Most people have some appreciation for the limitless awkwardness of the teenage boy, and although my experience is mainly with teenagers on the younger end of the spectrum, once in a while I again become aware of the nervousness of the older variety.
This first came to mind yesterday in the elevator in the Comm Ave garage. I was taking the elevator up from 3 (where my car was) to 7, and when I got in there were two undergrads who appeared to be bypassing the stairs by taking the elevator from 1 to 7.
Elevators are awkward for everyone, regardless of age, regardless of gender. Think of all the times you have been standing very close to someone and just stared at the floor, to scared to make eye contact. Or worse (and this is more often the case for me), you said something that landed with a thud on the ears of your elevatormates, and the only thing you could hear in your ears for the rest of the ride was your own voice saying something dumb.
The three of us survived the elevator ride and exited onto the roof of the garage into bright sunlight and spitting rain. I read enough Rainbow Brite books in my day to know what was coming next, and I looked around for the inevitable rainbow. I found it over my right shoulder, a perfect half-circle shooting brightly across the sky.
I had booked out of the elevator in a hurry, so my two elevator friends were still behind me. When I saw the rainbow and saw that they were still right behind me I shouted “Look!” They wouldn’t look, and this was when I started to get a little perturbed. What can I say? I’m used to being obeyed. So I shouted again, even louder “LOOK!!!”
They did, and one of them started talking to me -a lot – about how great the rainbow was. Then he blew it, saying “Did you just happen to be looking around and saw the rainbow?” Then I blew it, by responding, incredulous at his not knowing the fundamentals of rainbows, “No…It was sunny…and raining…so I knew there would be a rainbow.”
A blog post can not adequately communicate my terribly dismissive tone-of-voice, but trust me when I tell you that we went awkward for awkward yesterday afternoon.
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