Whoever said that was so right.
Someone obvious, I’m forgetting. I don’t feel like looking it up, because I’d rather tell you about two little versions of hell I experience every day. I know “hell” is supposed to be capitalized, but that seems religious and weird to me.
1) Holding-the-elevator hell
Our apartment is on the second floor. Just one flight up, no reason not to take the stairs, right? If I lived in a 2-story house, I’d be running up and down the stairs all day.
Thing is, I grew up with an elevator. I’m used to an elevator. I’m lazy.
Sometimes I’m carrying groceries or wearing clogs, which are dangerous on stairs. You can think your whole foot is on a step but it’s not, and then whoops, broke your back and neck! Life in a wheelchair!
So I get in the elevator.
And then it happens. I hear “HOLD IT, PLEASE!”
It’s always from all the way down the hall, which is like, a quarter of a block long. And the person who yelled it is always a shuffler. (Average age in our building = shuffly-three)
We all get in this situation. What’s different here is, I’m just going to the second floor. By the time that shuffler gets to the elevator, I could’ve been in my apartment, made an omelet, showered, and written my first novel.
If I let the doors shut like I want to, the elevator will take me up to 2 and be back down for the shuffler with plenty of time to spare. (Or to shuffle.)
I want to yell that. “Take your time, it’ll be right back down for you.”
But that doesn’t matter, I’ll be known as the bitch who doesn’t hold the elevator.
The other thing I’m tempted to do is get out of the elevator, gesture to it like, “your chariot awaits,” and take the stairs after all. But that’ll come across more like, “Fine! You win! Elevator’s all yours, whatever year you finally get your ass down the hall.” Which doesn’t read as neighborly, either.
So I wait. And then the person who gets in the elevator, instead of saying “Thanks so much for holding it,” sees that I’ve pressed 2, and looks at me like, “You lazy fuck.”
2) Other-people-in-the-gym hell.
Now that it’s freezing, I’m using my building’s gym to burn all my calories without going outside.
At a normal gym like Crunch or Equinox, you expect to work out around other people. But in a private building gym, you get used to having it to yourself and get pissed when one person comes in.
The two people who come in are:
– A greasy-haired nerd with saggy stretch pants who reads a dreadful-looking text book on the bike and pedals lazily. She doesn’t make eye contact, so as far as she’s concerned I’m not there and vice versa, except she has a strong life-sucking vibe.
– A 60-ish guy who has his not-very-buff trainer turn on the TV and select the Smooth Jazz station. For every workout. It’s godawful. We’re talking saxophone covers of favorites from “Girl From Ipanema” to “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” along with songs you never heard, like “Wine” by Andrew Neu.
The static screen offers fun facts such as:
“DID YOU KNOW? Andrew Neu is based in Philadelphia, PA”
Why no, I did NOT know!
I also didn’t know, Ken Navarro’s favorite movies are Field of Dreams and Accidental Tourist.
What I know is, the sound of this station grinds my energy to a halt.
It’s like working out in an elevator at a Wisconsin Radisson in 1974.
And in that elevator, there’s also a corpse of someone who just hanged himself, because who wouldn’t?
When the trainer aims the remote and punches up the volume, I conspicuously pick up my iPhone and turn up my volume, while making a “did someone just go poo poo in here?” face.
I realize that’s passive aggressive in the extreme, but what am I going to do – remind him you’re supposed to ask the other people present if it’s OK to put the TV on with sound?
Speak my mind? Please.
What kind of “other people” hell do you go through in your life?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS
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