On Super Bowl Sunday I showered and ventured out – as far as I would likely go for the rest of the day. I was headed to the recycling bins in the parking garage.
If it had been trash, I wouldn’t have had to go further than the trash shoot down the hall. But alas.
Boarding the elevator, I looked down at myself and laughed. It had been only a few days since I had emerged from the bathroom at school and walked into the Staff Lounge. A group of younger teachers were eating their lunch and discussing things of interest – i.e. not diapers.
“What’s so funny?” one of them asked me.
I had just seen myself in the bathroom mirror. “I mean, LOOK AT ME!” I gestured to myself, particularly to my head.
They all burst out laughing.
My hair was in a bun so high it might have hit the ceiling. There were at least three pens and mechanical pencils adorning the unkempt poof of snarls.
“The thing is, I don’t think they noticed until I pointed it out, because I probably ALWAYS look like that!” I told my husband later.
Another day, I set out for a walk with Little L only to discover that on this almost spring-like day, I was wearing two scarves. Maybe Little L’s “ha-da!”s as we were getting ready were not a sign of excitement about getting outside given our Condo Fever, but a warning cry about my fashion blunder.
I guess it’s not too early to start embarrassing her.
Back to the elevator. I noticed that, although my hair was clean, it was again up in one of those “I didn’t look in the mirror when I did this” styles.
Worse, my new cute black hoodie was full of carrots, peas, and bodily functions. Not my own, I promise.
“I hope no one gets on,” I thought to myself as the doors closed and my descent began.
And then on Floor 3, the elevator stopped. Some Guy got on.
Some Guy and I greeted each other. He too was carrying recycling, but looking much more put together than I was for a Super Bowl Sunday afternoon. Maybe he would even be leaving his apartment again later that day – a hot date with the mailroom perhaps!?
Since Some Guy and I were clearly headed to the same spot and since I had gotten on first, I wondered – will he let me exit first?
It was Little L’s nap time and Axel and I were both in a rush to get as much done as we could.
The elevator door opened.
Some Guy did not hesitate. He slipped out the door.
I judged him for it. Silently.
But then – but then! – he veered from the path to the door to hit the automatic opener switch. Because both of his hands were full with recycling.
What did I do?
I wish I could say I waited gallantly, since, well, two don’t have to play this game.
I slipped through the door, conveniently open now. I walked quickly towards the recycling room. I opened the door and propped it open with the doorstop.
I made eye contact, not sure what was going to happen.
“You go ahead,” he said. “I’ll wait.”
We would have both fit in there at the same time, but I went ahead anyway. Within 10 seconds I had exited the Recycling Room, was headed back to the elevators, and was on my way upstairs.
Some Guy would have to catch the next elevator up.
Did I feel bad about my behavior?
But I like to think he understood why I was trying so urgently to get back to the safety of my own apartment.
I mean… LOOK at me!