HI! It's Friday! A to the m to the EN. How was everyone's week? Mine was actually kind of stressful and no bueno. Blah. I woke up this morning to the sun shining and birds chirping and said "Liz! Today is a new day! Chin UP!" and then I got this breakfast wrap from Pret a Manger and it came in this weird cardboard package thing and when I tried to open it, learned that it had like, melted and was now stuck to the cardboard but I already bought it and was hungry so I basically just ate cardboard for breakfast (fiber!) soooooo the chin upping is turning into a real workout but I'm going for it.
Ok! Without further ado, one very rambly look at what was keeping it awkward this week...
As you know, I love city life and one of my favorite things is the car free culture. I am like, fully and knowingly self righteous about how much I walk. It baffles me to go home to the 'burbs and hop in the car to drive under a mile to CVS. I know suburbs and towns don't have the infrastructures in place to allow this to be possible for most people outside of urban centers and that makes me super sad but also, keeping it real, makes me super snobby.
Sometimes it's just fun to feel morally superior to people, OK? I dare you to pretend you're an innocent in this arena!
Anyhoodle, off my soapbox! Though I think that walking and taking public transit is the way and the vision, I also acknowledge that it often creates horrific social situations by forcing so much of our lives into the public sphere. Case in point: the daily commute.
If you are driving a car to and from your job and you pass someone you work with on the highway that is NOT WEIRD. You can just wave and keep driving. But if you get on the subway and your boss is there, you are forced to make some serious decisions. Do you pretend you don't see them? Say hi and go back to your book? Talk to them for the next 30 minutes? What happens when the train pulls into the station? Are you going to walk the WHOLE WAY to the office making small talk at 8:29 AM?
It's a nightmare.
Or if you get in the elevator on the way out at night and strike up a conversation with a colleague and then walk out of the building and realize they TOO are going to the same subway station as you do you keep walking and talking? Say goodbye and walk 2 feet behind them the whole time?
It's all just TOO MUCH TO HANDLE sometimes. Too much.
I continually find myself in situations where I'll exit the subway and realize that a colleague is walking just ahead of me. This should not be a problem except for the fact that I am like the world's fastest walker.
Seriously. It is a problem. I have memories of barreling through the halls of middle school, crowds parting to get out of the way. It's not like I ever have anywhere that important to go...I just walk with purpose. And the purpose is to mow down everyone in front of me. I'm always rear-ending other pedestrians on the street or forcing couples to step aside so I can plow by them. Brian hates going for walks with me because he wants to stroll romantically and I physically can't make my body go any slower than Olympic-speed power walking. It's kind of a problem but I CAN'T STOP.
I can't do it!
Because of this, whenever I'm walking behind a coworker I KNOW that eventually I'll end up catching up to them. No matter how far they are in front of me I WILL overtake them because I am a freak of nature and that is how my body works.
On some occasions this is someone I might actually be want to speak to, but more often than not these people lay right in that middle ground where I know them too well to just walk past them with a nod and a "good morning" but not well enough that I want to spend 5 minutes small talking with them before I've had my morning coffee. I have a number of tools in my arsenal for avoiding this, including stopping on the side of the sidewalk and pretending to read something on my phone, going half a mile out of my way on an alternate route to avoid contact, stopping to purchase food or beverages...even if I've already packed something.
I would rather spend $7 on an overpriced egg sandwich and eat two breakfasts than find myself speed walking up behind the subrights manager and having to find some way to announce my presence which always just ends with me startling them out of their morning peace as I yelp "Oh hey Rita hey it's Liz hi I was behind you the whole time hahahaha oh do you also take the F train haha hi!"
So long story the LONGEST this week I somehow managed to outweird even myself, taking my walking game to a whole new level.
You may recall me discussing my former assistant Margaret, Swiftie extraordinaire and all around wonderful human. She got promoted earlier this year which is sad because she's no longer my assistant but also happy because good for her, Lean In, gurl, and also happy because now I'm not her boss and can instead try to convince her to be my BFF and hang out with me every day. Though chances of that ever happening are slimmer than slim to none after this week.
One evening this week I exited the office building to see M just a few feet ahead of me - she must have been on the elevator just before mine. I walked like a normal person (I swear!!!) behind her for a block and when we came to the corner, she crossed to the opposite side of the street. I was going to have to cross myself to get to the station and as I went to do so, I realized I would be literally walking directly into Margaret. She seemed to glance in my direction and as I crossed towards her I waved. She didn't see me but I was still plowing right towards her so I screeched "Haaaay Margaret" but she had headphones in and didn't hear me and just kept on truckin' and I ended up literally half a foot behind her like a spooky gangly ghost stalking her every move.
We still had several block to go so I KNEW I'd overtake her at some point. She's a speedy walker herself but no one can match my moves. I thought it would be funny to take a picture of her and text it to her with a caption like "HI" because that's not creepy at all so I snapped a photo but before I could text her we came to a red light at an intersection and were forced to a stop. I decided it was time to stop lurking and tapped her on the shoulder but THAT was weird and she thought I was like a bug or something and turned around completely startled and I was like "Hi! I've been behind you the whole way, I took your picture!"
IF ONLY I had also taken a photo of the look on her face after that announcement.
I deleted the picture and would never put it on the internet, that is so mean, but here is a fine art recreation of the moment:
The whole thing was just so weird and YES the photo might have crossed a line but if I HAD pulled off the text it would have been hilarious. Oh how we would have laughed!!!
For real: will someone please guide me on how to better handle these situations?1 What do you do when you're walking behind someone you know and you realize you're going to catch up to them? WHAT DO YOU DO I DON'T KNOW. I need serious help and guidance.
Screw it, I throw away all of my convictions and am now a car person. I want to be fully ensconced behind layers of tinted windows like a rap star so I can just never have to figure out how to interact with another human being.
It's better for us all!!
Ugh to the uggest.
Have a glorious weekend my fine friends. And if you hear the pitter patter of frantic footsteps behind you do not panic, it's probably just me! Taking your photo. Creepin' around.
Ok do panic.