I'm not sure what makes people think that cigarette butts aren't litter, but it must be the same thing that makes people think it's okay to leave their cups and trash in the grass after an outdoor concert. Honestly, Mardi Gras is the same way. It's nuts.

  • Rick says:

    What is with people who think they can toss their trash anywhere?? Just yesterday, I watched a young woman carrying a baby toss a cup of soda onto the subway tracks. When I pointed out a trash can just in front of her, she looked at me like I had three heads. Unreal.

  • Patrick says:

    Spot on. I've often wondered just what I could say in these kinds of situations that might actually get people (adults, almost always) to think vs. ignore me. How about, "Pardon me, what you just did teaches children to be litterbugs, and we don't need anymore of those."

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kelcey kintner