Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Awkwardness from the ground floor up...

Long before tension pre-empted the inevitable union of lovers in elevators on Grey’s Anatomy, a characteristic of the human condition that is awkwardness has plagued, no doubt, every one. Every single person in the world.
Being awkward is such an intriguing notion. Anything can throw you if you're not prepared. Intimacy, a backward comment, pallor that is odd, obesity, disabilities, a bandage on the face, seeing your victim of drunken texts the next day, week or year. Confrontation. Wanting to avoid confrontation. Turning up to an event (this is more a female situation) wearing the same dress as someone else. Seeing an article of clothing you've just donated to the op shop on the person next to you in a cafe. Disagreeing. Saying 'Jesus', 'Jesus Christ' or 'For Christ's Sake' really loudly when you really shouldn't. Failing to convince someone of innocence. Being caught dashing from the bedroom to the bathroom (or vice versa as the case may be) naked. Lifts and elevators.

I find it hilarious. Even when walking into a lift with your best friend, and another party joins you in the 1m² area (if that at times, more in others) silence prevails. All of a sudden it’s rather interesting that there is a stock standard emergency phone. And a small digital indicator letting you know what floor you’re reaching/passing through. Your shoes get a good eyeballing from everyone else in the lift.

It's only life experience with lifts and elevators that tell you this because you too, have your eyes cast downward, qucikly making the transition from floor to ceiling and not daring to pause in between.

What’s weird however is that the longer the ride, the more bold people are with what they look at. Peripheral vision gives the mind a heads up as to whether they’ve got a chance to quickly glance at your profile, your hair, your lipstick, your face in general. But in confined spaces, it's almost as if the person you're about to check out knows you're about to check them out. Curious, they too use their peripheral to check you out and low and behold, EYE CONTACT. 'Shit', you both think 'they've seen me looking at them'.

It’s like being on the tube but not. At least in London people just stick to themselves or their copy of The Independent (great paper)- it’s always one of those Tier 3 rites of passage- learning how taboo it is to, well, breathe on the tube isn’t it- anyway. Lifts.
My pet hate is being in the lift with a guy, age is regardless. The lift hits ground. The doors open. As a fellow human being, you make the polite gesture of allowing them to go first, but as a female you naturally expect that they allow to exit first. But. THEY DO! What on earth is that kind of behaviour? That makes me wish I'd purposely made the joyride with me even more awkward. Crikey those men deserve a slap. When I'm in a more..delicate...mood, I'll mouth 'after you' behind their backs.

Enjoy your next ride in the lift...


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