Monday, July 14, 2008

Case of the Lost Inhibitions

The elevator in my apartment building has always been an awkward place for me, mostly because my neighbors seem to be unaware of the unspoken rules of elevator ettiquette. You are travelling in a small metal box for anywhere from 15 seconds to a entire minute or more, which, can often feel like an eternity. Thus, depending on the situation, some of the rules can be bent (for example, do you say goodbye when you get to your floor, or just get off), but there are just certain things you do NOT do. And these certain things become all the more important when there are only two people.

The following is a brief recap of my experience in said elevator, and the rules that were broken:

I got on the elevator and could hear a man coming around the corner chatting away. I thought there was another person with him, but alas, no it was a cell phone. First rule broken, it is suuuper annoying when you have to hear the idiot on the cell yelling 'hello? hello? can you hear me? hello?' No they can't hear you, we're on a freaking elevator, end the call already!

He was so preoccupied stepping into the elevator while jerking around with his phone that he had failed to press a floor button, meaning he had also failed to turn back around to face the doors. Next rule broken, you don't stand face to face in an elevator with people you don't know. It's just plain weird.

So we're standing there, him staring at me, me pretending to check my bag for absolutely nothing, and he asks 'so, where are you from?' I look around stupidly, but obviously he is speaking to me and not my imaginary sidekick. The thing about Miami, is that when people ask you where you're from, you never know if they mean city, state or country. So when I replied, 'actually, I'm from Virginia,' he looked at me, puzzled, repeated 'Vir-hin-ya,' paused, and then said 'America?' I nodded yes, proceeded to keep faux-searching through my bag. Another rule broken, 15 seconds to 1 minute is not enough time to make new friends, this is not a bar, and you did not buy me a Martini.

I cleared my throat, and he eagerly asked what I said, to which I replied, 'nothing.' Another rule and note to strange man: silence is okay, no need to force it! You really don't have to converse with me.

So, after seemingly an eon (I only live on the 2nd floor), we arrived in the lobby. As he held the door open, there was the only rule he didn't break, you always let the ladies out first:)

Upon returning to my apartment after my fun in the elevator, I decided to order Chinese Food. All I wanted was General Tso's chicken, maybe some wonton soup.

I gave the lady on the phone my order, and she paused for a few seconds. She came back on the line and told me way too much information, i.e. this:
"Sorry, it's just, I'm drinking this tea, it's hot tea. But not the regular kind, it's called healthy liver function or something like that. It's for my liver, you know, it's messed up from all of the alcohol. At first I thought it was just my stomach, but then I had pain on the other side. I know it's from partying 3 days in a row. I wasn't supposed to drink last night, but then I went to the casino, so you know how that is. And afterwards my friends took me to a strip club to watch the IFC fight, and I mean, you pay a cover and then get 2 free drinks. Two free drinks? I was like hell yeah, bring 'em on. But anyway, now my liver kinda hurts, so I'm drinking this tea, and it's making me so hot. It isn't even really that hot ouside today, but now I'm sitting in front of a fan, which I probably shouldn't, because my mom told me that's how you catch a cold. You know, the change of temperatures and everything, going from warm to cool. I just hope this tea helps my liver...okay, so that's gonna be $12.85, cash or credit?"
I'm not even joking, the only words I managed to get in during her monologue were 'yeah,' 'right,' and 'oh.' Perhaps I'm just a great conversationalist, a wonderful listener, a friendly face, or all of the above. But really, elevator man, chinese food lady, next time I'd rather just get to my floor and pay for my egg roll in peace.
Thank you. Come again.

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