Yup. Went there.
Ok, so the elevator is inherently awkward. Confined space. Strangers. Smells. Standing. Germs on the buttons. Mirrors, sometimes. Security camera, sometimes. You automatically submit yourself to the fact that if it gets stuck, you will have to help deliver a baby. It’s all bad.
Do you have “Elevation” by U2 stuck in your head right now too? It’s what happens when I think about elevators. Ok………now do you?
I think my elevator complex stems from my childhood and the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World. It’s basically a big elevator in a tall building that drops fast. While you wait in line, they play spooky videos and sound effects and this really psyched me out. I didn’t think I could survive it. So after waiting with my family in the longest line EVER, I got to the top, chickened out and had to exit with my mom through the chicken door and walk all the way back down. My little brother still went.
Despite my aversion to strangers, small places and plummeting to my death, I frequently take the elevator at work because, stairs, puhlease.
One time, I was taking the elevator from the fourth floor down just two floors to the second. There was a woman in the elevator when I got on. As I stepped in, she looked at me with actual disdain. What did I do? I’m guessing she must have been on the elevator from the top floor (the seventh, whoop di do) and it had a lot of stops on the way. So busy and important.
It started going down but then stopped on the third floor. A new person got in. I could feel the woman behind me shift her weight impatiently.
This was amusing me.
It started going down again and stopped on my floor. This time, she actually did one of those big, ugly sighs! Let’s call it an audible scoff. HOW DARE SHE AUDIBLY SCOFF AT ME for merely taking the elevator (because, it’s all about me). She knew what she was getting into when she got on. The elevator’s a gamble!
My ego can’t handle when people are rude to me for no reason (even when I’m sure it really has nothing to do with me, I just take everything personally) so as I stepped out of the elevator, I turned my head, made eye contact with her, and gave my best evil SMIRK as I walked away. Muahahahahahaha!
She looked baffled as the doors shut between us. Probably thought I was having a seizure (my facial expressions aren’t always very controlled. Just ask me to try to wink).
Another time, I thought I was hilarious but really, was just an idiot.
As I stepped onto the elevator, the heel of my shoe crushed a piece of rock salt (it was winter) and it made a really loud cracking noise. All the people on the packed elevator looked down at my shoe. One woman said, “Wow, did you just break your heel?”
I said, “No…” then got really excited about the amazing pun swirling in my head and exclaimed, “My heel was just BREAKING THE ICE!” I gave an obnoxious laugh like I’m so goddamn clever.
The woman just looked confused and turned away.
I couldn’t understand why the elevator hadn’t erupted in laughter and applause. An elevator is a place people regularly try to break the ice, and my heel had just physically done that! That’s funny! To me.
It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized why it wasn’t funny (yes, I was still thinking about it). My heel didn’t break any ice. It broke rock salt. Which melts ice. Which is why my brain equated the rock salt with ice.