Saturday, April 28, 2012

"It's a beautiful day"

I've been saying that a lot since I arrived at the hospital on Wednesday. Not because the weather's been especially nice over the past few days (it hasn't been for the most part) or because I've been enjoying the heck out of my time here (I really haven't) but mostly because I've needed to convince myself that every day can be beautiful, at least on some level. I find myself silently repeating the words "it's a beautiful day" in my head, similar to the "Goosfraba" scene from Anger Management.

Cheesy? Totally. But does it help? Sometimes.

The first few days here were a little rough, but things are definitely starting to look up. My fevers are gone and my energy level is on the rise. Morgan and Adam got to stay the night with me last night, I've had the chance to catch up with some good friends, and since it really was beautiful outside today, I was able to get some much needed fresh air and sunshine.

After walking around outside for about half an hour or so, I found myself riding the elevator back up to my floor with a strange man who stood way just a little too close for comfort. Especially when you consider the fact that we were the only two people in the elevator. The situation became even weirder when I took a small step away from him and he followed. I didn't actually see him take a step closer to me, but when I looked at him a few seconds later, I swear he was standing just as close as he had been before. Pretty strange.

That's something I've always been fascinated by - the elevator behavior of strangers. There are these unspoken social rules about elevator etiquette that most people know and abide by. But then there are those people who have either never been taught those rules or purposely disobey them simply to make the people around them uncomfortable. You know the people I mean... I'm sure you've ridden with their kind before.

Here is a list of things that, in my opinion, are pretty common knowledge when it comes to elevator etiquette:

1) When you see that someone has already pushed the button, DO NOT push it again. Doing so indicates that you believe the person ahead of you didn't do an adequate job of pushing it, or that you simply don't understand how the button works. Either way, you look a little ridiculous.

2) Allow other passengers as much space as possible. For example, if another passenger is riding in the front right corner, stand in the back left corner; if they stand against the left wall, stand near the right wall. Clearly this strategy becomes more difficult in more crowded elevator cars, but in any case, try to allow the other passengers as much personal space as possible.

3) Avoid standing directly in front of the buttons. If you must stand in front of them, offer to push buttons for the other people in the elevator. On the same note, never reach in front of someone to push the buttons. Instead, kindly ask someone to push yours for you.

4) If you enter the elevator with your significant other, limit the amount of touching to hand-holding. Do NOT carry on a public display of affection in front of other elevator passengers. Keep it classy. (Note: If you wish to engage in intimate recreation in an empty elevator... well, that's a totally personal decision. I don't judge.)

5) Singing, humming and loud music blaring through headphones are generally discouraged (especially when the music coming from your headphones frequently mentions "bitches" and/or "hoes"... seriously, that's not even music).

6) Allow passengers to exit before you board the elevator. The side-stepping, back and forth dance that ensues between two people when one tries to board the elevator too soon is never fun.

7) If someone is in a wheelchair, holding a baby carrier, etc. they immediately have the right of way. Just yesterday I saw two women shove their way past a man pushing his wife in a wheelchair, leaving no room in the elevator and forcing them to wait for the next car. Incredibly rude!

8) NO farting in the elevator. EVER.

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind. They're pretty simple really, and it's not as if you have to join an exclusive club to get the rule handbook, so I have a difficult time understanding why some people act as if they have never ridden an elevator before (or spent much time around other human beings, for that matter).

Earlier today when I found myself riding next to the man with no respect for personal boundaries, for a second I seriously considered saying something to him. But instead I simply took another small step in the opposite direction and silently reminded myself, "It's a beautiful day. It's a beautiful day."


  1. I didn't know the one about reaching in front of someone for the buttons. If I get on and there is someone in front of the buttons, I push it as I get on and then go to the open area. Does that make sense? I can't stand when people are standing right outside the elevator when the doors open---MOVE BACK!!! I always want to yell. It is especially common at the first floor of primary's.

  2. Holly, that does make sense and I think that is also totally acceptable. :)

  3. Oh, my little Jenny! What would the world be without you? I love you!

  4. Jenny,

    This an excellent list of elevator etiquette rules which would be nice if the majority would adhere to. Other than the push button etiquette, these could also apply to riding trains or subways.

    Hope you have many more beautiful days and your hospital stay is short but sweet.



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