Got you where I want you

Recently, they've been painting the stairwells in the garage where I park. Whichever one they're working on is closed off temporarily. My stairwell has been closed off a few times in the past week or so. At first you just had to go to another kiosk to get in or out, but now they're suggesting you use the elevators to go one or two floors up or down. This in and of itself is not interesting to me, but what is interesting to me is how people respond to my comments while we're in the elevator politely avoiding eye contact.

Every time I get in there with another person, I bring up the inconvenience of the stairwell beautification project. These are some of the responses I've gotten:

"Yes, it's a shame to waste all that electricity using the elevator to go up one or two floors!" Hippy woman, probably works for a non-profit someplace downtown. I personally couldn't care less about the electricity, it's just that the elevators are sloooooowwwwwww.

"How good can a stupid stairwell look anyway? It'll look grey, that's how it'll look when it's done. Grey." Uptight business man, probably works in finance downtown. In his favor, he had impeccable manners - he insisted I both enter and exit the elevator before him as he waved his arm in a gallant gesture. Of course, he could have wanted me to go first in case there was a mugger either in the elevator or in the kiosk as we got off the elevator, in which case he is a yellow-bellied bastard.

Polite smile, no comment. This woman was probably a tourist, because she seemed both surprised and alarmed that I was speaking to her. We really are an aloof people, us New Englanders, so I can understand how I might have caught her off guard by actually smiling. To be honest, I caught myself off guard since it was after work and the gym and I'm usually anti-people by that point in the day.

"I like elevators better than stairs anyway!" Kid. Why he was alone in a parking garage is beyond me but it conjured images of Flatliners and I imagined him whipping out a hockey stick and beating me down.

Grunt. A man after my own heart. Annoyed that I was looking at and talking to him before he'd had his morning coffee, he rewarded me with a measured glare. Now THAT's appropriate 8am behavior. No need for extra friendliness! Just shut up in the vator! I hear ya, guy. You're right. Inappropriate time and place for idle chit chat.

After the Grunter I was starting to annoy myself with my own banality, so I stopped initiating the stairwell project exchanges. But I kinda had fun, and so now I'm afraid I might become one of those people who randomly talk to whomever they're nearest to just for the sake of talking. It's fascinating to see how people will react to you. I adore and abhor the very concept of people in equal measure. I either need to be surrounded by them or self-exiled, there is no in between.

 

6 comments:

Bob said...

I too enjoy talking to strangers, but at my choosing, not theirs. Other times, I wouldn't care being the only person in the entire world.

11:19 AM
Trish said...

I am not an idle chatter kind of person...you'd never know from my blogging tho' :-)

11:34 AM
Tiggerlane said...

Love the Flatliners reference! What a hoot!

I think you should carry on the experiment...just for our own selfish amusement.

12:01 PM
Boo7 said...

roflmao great post!!! I love little self initiated projects like that....way to go Elle!!!!

as tigger mentioned....perhaps we need to hear more???

2:55 PM
SongBird said...

As I've said before....You crack me up!

10:22 PM
Boo7 said...

hiya elle.....

have not seen you around for a while....hope all is OK!!

9:56 PM