Luke (3 yrs old) accompanied me to a doctor’s appointment last week. I’ve been working on teaching him elevator etiquette, but to someone who doesn’t understand boundaries it isn’t an easy thing to learn. I let him push the up button and we waited on the elevator to arrive on our floor. “Is there anybody on it?” he asked.
“I don’t know. We’ll have to see. Do you remember what to do when the door opens?”
“Oh, yes. I wemember.” The door opened and Luke stood calmly as everyone got off. “See, Mom I waited for eberyone to get off first,” he said.
“Great job, buddy.” We walked into the elevator and were followed by a lady pushing a stroller. “What fwoor you going to?” Luke asked the lady. “Two, please,” she replied. I could tell he was quite proud of himself, and as I suspected he continued to talk. “My name is Wucas and I’m free years old. This is my fwiend, Mom. She’s sixty-one.”
“Wow, Mom,” she replied. “You look great for sixty-one.”
I flipped my hair with a little swagger. “Well, I hate to brag, but that isn’t the first time I’ve been told that.”
Luke decided to continue talking on what was beginning to feel like the longest elevator ride of my life. “Sometimes I call her Gwandma.”

Elevator Etiquette

We abide by certain societal norms whether we realize it or not, e.g. pooping in private and elevator etiquette. Even the most hardened criminal, or craziest mental patient, will silently look upward upon entering an elevator. Trust me. I’ve been in elevators with all kinds of folks.

The general practice of getting on an elevator consists of standing as far away from the other occupants as possible, and only breaking the silence with, “third floor, please.” Well, this doesn’t jive with me. What better way to fill the awkward silence, than with an awkward conversation that everyone knows you won’t have time to finish.

I got on an elevator just yesterday en route to a doctor’s appointment. A stranger lady had gotten there before me which gave her the unspoken advantage of being in control of the buttons. I spoke through the disappointment. “Second floor, please.”

I noticed she was wearing a University of Alabama jacket and was carrying what looked like some sort of team posters. “Are you from Alabama?” I asked. “No, but my son goes to school there,” she replied. “I’m from Alabama myself.” I told her. She pulled out a poster and beamed,
“My son plays on the tennis team.” “That’s wonderful,” I told her. “You must be very proud. Which one is he?”

“He’s the one on the far left.” Her voice trailed off. “….with the hickeys all over his neck.”
I couldn’t hold back the laughter. “Boys will be boys,” I said, but she didn’t laugh with me. Nervously, I continued, “At least he’s having a good time.” Thankfully, the elevator doors opened and I managed to escape without having to endure any more of the obvious tension.

I walked away with another awkward elevator encounter under my belt and couldn’t help but wonder who else, but a mother, could muster such pride for their child in the face of hickey adversity? Who, I ask you?