Friendly neighborhood elevator

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dogs are clean now and perhaps a bit happier after an all-day spa visit. Okay, it wasn’t so much a spa as a dog groomer with extra room to run around. But it has to beat sitting at home in their small room for a day.

Doolies told me to write about something. I can’t seem to remember what it was she said. I’m sure it was important and put Doolies in a positive light. Oh yeah. Now it’s come back. After going to Naginata yesterday, Doolies is convinced that she should be going more often. Which means I have to go less often.

She supports this argument thusly: first, we have a tournament in the summer and she has never competed in a tournament (unlike me, who competed in one tournament last summer and a bunch of practice tournaments). She wants to be ready for that tournament. Along with the tournament she will (hopefully) test for Nidan, second degree black belt. Seeing as she’s been out from class delivering Dinosaur, and that we’ll likely be gone the month before the test on our pilgrimage to NYC and Taipei, she wanted to get in as much practice as possible.

That’s not what she wanted me to write about. It is important background, however, for the real story. When she presented the plan, I asked her how I was supposed to get exercise if I only went to class once a week (Saturdays our babysitter watches a napping Tiger and Dinosaur while we’re both in class). Leading up to the birth of Dinosaur, I have not been able to ride my augmented bicycle, fearful I would get a call at any moment to rush to the hospital. Since his birth, I’ve not had time to ride the bicycle since I have to drop Tiger off in the morning and have trouble getting home at a decent time to pick her up from day care. This leaves me with little exercise options except Naginata.

Or so I thought. Doolies came up with a brilliant plan: I work on the fourth floor of my building, so I should walk up and down the stairs. Yes, this is Doolies’s plan for my fitness: lots of stair walking. Not coming up with a better plan, I resolved to do so. And this morning, after arriving at work, I completely forgot about this plan, and went into the elevator.

If I was one of those people who believed that the universe (or the higher power, fate, etc.) talked to people, then this certainly would have been a message. Around the third floor the elevator screeched to a halt with a jerking motion and a funny noise. The elevator announces floors and it screeched after it had announced the third floor, which was weird since it did not stop on the third floor. It then proceeded to head in a direction (it’s amazing how you have no idea what direction an elevator is going), then stop again and start up again.

As evidenced by this entry, the elevator eventually made its way up to the fourth floor and opened its doors. I was with another gentleman in the elevator who I did not know. We had one of those weird post-traumatic (okay, it wasn’t that traumatic) conversations where I said, “that’ll teach us to use the elevator,” and he responded with, “yeah, I’m not going to use this elevator again today.” Lucky for him there are three elevators in the bank. For me, I decided against the elevators as the universe had clearly spoken and I desperately needed the exercises. Stairs only for me in the foreseeable future. I have to do something to ward off middle age.

Tiger is safely tucked in bed, and Doolies is feeding Dinosaur and likely napping as well. I had plans to Horrible-ize tonight. This seems unlikely given these words and the anime that’s calling to me even as I type this. I still have about fifteen minutes on the clock so I’ll keep at it until then.

I sometimes wonder if I’m becoming one of those old bores at work. I catch myself admiring my monologues and wondering how I became so articulate. This usually happens when I’m in mid-sentence and it always takes me aback. I wonder if I’m the only one in the room who thinks that I’m articulate or clever or saying something anyone could possible care about, or, even worse, if everyone is nodding their head in exasperation at the ol’ bore who has taken to the floor to instill what he thinks is wisdom or even good sense, but manages only to drool while everyone around him nods in sympathy and wonders who’s going to take responsibility to mop up after he’m done.

There is a stage in life where you begin to enjoy your own body’s functions. I met a lot of senior people like this at various jobs, and as I move into the lower rungs of those ranks, I worry about slipping into this self-admiration mode where you forget to wonder if the people you’re talking to actually care about what you’re saying, or if you’re managing any value or just wasting air. This is best evidenced by walking away while the person talking to you is in midsentence.

I know I’m overly sensitive to this subject, sometimes to my detriment. I consider myself empathetic (which is strange coming from an anti-social being), and my empathy derives from my fear of boring people around me, or putting myself in an embarrassing situation by saying something foolish. This seems to account for my shyness in some situations, as I’m afraid to speak to someone if I know I should know their name but have no clue and worry that not saying their name will not work in the conversation, or, even worse, I’ll have to guess and I hate guessing names, as the fear of getting it wrong usually ties up my tongue with pink bows and leaves me panting for breath. This is just one of my many insecurities. I also wonder how I ever make it through the day.