Pregnant woman invents “#1 Decent Dude” award to surprise subway rider

A pregnant mom spent months carrying around a secret trophy in her purse, waiting for a single moment.

Ricky Barksdale won the "#1 Decent Dude award" after giving up his seat to a pregnant woman, Yvonne Lin, on New York City subway. Helloyvonnelin | Instagram

Chivalry is not dead. More like hibernating underneath all the screens and other countless daily distractions absorbing our attention.

But if you have faith that it’s still alive somewhere beneath the surface, like a woman named Yvonne Lin did when she got on the subway one morning, it just might come your way.

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Lin, a pregnant working mother in New York City, currently expecting her second child, had been shown plenty of courtesy on the subway by gracious women who, upon noticing her, offered her their seat. Unfortunately, however, she couldn’t help but notice that she had gone her entire first pregnancy and most of her second without a single man giving her his seat.

Maybe this was simply a result of many men’s unawareness of the discomforts of pregnancy that can often be alleviated by a woman getting off her feet. Or, perhaps, the fact that many people just never look up from their phones long enough to notice the pregnant woman standing next to them.

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Whatever the reason, Lin decided to have a unique thank you prepared for the first man to offer his seat. She remembers thinking, “[If] I finally get a seat from a guy then I have to … make sure he knows he’s appreciated.” She bought a small, bronze, trophy-like figurine with a plaque that said, “#1 DECENT DUDE. First Man to Offer Subway Seat to Pregnant Woman throughout Two Pregnancies.” Lin cleverly kept it tucked away in her work bag, secretly waiting for its winner.

Late last month, she found her gentleman when she boarded the subway and stood in front of Ricky Barksdale. Upon noticing that Lin was pregnant, Barksdale quickly stood up and urged her to take his spot. Excited to have found her “decent dude” at last, Lin pulled out the sweet little appreciation prize and presented it to him.

An honored (and surprised) Barksdale explained, “It’s just a common courtesy thing … I have no problem giving up a seat regardless of how tired I am, or where I’m going.”

It’s nice to know that politeness like this comes so naturally to some people, regardless of gender. And that there are also people like Lin, who, when in a position to receive a simple kindness like this one, are eager to express their appreciation for it. All the more when its done in unique and charming ways. Because maybe this trophy story will catch the eye of another young man, and inspire him to be more aware on public transportation, and give his seat to the next pregnant woman he sees. And maybe—just maybe—we’ll start seeing a few more creative purse-trophies, too.

We want to know: What other everyday acts would you love to see a trophy given for? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook!

Elizabeth Pardi
Elizabeth Pardi
Elizabeth Pardi is a New York-born, Virginia-raised, Ohio-dwelling freelancer. She spends her days laughing, learning and running her way through life with her superstar spouse and their charmingly passionate one-year-old.

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