Monday, August 8, 2011

elevators are awkward

...And in this installment of Caroline Over-Analyzes A Situation So Much She Makes It Awkward, we'll be talking about elevators.

Right, I get it, not exactly the post you were hoping for after a three-week hiatus, but we've had a lot going on lately and the other day this interesting revelation came upon me and I decided this post MUST be written, if only for some weird person out there to validate and encourage my neuroses. (Person, please be out there.)

So yes, let's talk about elevators. I encountered a situation the other day which made me officially decide that elevators are the single most saturated location in terms of awkwardness-per-square-inch. There is no other place that creates such a palpable, unspoken tension between people, nor another that has more opportunities for awkwardness.

I mean, think about it. The close proximity of people and likelihood of simply touching a stranger or accidentally grazing someone's butt? Awkward. Trying to cram 12 people in a small steel box because god forbid the group on the fourth floor split into two groups to get to the lobby and therefore you're forced to assemble like some complicated Tetris game where there's only one winning configuration that maximizes every inch of space? Very awkward.

Or what if it's not crowded. What if it's worse. It's just you and one other person. Do you talk? Do you not? Or maybe you end up making idle chit-chat while you're not even facing toward each other, but instead, sort of talking in the same forward direction (think about it, it's weird.) And what happens when you're only two floors away from your destination and you unexpectedly strike a chord of familiarity during your chit-chat? You share a casual laugh and before you know it, your floor or the other person's floor shows up and you have to truncate the conversation abruptly before you can really tie up loose ends and the doors closes while you both strain a rushed Nice talking to you! or Have a great day! (This has happened to me on more than one occasion. What can I say, I'm a chatty Cathy. Errr... Carol.) Yep, if I was a stand up comedian, my entire HBO special would be on elevators. Endless material.

BUT what I was thinking about this morning was, leaving the elevator. What happens when you get to Star Floor 1? Who gets out first. All the females because it is a grand gesture of chivalry to allow a delicate woman to exit an elevator mere seconds before a strong and burly man? Do you depart in the order that you entered? Perhaps it goes in alphabetical order by the second letter of your middle name, and in the event of a tie you divert to the person with the larger number of letters in their birth-month. No? It's like the classic Four cars arrive at a four-way stop at exactly the same time DMV test question. Is there even an answer?

It's true, if I wasn't the over-analyzing ball of ridiculousness that I am, it would all probably happen naturally. I'd exit an elevator exactly when I'm supposed to and go on with my perfectly graceful day. Too bad instead I wait just an extra second too long and people think I'm not walking out, inciting them to take a step toward the door. Simultaneously, of course, I become acutely aware of that extra second (longest second of my life it seems) and I then take that same step toward the door, practically body-checking a kind man in his nicely pressed suit. I apologize profusely and then practically speed-walk all the way to the office, as if I'm trying to justify my odd behavior by exhibiting some sort of dire emergency I have to scurry off to (which comes off more like I'm just an unusually fast walker. Again, awkward.)

So yeah. These situations are pretty much the bookends to my every day. Down the parking garage elevator in the morning and up again in the afternoon, looking forward to each new awkward encounter.

I promise I'll return soon with more craftiness - we've done a few things around the house I'm looking forward to sharing. In the mean time, feel free to let me know I'm not alone in the world of elevator shenanigans by leaving a comment below. Awkwardness unite! 

1 comment:

  1. another great article and you are so right about this subject!!!! I think this is so true even for me who talks all the time!!! what a great way to look at the subject though and good material to talk about around the water cooler!!! keep up the great job as always!!