Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Elevator Talk

Today was my 35.5 week appointment at my doctor. The roads were a bit slick with snow and it was also my final ultrasound prior to the arrival of the babies, so Chris decided to miss work in the morning to take me. On the way there I told him about this new phenomenon I have discovered here in the last four weeks or so and sort of come to enjoy....elevator talk.

What is elevator talk? It is the strange thing that happens when you put a largely pregnant woman in an elevator with complete strangers. Chris did not believe me that it would happen, but today he was proven wrong. Elevator talk happens. Every week, every time, right on schedule. It is predictable and expected. I would be disappointed if it didn't happen.

You get in line and push the up button and wait patiently in a crowd of strange people, each going their own way. You do not speak and everyone becomes so immensely focused on the little arrow above the elevator and that big red dot that tells you your ride has arrived. You don't even really scan the crowd. There is little talking and very little looking about. Just staring at the doors, waiting for them to open and beckon you inside.

The elevator doors open and everyone bustles in--more than probably ought to and each respective rider tries desperately to tuck in purses, shush children, and occupy their own inch of space. You shout out numbers and whoever is closest to the control pushes the multiple buttons. You wonder why on earth the person who needs off at 2 is in the back of the elevator and the person who needs 7 is at the front. Isn't that how it always works? Then the doors close.....and it starts. The elevator talk.

First, it starts out as some quiet glancing about. If we're going to be trapped in here together, we ought to check out our company. Now we want to know who are current companions are. Eyes glance around and then generally go back to cell phones or feet. That is, unless.................you put a pregnant woman in the elevator.

Pregnant women induce elevator talk. It's become a game to me, really. I try to size up my riding companions and see who the culprit is going to be. Who is going to break the utter silence and speak about the pregnant woman in the corner?

Something about the elevator makes it okay to make any comment one might wish to make. Here are some of my favorites:
1.) Oh, twins! Must have been in vitro? This one is one of my favorites because it came from a little old lady who was about 90. What does she know about in vitro?
2.) You look like you are going to pop!
3.) Must not be too much longer..... They trail off and eagerly wait, hoping you say you were due yesterday. Surely someone your size was due yesterday.
4.) Oh! Don't have the baby in the elevator, please.
5.) Soon? This one is my favorites. They don't want to say you're huge nor do they want to corner you into responding, so they just wait with eyebrows raised to see if you'll take the bait.
6.) Look at that basketball in there! When I respond that I actually have TWO basketballs, the eye brows raise even higher.
7.) You look HUGE! Yes, people really do say this!
8.) Sometimes there isn't any talk, but the eyes light on you for the whole ride and you can see them warring inside, "say something, no, it's rude, say something, no, it's rude." I just stare back encouraging them to take the dare and say what they are really thinking..... I think I'm getting better at my nonverbal skills and coaxing it out of them with my eyes.
9.) I'm 38 weeks and miserable...how far are you? Oh sweetie, you and your little ONE baby that weighs 8lbs....I don't want to hear that you are miserable. I've got 12lbs of baby in here and I'm only 35 weeks (or 31, 32, 33....)

Suddenly we reach our floor, the doors flood open, and elevator talk ceases. I get off and chuckle to myself-almost thankful I have a full 7 floor ride in which to enjoy these random comments. After my appointment I get to get back on and enjoy it one more time as I descend to the first floor.

Chris thought I was exaggerating this morning, but I showed him the truth. Yup, more elevator talk today--both rides--up and down. As much as I will be glad to see this pregnancy come to an end with healthy little babies, I will admit, I think I will secretly miss my weekly entertainment in elevator talk. Or, perhaps I am far too entertained by elevator talk since my only social stimulation generally occurs at my weekly doctor's appointment. Either way, it has been fun!

Are YOU an elevator talker?