Whoever said that was so right.
Someone obvious, I’m forgetting. I don’t feel like looking it up, because I’d rather tell you about two little versions of hell I experience every day. I know “hell” is supposed to be capitalized, but that seems religious and weird to me.
1) Holding-the-elevator hell
Our apartment is on the second floor. Just one flight up, no reason not to take the stairs, right? If I lived in a 2-story house, I’d be running up and down the stairs all day.
Thing is, I grew up with an elevator. I’m used to an elevator. I’m lazy.
Sometimes I’m carrying groceries or wearing clogs, which are dangerous on stairs. You can think your whole foot is on a step but it’s not, and then whoops, broke your back and neck! Life in a wheelchair!
So I get in the elevator.
And then it happens. I hear “HOLD IT, PLEASE!”
It’s always from all the way down the hall, which is like, a quarter of a block long. And the person who yelled it is always a shuffler. (Average age in our building = shuffly-three)
We all get in this situation. What’s different here is, I’m just going to the second floor. By the time that shuffler gets to the elevator, I could’ve been in my apartment, made an omelet, showered, and written my first novel.
If I let the doors shut like I want to, the elevator will take me up to 2 and be back down for the shuffler with plenty of time to spare. (Or to shuffle.)
I want to yell that. “Take your time, it’ll be right back down for you.”
But that doesn’t matter, I’ll be known as the bitch who doesn’t hold the elevator.
The other thing I’m tempted to do is get out of the elevator, gesture to it like, “your chariot awaits,” and take the stairs after all. But that’ll come across more like, “Fine! You win! Elevator’s all yours, whatever year you finally get your ass down the hall.” Which doesn’t read as neighborly, either.
So I wait. And then the person who gets in the elevator, instead of saying “Thanks so much for holding it,” sees that I’ve pressed 2, and looks at me like, “You lazy fuck.”
2) Other-people-in-the-gym hell.
Now that it’s freezing, I’m using my building’s gym to burn all my calories without going outside.
At a normal gym like Crunch or Equinox, you expect to work out around other people. But in a private building gym, you get used to having it to yourself and get pissed when one person comes in.
The two people who come in are:
– A greasy-haired nerd with saggy stretch pants who reads a dreadful-looking text book on the bike and pedals lazily. She doesn’t make eye contact, so as far as she’s concerned I’m not there and vice versa, except she has a strong life-sucking vibe.
– A 60-ish guy who has his not-very-buff trainer turn on the TV and select the Smooth Jazz station. For every workout. It’s godawful. We’re talking saxophone covers of favorites from “Girl From Ipanema” to “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” along with songs you never heard, like “Wine” by Andrew Neu.
The static screen offers fun facts such as:
“DID YOU KNOW? Andrew Neu is based in Philadelphia, PA”
Why no, I did NOT know!
I also didn’t know, Ken Navarro’s favorite movies are Field of Dreams and Accidental Tourist.
What I know is, the sound of this station grinds my energy to a halt.
It’s like working out in an elevator at a Wisconsin Radisson in 1974.
And in that elevator, there’s also a corpse of someone who just hanged himself, because who wouldn’t?
When the trainer aims the remote and punches up the volume, I conspicuously pick up my iPhone and turn up my volume, while making a “did someone just go poo poo in here?” face.
I realize that’s passive aggressive in the extreme, but what am I going to do – remind him you’re supposed to ask the other people present if it’s OK to put the TV on with sound?
Speak my mind? Please.
What kind of “other people” hell do you go through in your life?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS
Jul's Arthur says
Laura, you are like a extremely funny stand up comedienne on paper! I can’t tell you how much your posts make me laugh. I am on Laura Belgray bingathon, reading back posts, I can’t keep up with your prolific abilities.
Anyone that does the nostril hold nose blow onto the ground. Hell w a capital H.
Nancy B says
I teach 1st grade in Fairfield County, CT. One guess as to who my “other people” hell are. Hint: It’s not the students, nor my co-workers.
Others’ behaviors don’t tend to create a hell for me, but it sure is fun to watch them in theirs. Comedy comes from others’ misery and stupidity. It’s like they were put in my path to give me material for that book that I’ll never write.
They clearly give YOU material, which we’re all so thankful for. I think I’m adding you to my list for next Thursday. When it’s my turn at the table, I’m going to say, “Laura Belgray”, because even if you make me feel old with your annoyingly acute memory, you still make me laugh. And that’s super special, in my never to be written book.
Shannon Nix says
First off if you dare to check out my website – you will notice two very goofy individuals on the home page. Yes that is me and my wonderful, just as goofy as myself, husband. 🙂
Now on to the real reason I am here. I experience this more times than I care too! For as long as I can remember, I have become not only a psychologist to my friends (this doesn’t bother me since this is what friends do) but I have also become a magnet for coworkers in my office! Yikes! I do not care to hear about you and your significant others issues in bed much less about your menstrual cycle! Oh and by the way I think they have forgotten that I am in the Human Resources department. I have two lives; the serious 8-5 and the crazy have a great time at events till 1 am in the mornin’ life style. I guess they perceive my round, sweet face, glasses falling to the tip of my nose look as one that gives a shit about all of the above and much more. This reminds me a lot of Ally (SP?)McBeal….any of you here old enough to remember that one? 🙂 I loved the fact that the audience could experience exactly what she was thinking! Oh lawd help those who could read my thoughts. I kept it clean here LOL. Well that is my rant and no I am not a heartless bitch but I should start charging for my services 🙂 * Have a wonderful Thursday friends!*
Shannon Nix says
Well heck I thought the website posted – my bad! 🙂
Clicking on your name takes you to your website. ;o) Goofball.
Sam S. says
Who do I hate – other drivers. OK, who doesn’t hate other drivers because we all know that everyone else behind the wheel just has a license to be stupid, but I live in the South where we are polite to a fault. This means that even if you have a green light and a State trooper waiving you through, you come to a polite stop and motion me to cut across four lanes of busy traffic to make a left turn in front of you, even knowing that I will soon get a green left turn signal. Chaos reigns.
Why can’t we Southerners just follow the rules, take the right of way when it’s ours and allow a due and orderly process of traffic as the framers of the Constitution decreed? Because politeness is apparently a traffic rule that trumps all others except for the pick up truck rule which reads “Owners of pick up trucks are allowed to transport unsecured garbage and paper products in the bed of their trucks for up to 2 months at which time, if any of said garbage still remains in the truck, it shall be moved to another truck. Exception: The 2 month grace period shall be reduced to 1 month if the truck has no tail gate.” Can you tell that I am tired of watching garbage waft and drop from the bed of pick ups that I am following and dodging?
Sam S. says
And by the way, if you were in the South, we would insist on holding the elevator for you, even if you wanted to use the stairs for exercise…even if the building were on fire and the only safe escape route was the stair well…even if God was offering you a ride to the top floor on his/her golden chariot…we would still hold the elevator. It’s no trouble. We insist.
Janet Griffin says
People in my building gym!!! It never fails, I’m in there by myself, working out, living life. And then someone comes in and decides to use the machine RIGHT NEXT TO ME!! WHYYYYYY??? You can’t use the damn treadmill???? No, you have to plop your silly ass right next to me on the OTHER stationary bike!! People!!
You are hilarious, as always!
Licia Morelli says
This is hilarious!! Especially the gym one.
While I don’t live in a thriving city metropolis anymore I used to and when I did I would work out in our apartment building gym (we also lived on the second floor!). Inevitably I would arrive and there would be two other “athletes” already working out on the treadmills (of which there were only two). And they would always be “training for the Denver marathon” which actually meant we are going to “run” at a walking pace for over an hour while chatting to each other in nasal tones.
I would hop on the stepper behind them WILLING them and their obnoxious tones to leave but they never did.
Those are the worst.