I got onto the elevator this morning, plugged into the pod and running about ten minutes late. I’ve mentioned in the past that I live in a building that is about 75% retirees. Well, there are certain behavioral norms that I take for granted in the world outside my building that just don’t apply within its walls. Outside my building, people know not to talk to you when they see white strings hanging from your ears. But in the elevator this morning, no one seemed to know that rule. I stepped on, gave a polite smile and nod and then broke eye contact and leaned against the wall, trying to let my sister’s twangy guitar sounds mellow my morning grumpiness a little before I had to interact with anyone. Except that the elderly couple on the elevator were both looking at me with expectant expressions.
I popped the plugs from my ears and said, “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“Is that one of those iPod things?” the man asked. I replied that it was, and he proceeded to grump that they were worthless, because you couldn’t record on them. Trying to be polite as possible, keeping in mind that I hadn’t consumed nearly enough caffeine to be engaging in any social interaction, I told him that while you couldn’t record directly on them, that with the help of a computer you could indeed record and then download it onto the player. He said he would keep that in mind.
The woman jumped in with, “Are you going to school? Do you live here?” Before I had a chance to respond, she kept on truckin’ with, “How nice to see young people in the building!”
Now, I have some variant on this exchange at least once a week. I’ve lived in the building for more than three years, but regularly, I’m asked if I live there, how I got into the building, and whether I like it. There are a couple people who have asked me if I live there at least three times in the course of my tenure.
I’m tired of having this conversation.
I told them that I did, indeed, live in the building and that I had (shockingly) lived there for more than three years. That I wasn’t on my way to school, but that I actually had a job (okay, I wasn’t quite that sarcastic).
They then got off the elevator at the gym, I got off at the lobby and headed for the trolley, feeling a little annoyed. The frustration continued as I walked up Market St. to my office, but then rapidly dissipated. I looked down, and there were two dollar bills, right at my feet. I love found money.