After the following incident, I am finding myself unreasonably irritable. Like, the woman behind me on the elevator just now was obnoxiously slurping a glass of ice water (who brings a literal glass of ice water with them to travel?!) and I just about nearly pressed all of the buttons and then jumped off at the next floor.
THAT kind of irritated.
And it all started with an elevator.
Waiting to head out for some coffee, I can assure you I had already hit the DOWN button. I have danced this dance before. Plus, it was clearly glowing. Nonetheless, when a woman got to the elevator bank, she gave an impatient look at the doors and proceeded to press the already glowing button repeatedly for about 10 second, clearly establishing to both me and the elevator that she had better things to do.
I should also note here that I am a big fan of people double-checking my work. It was the first time I have had my button-pushing edited, and I saw it as a real teaching moment for my skill set. Remember, kids, Life is Study!
When the elevator did finally arrive, no doubt accelerated by her insistent pressing, she hit the button for the Ground Floor. I approached the buttons myself, pretended to contemplate my choices for a moment, then ALSO pressed the Ground Floor button. Mostly to show her that her lessons did not fall on deaf ears.
At the next stop, a cute gal got on board. I note this because, anxious weirdo that I am, I naturally stood up straighter and was suddenly on my best behavior at this point. You know, because when cute girls aren’t around, there’s no telling if I am going to be on NOT my best behavior (loudly farting and wafting it about, drinking too much, sleeping in late, inventing words that sound like they could be curse words, hanging out with the wrong crowd, etc.).
Next stop is a gentleman with a baby he is swinging rather wildly about in a baby seat handle jobby thingy. As he got on board, he said the following: “Hope for the best! No telling when the need to cry is going to strike ’em.”
I spelled out ” ’em” because what I heard was a clear “”him.” But I heard incorrectly. Here’s how I know:
Obviously in an attempt to show this cute girl what a fine, considerate person I am, a lover of babies and fathers too!, (and to a certain extent, genuinely interested in the tiny little cutie)[by which I mean the baby, not the gal] I ask the father, “He’s adorable! How old is he?”
“Oh,” the father replies, “It’s a she!”
Here’s what next should have happened: I would have replied,” Oh, I am sorry, I misheard you. How old is she?”
Here’s what happened in actual real life: Father begins “Oh she’s …”
Button-Pressing Woman chimes in: “HAHA! You know, as a parent myself, this happens all the time! I mean, look at the blanket there. Look! LOOK!”
She points to a blanket wrapped around the baby’s feet. It is white. I look at everything on the baby: white socks, green sweater, blue pants, yellow hat. I look to the woman again. She looks at me with some mix of condescension and pity, pointing again to the blanket.
I literally zoom my face closer. I am mere inches from this baby’s feet (also from the father’s crotch) when I notice it. Eureka! What I had originally dismissed as a stain, perhaps yogurt, was in fact a single, tiny pink dot in a desert of white.
Button-Pressing Woman: “Pink means its a girl. It’s so obvious to people with children! Blue means boy, pink means girl! HAHAHA!”
At this point, everyone in the elevator begins to laugh. Everyone but me. I end up looking kinda like this.
All I can think of are a bunch of really poorly chosen responses. Thank Jebus for the wherewithal to NOT say any of the following:
- Hey, the 1950’s called. It wants gender colors back. Also minority rights.
- Are you effing kidding me? That’s a GD penicillin stain, not a “clear demarcation” of gender!
- Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize FUCK YOU.
Instead, I rather calmly replied, “Hahahaha yeah. Or maybe I just misheard him. Jeeze, tough crowd.”
And yes, I did the “wring the collar” bit to accentuate the line.
In the end, Button-Presser got off the elevator and bee-lined it directly to the cupcake truck parked outside. And some generalizing stereotyping part of me was not in the slightest bit surprised by that. Perhaps I should send her some Cathy comics to hang on her cubicle wall …
And I never did see that baby again.