You know those moments when your whining, crusty, adorably mismatched family gets in the elevator with an old person and you know it can go one of two ways?
No? Well it can go like this. Elderly neighbor is enchanted, delighted, thrilled by the sticky hands all over the elevator buttons and the alarm that is now going off. He has raised his four children in this building–boy has it changed over these years–and isn’t it a great place for the little ones? God bless them.
Or this. Complete silence and dirty stares at my children who are dumping cheerios on the floor and stepping on them.
I never expected this one. We were in the elevator coming up to our apartment with the kids, their scooters, the double stroller and everything else we’d been out with for the afternoon. Our neighbor, a sparky long-time resident of our building whom I never see without her lipstick or her walker, was in the elevator with us. She complimented us on the kids–how alike they all are, how fun they are to have on the floor because they’re so “feisty” (referring to every morning when my children run into the hall in pajamas screaming to press the elevator button when their dad and sister leave). This woman has always been friendly, and I like her. She’s sharp and optimistic; I’ve had conversations with her about television shows, the neighborhood restaurants, and of course, the weather. As we approached our floor, she looked at my younger daughter and said, “Oh, look at her! She looks just like you,” glancing at me. Then she added as the elevator stopped and the doors opened, “Poor dear.”
Good job, kind old neighbor. Keeping me on my toes.