I have blogged before about how awkward I find elevators. I don’t like unspoken elevator etiquette, I don’t like confined spaces, and I don’t like people.
Every day outside my apartment is a challenge.
Yesterday I was on the elevator at work, sandwiched between two older women. The one on my left was wearing an incredibly colorful scarf, and the one on my right was admiring it. It was a nice, elevator-appropriate exchange. Something or other about it looking lovely, and then something or other about it being from Italy.
Why is it that every time someone’s clothes are complimented they say it’s from somewhere ridiculous?
So woman #1 exits the elevator feeling all lovely about herself and her choice to express herself through her wardrobe and I’m left with woman #2. I’m not really a morning person and I usually spend my time on the elevator psyching myself up to face the corporate jungle for 8 hours without running out the door screaming bloody murder. So I’m not really one for elevator chat.
Unfortunately for me, woman #2 was. And she was still fixated on the Italian scarf.
“I just love that scarf. It was so colorful! I can’t wear anything like that. I sometimes buy things that are colorful but I can’t actually wear them. I don’t know why. I just never do. I can’t ever wear them Blah Blah Blah HAHAHAHA”
I could only stare at the floor numbers for so long before the silence became a murder weapon, so I attempted to muster up something in reply. But just when I was about to speak, I turned to her and saw that half a stick’s worth of berry lipstick had gathered on her front teeth. I instantly suffered from a severe brain shutdown and could only manage something like
“Well….I…like your blazer. It’s…. a color.”
I followed it up with a good, long, inappropriately intense stare.
She was clearly uncomfortable, but I’d lost all communication with my central nervous system and nothing could be done to save me. She even graciously allowed time for me to recover with a witty remark or with an explanation of my awkward statement.
But I just stared.
Unable to take the wrath of the berry lipstick, I averted my eyes and looked down toward her pleated pants, which offered no solace.
By the grace of God the elevator finally stopped on her floor and realizing she could escape the situation, she bolted. I was left there in my shame and misery, unprepared for my day and fully-fixated on the image of a chunk of berry lipstick.
How does one person get that much lipstick in their mouth instead of on their lips? How does someone who claims to buy colorful accessories but not to have the courage to wear them able to wear such a bold makeup color? Why was she wearing pleated pants?
I had a lot of questions, but alas Woman #2 was gone and the elevator reached my floor. I was instantly greeted by a slew of morning people, all rammed up to tackle their exciting day at the office. Unfortunately, I had not been able to use my elevator time well and was not prepared for my day.
I can’t even count how many times I was asked if I was okay yesterday.
I hate being asked if I’m okay when I’m at work. I don’t really even know what it means. Am I okay? No. I’m not okay. I’m stuck inside working for money so that I can go back outside and use the money to do things I actually want to do. And I know that you feel the same way. And I think it’s incredibly strange how we all just pretend that sitting in cubicles and sending emails to each other all day is normal human behavior.
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to look like in that scenario, but apparently I don’t fake it properly unless I’ve had the elevator time to work on my office face.
Lesson learned: next time, opt for the wrath of the elevator silence. ♣