I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. Sometimes I purposefully hold the door-close button on the elevator.
Yes, even when I can hear someone coming. Because you know what — I want to ride up alone. I live on the 20-somethingth floor and I don’t want to have to wait for five hours while every single person in the building finds their way home.
Now you’re thinking that I’m pretty rude and guessing (correctly) that I did not grow up in a small town. In fact, I spent a good number of formative years in large, dirty cities where the people are as obnoxious as the air is polluted.
But here’s my theory: It’s not that city folk are rude; it’s that people are rude. There are just so many of us living, working and breathing in such close proximity in the city that you’re bound to notice offensive behaviour more frequently.
In fact, as impolite as we might seem, there is actually a strict code of conduct when it comes to urban living. Walk fast, tip more than you should and always, always stand right and walk left on the escalator.
It’s a lot to learn, but I like to think of myself as a master of downtown decorum. However, every once in a while I am presented with someone who makes me question my etiquette expertise.
You’ve all met her, of course. She often shows up on a crowded bus or subway. I’ll call her questionably pregnant woman. She’s usually outfitted in a baggy sweater or an ill-fitting ensemble that makes her look heavy around the midsection but without the obviousness of a baby bump.
Questionably pregnant woman always seems to hover directly over me on my morning commute, leering at me in my prime individual seat.
Here’s the problem, if I don’t give up my seat for her I’m a selfish brat. But if I do offer the seat and she’s not pregnant, I’m now a bitch who’s hurt her feelings by suggesting that she looks like she’s got a baby on board.
In my opinion, it’s better for her to think I’m rude and unwilling to relinquish my seat than for her to spend the rest of the day fretting over her BMI.
So next time you see me firmly rooted in my plastic chair while you’re standing en route just remember, I’m actually trying to be nice.
– Read more of Jessica Napier’s columns at www.metronews.ca/shesays