Funny, isn’t it? You can meet a person once and know you’re going to be friends. You see another person numerous times … whether it’s a new neighbor, co-worker, whatever, and you just cannot jell with them. Unfortunately, these are people who may be in your life for awhile, so its always a pity if you can’t get along with them.
Then there are people you meet on the elevator. You may be coming to work (or leaving), keeping an appointment at a doctor’s office, hell – just riding up to your apartment – and you meet a person for a brief, very brief moment. Sometimes you exchange glances, perhaps nod, and then fix your eyes on the numbers counting out the floors to your destination. Other times, you make eye contact, smile and perhaps comment on the weather. Me? I chat — which I’m sure probably annoys the hell out of a lot of people. If I get the vibe that someone wants to be left alone, I respect that and concentrate on reaching my floor. Other times I’ll comment on a nice outfit, snazzy shoes or even how cool a tat looks. The other person often responds with a smile, a nice comment and we chat about inane things, parting with wishes to have a good day. All in about a minute, perhaps a few minutes, depending on how many floors the elevator stops at. Buddies for life, as my husband would say.
The point is, silly as it may sound, those little exchanges can totally make my day. Sure, they’re brief and completely unimportant when you think about it. No doubt I’ll never see that person again, but I usually come away feeling some sort of a connection. I can only hope that the stranger I exchanged pleasantries with feel the same way. Maybe I made him or her smile, perhaps brighten their day in some small way.
You never know what a person is going through. He or she may be in a wheelchair, using a cane, moving slowly with obvious pain. Since I’m presently wearing scarves to cover a bald head, its obvious I have cancer and can relate to someone with medical problems. I’m also using a walker (hopefully that will change in the near future), so I know what its like having to rely on other people and am somewhat restrained in my activities. A few words exchanged with a stranger in an elevator might make him or her forget their problems, if only for a few minutes. Allow them to concentrate on something other than their troubles. There’s a connection and people respond to that.
If I can come away from a brief encounter with a smile on my face, I feel an accomplishment.
How ‘bout you? Are you someone who concentrate on the numbers counting down the floors, intent on reaching your destination without interruption, or do you engage other occupants in conversation? Do you feel that’s its intrusive if someone else starts a conversation, or do you take a few minutes out of your busy life to respond in kind. I’m sorta interested to know reactions.