she's writing a novel

a lot of her writing tends to be tongue-in-cheek. this is because she grew up in an evangelical tradition which was more concerned about where else she might be putting her tongue.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

An Open Letter to Some of the People on the Second Floor of My Office Building


You may or may not know me; I’m the girl who shows up around 9:30 in the morning, looking rumpled and wilted and clutching a coffee cup from La Colombe. Or maybe you’ve seen me coming back at lunch dragging my gym bag behind me and gazing wistfully at your French fries. Probably you have no idea who the hell I am, and that’s fine. But I know who you are.

You are the people on the second floor who ignore the fact that our building has a public staircase. Rather than open a door and walk up a single flight of stairs, you will press the “up” button and wait a full minute for the elevator. Then you will wait until after a half-dozen of us have pushed buttons “10” or “15” or “12” to push your own paltry “2.” And you, stair-avoiding employee of the second-floor, will have the audacity to be at least 80 lbs overweight.

And then, at the end of a long day when I am happily plummeting toward the lobby and to freedom in an elevator full of companions from double-digit floors, my glee and relief is stalled. You will have brought our swift descent to an unnatural halt, forcing us to hover, trapped, just above our destination. Do you perceive our frustration as our collective will to keep falling is thwarted and we are thus cruelly suspended? Do you hear our silent and sometimes muttered “C’mon, get on with it then” as we wait for you to shuffle on board and squeeze yourself into our already cramped escape pod?

You do realize that falling down the stairs from the second floor would be faster than taking the elevator? And it would require no more effort on your part, since avoiding effort seems to be your Modus operandi.

So, second-floor-stationed patron of the elevator, I would like to take this opportunity to suggest that you discover the aforementioned staircase and begin to use it on a daily basis. You will be delighted to learn that not only does climbing stairs and engaging in even mild forms of physical activity have a positive health effect, but it will also lead to improved relations with the upper-floor tenants of this building.

However, should you choose to persist in your current pattern of behavior, please do not expect than any rules of elevator etiquette will be applied to you. No one is going to hold the door for you. No one is going to ask you, finger poised above the button panel, “Which floor?” No one is going to try to hold back the gas resulting from last night’s Tex-Mex fiesta. And no one is going to try and free your trapped foot from between the elevator doors.

But we might do you and everyone else a favor, and push you down the stairs.