Saturday, February 5

Rules for Riding in Elevators

I read this awhile back on another blog and was laughing so hard! Awkward elevator stories are the best.

 I have always noticed that the behavior on elevators is so very unspoken and so very strange! Almost everyone abides by these odd little rules and if you dare to rock the boat you are bound to get some very uncomfortable and disapproving glances! I think that these rules become extraordinarily hard to follow when you are toting children around. I imagine myself in the very small and cramped elevators at our mall. I am often pushing a twenty foot double stroller, carrying a whiny baby and pleading with a grumpy two year old to get back in the stroller all while confirming a Dr's appointment, breaking chicken strips into bite size pieces and looking for my Children's Place coupon. Following the rules often plays second fiddle to just making it through the ride without running over the 78 year old man's feet, not "sharing" our sippy cups with the sophisticated business woman to my left and explaining to the elevator emergency assistance that one of my kids just wanted to say hello, sorry for the inconvenience. Regardless, these rules are quite amusing and not too far from the truth!


In my estimation, the rules for elevator behavior when riding with a stranger are as follows:

1. Upon entering the elevator, stand as far away from the stranger as possible. If they are front left, press your body into the back right. Or vice versa. This gets complicated when there are multiple strangers in the elevator, but you'll figure it out.

2. Don't breathe while in the elevator. If you must breathe, do so very quietly so the other person can't tell you are actually breathing.

3. Keep the space in the elevator as quiet as possible. Try not to make noises with your feet or your mouth. Under no circumstances should you speak to the stranger in the elevator. The only allotment is a two word limit, if floor direction is needed, for example, "Eight, please." Even if you had just been conversing to the stranger before you stepped onto the elevator, cease and desist immediately once entering the lift and confirming your desired floor. Guttural sounds are discouraged, as are audible bodily functions. Avoid those if at all possible. Maintain complete silence for the duration of the ride.

4. As if your life depended upon it, do not make any eye contact with the stranger on the elevator. Appropriate places for your eyes to land are: on your cell phone, on the floor, and either at or above the doors of the elevator.
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5. Take some time to stare at the floor numbers as they light up in sequence. Silently will your floor's number to come as quickly as humanly possible.

6. Do everything in your power to create as awkward of an experience as possible while riding in the elevator with the stranger. Give off the vibe that you want nothing more in the world that for the brief ride to be over, as it is all but torturous.

7. Go so far as to pretend you can't even see the other strangers in the elevator and don't know they are there.

8. As the elevator nears your floor, step towards the door. As the door slides open, try to sidle out before there is even enough room to get your body through the opening. This will add to the perception that riding in the elevator with a stranger was so uncomfortable, you couldn't bear for it to last even a moment longer than it needed to.

9. Exit the elevator. Go about your merry way, feeling free to speak with others once you are out of the elevator.

10. Repeat this behavior each and every time you ride an elevator with a stranger. Subsequent blogging about it is entirely optional.

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