Having been a youngest child and always a healthy, young girl I'm never even on the totem pole for special assistance or people giving up their seat for me. Its kind of been a fun change, I really appreciate when I'm at a store and someone says "let me help you with that", "are you sure you can get that all by yourself? why don't I get someone to carry it for you". And occasionally when there are more seats than people, people stand up so that I can sit down. I know its because they pity me with my big belly looking as uncomfortable as it sometimes feels, but the special treatment still makes me feel like a queen. :)
That being said, it's funny to me when there are several people who could "deserve" the seat. I feel like I've met eyes with an older person and we're both thinking the same thing- "should I let you sit down... who needs it more?" That's when people are conscientious of each other.
I've noticed some older women already seem to feel entitled to their sitting position, they have had their babies and don't seem that impressed with my belly- they let me stand. A surprising amount of younger women too, probably just used to guys giving up their seats and they don't even think about it. I haven't had a guy yet not offer his seat, if he were young and didn't I'd think he was kind of a jerk, but I'd understand if he were frail and elderly. Some older gentlemen who don't seem so frail do seem used to people getting out of their way at their convenience, that bugs me a little when they don't realize that they are getting around better than me at this point.
I guess my point is, that once you are up on the totem pole for special treatment, some people get used to it and forget that there are other people who need it too. I think I was good at recognizing it before this, but to be honest I can't remember. I can tell you this, in the future I will try to take good care of anyone who appears to be limited in their ability to get around (I guess that still might be me lugging around 2 babies...) :)
So, in the spirit of Christmas, as other people are shoving their neighbors down in the grocery aisle, remember that you have an opportunity to serve someone with a giant belly (or hip replacement) by making their outing a little less challenging!