Wednesday, December 2, 2015

IWSG: The Ups and Downs of Elevator Etiquette


Mom celebrating her birthday with her grandsons; beloved son, and uncaring daughter

It's hard to believe that this is the final IWSG post of 2015. I'd like to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh for four wonderful years of hosting the Insecure Writer's Support Group, and encourage everyone to visit the rest of the talented bloggers. 



 Before Thanksgiving my mom hadn't been feeling well, so I told her that I was worried about her. She responded, "You don't worry enough."

We also had a discussion about the Barnes and Noble commercial with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

                                                                 hollywoodreporter.com

My mom loves the commercial, and couldn't get over how wonderful Tony Bennett looks. She asked, "Did you see his mask?"

When I tried to explain that he wasn't wearing a mask she didn't believe me. I told her he must have a fabulous plastic surgeon, and that the photographer probably used a special lens on his camera, and other tricks with lighting. After she still didn't believe me, I started second guessing myself, and Googled everything I could find about the commercial. And people wonder why I don't have time to blog.

The next day, she told me that he wasn't wearing a mask after all. When I asked her what made her change her mind, she replied matter-of-factly, "Your brother told me."

Last Sunday we celebrated my mom's birthday by going downtown to see the holiday decorations, and have dinner. This had been the first time that my mom had seen her grandsons' apartment since they moved over the summer.

They frantically cleaned to make sure it would pass inspection, and my mom only found fault with a shower curtain that was in perfect condition, but it was "nothing special." Of course, I bought that shower curtain for one of their housewarming gifts.

There's never a dull moment in my family. My brother can always turn everything into a learning experience. Since my older son works in one of the tallest buildings in the city, and both boys live in a highrise apartment he's been teaching them proper elevator etiquette. For some reason, my husband has always been a first out of the elevator, first in the buffet line kind of guy, but my brother has taken both my boys under his wing with this task. After a few quick elevator drills, we worked up an appetite for dinner. 

Later while my husband was getting the car, we went back to their apartment to pick up my mom's birthday present.  Then a large unkempt man sporting pajamas while out walking his dog, joined us in the elevator. We all noticed that he had pressed a higher button, and tensions mounted, as we tried to silently plan an exit strategy with my mom's wheelchair through his massive structure and canine companion. 

When we reached our destination, the man and his dog walked out of the elevator, and politely held the door open so we could safely disembark. We thanked the kind gentleman who had passed the elevator etiquette test with flying colors. 

As we were heading down the elevator, we ran into an old neighbor who was very nicely dressed. I told her we were out celebrating my mom's birthday. She raved about how lovely she looked, and proceeded to ask her age. My mom's expression quickly changed, and she said that we had to hurry to the car, because my husband was waiting for us. That woman had failed the elevator etiquette test big time.


62 comments:

  1. I love, love, love your mom stories, Julie. It is not unusual that the one who does the most caring to be the one who takes the most abuse. The absent one or the one who is not the main care giver is usually treated with more favor. Many people can commiserate with you.

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  2. I love these posts about your mom. Hope you're doing well.

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  3. I didn't know there was any kind of elevator etiquette outside of not staring at everyone. I do know not to ask a woman's age though!

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  4. What a great picture of your family! You all look great. I cracked up that your mom believed your brother about Tony Bennett's lack of mask LOL. Can't blame her though, you are obviously untrustworthy, Julie. ;)

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  5. You are so skilled at "show, don't tell." Very funny story!

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  6. Your mom is a hoot and I like that you can present the humor in situations. "Your brother told me" - perfect line. You were SO wrong until you weren't. I know you worry more than enough - it's hard watching someone age and not be at the top of her game. Take care and all the best for December and the coming year

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  7. Perhaps your mother has achieved ultimate motherhood. It's a biased position. My brother used to be embarassed by and apologize for our mother's behavior toward him. He simply did not wrong. I would tell him that first borns come with SUN after their name.Firstborn and eldest daughters (me) have no status; first born boys are SUNs.

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  8. As usual, your mom is hilarious. I'm sorry that she puts you through the wringer, though. You MUST know that she loves you. Her way of showing it isn't always that great. Sigh.

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  9. Fun stories about your mom. Awesome you celebrated her birthday together.

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  10. ROFL You mom sounds like a hoot and so much fun. Lucky girl, I enjoy the stories.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  11. ROFL You mom sounds like a hoot and so much fun. Lucky girl, I enjoy the stories.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  12. Great post, Belated birthday wishes to your mother, I do so enjoy reading about her,
    Yvonne.

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    1. Robin - Sorry I missed seeing this yesterday. Our moms both like to be in charge, so we just have to find the humor in many situations. I'd rather argue about these silly little things, than hear constant complaining about the big things. I'm very fortunate that way. Thanks Robin!

      Natalie - We really had a good time, and my mom was very appreciative. Thanks Natalie!

      Juneta - She really is a hoot, and you're right about how lucky I am! Thanks Juneta!

      Yvonne - Thank you, and I will pass on your good wishes,! Hope you're feeling better, Yvonne.

      Julie

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  13. Arleen - I take it all in fun. My mom's still very appreciative in her own way. Thanks Arleen!

    Shelly - I'm fine and hope that you're doing well too. Thanks Shelly!

    Alex - I'm sure you would hold the door open for someone in a wheelchair. You are a southern gentleman after all. Thanks for hosting another wonderful IWSG!

    Julie - You are too funny! Thanks about the photo. It's a great one of everyone else, but I'm starting to look more like one of your characters in Polar Nights! Thanks again, Julie!

    Debra - Thank you so much, and I feel the same way about you. Your posts are always fun, and I'm sorry I don't visit often enough.

    Joanne - I know you're going through a similar thing with your dad. I'm lucky that my mom still has her sense of humor, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to write these moments down. Wishing you all the best throughout the holiday season and New Year too, Joanne! Thank you!

    Joanne - I love it! Yes, my brother is the eldest child and also her #1 Sun! You always come up with the best lines, Joanne! Thank you!

    Julie

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  14. Maybe she cares about you more that's why she is always trying to change you? I don't know...my mom passed in my early teens so I have no idea how the dynamics work.

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  15. So how old is your mom? I bet she's not as old as I am. Elevator etiquette is just an extension of good manners.

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  16. Happy Birthday to you Mom. God Bless her.

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  17. lol. Love this post. So glad at least one person passed the elevator etiquette test! Hope your mom had a wonderful birthday! :)

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  18. Olivia - I'm so sorry that you lost your mom at such a young age. Everything I write about my mom is in fun, and she enjoys hearing my stories almost as much as I enjoy writing them. I know how lucky I am. Thanks Olivia!

    Jo - You are a great cook, a terrific bowler, and a wonderful blogger which makes you impressive at any age! My mom celebrated a big birthday last year. Thanks Jo!

    Munir - Thank you so much, Munir! I'll pass along your good wishes!

    Mandy - We were all stunned that the pajama clad dog walker was such a gentleman. It was a worthwhile lesson for all of us. Thank you, Mandy!

    Arleen - That's very sweet of you to say! Thanks again, Arleen!

    Julie

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  19. Hi Julie - great to see a post and a Mum story - what fun and I delighted in every sentence. How fantastic that the boys had the opportunity to show their grandmother their place of living and for you all to have a great evening/day out. Tony Bennett - yes where are my genes! Brilliant - and someone else is always right. We just need to laugh .. you show us that ... loved this - cheers Hilary

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  20. Got it. Get out so the people who are behind you can exit, and never ask a women her age. Do I pass? Fun story, as always, your mum is a hoot.

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  21. Funny stuffs, GEM JULIE.

    Your Mom is a hoot! And so are you!

    I'm gonna go out and get myself a dog now just so I can wear pajamas in public. I didn't know a person could wear pajamas in public and pass ANY KIND of etiquette test. :o)

    ~ Stephen

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    1. POSTSCRIPT: You're the "uncaring daughter" in that photo? Hokey-Smoke! That hairstyle looks great on you. DON'T CHANGE IT!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Stephen - You probably don't even need a dog to walk outside in pajamas especially with plaid flannels that look like sweat pants. That man surprised us all, and taught us a very important lesson. Thanks for the kind words, but I honestly tried to crop myself out of the photo. My hair calms down a little when there's no humidity, but for the most part it's pretty much the same. Don't even get me started on my eyebrows that have mysteriously disappeared in the photo! Thanks Stephen!

      Julie

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    3. I was totally serious, JULIE. Not buttering you up and just trying to be nice. (You know that's not my style!)

      I honestly spent a good 3 minutes staring at that picture and comparing it to the one of you in the sidebar, trying to decide if that could really be the same person (i.e., YOU!)

      That haircut makes you look younger and more attractive than the one you use as an "avatar". I can't believe you were really trying to crop yourself out of that family picture.

      Ha! You womens! How shall we mens ever un'erstands ya?!
      :o)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    4. Stephen - Aw Stephen, you are too kind. Maybe we could just chalk it up to a change in water pressure. I haven't had much luck in changing my blog picture, but I'll keep working on it. Maybe you'll consider moving to Chicago, and working as a hair stylist. I could sure use your help. Thank you my friend!

      Julie

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  22. "Your brother told me." Hahahaha! Oh my gosh, that line made me laugh. Wonderful post, Julie. I guess you can't always tell from appearances whether or not someone will pass the elevator test! :D Thanks for the smiles here as always. Great post!

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  23. Surely you know that in a mother's eyes the male child is always right and more reliable than the female children. At least that was always the case in my family. My sister would get so ticked when my mother accepted my authority over hers. Of course though, I probably was right.

    Funny story though. I get claustrophobic enough in elevators without having to share my space with others. I like to be first out as well so I can breathe. And what's with so many people wearing pajamas in public. I see it a lot these days when I'm traveling whether by plane or car. I guess it 's more comfortable, but it just somehow seems odd to me.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  24. Connie - Thank you so much! Congrats again on your new poetry book! I'm so excited for you! I'm glad this made you smile.

    Lee - Of course you were always right, so you have to come up with another example! I would live in pajamas if I could, and I love being comfortable around the house, but I don't think I could bring myself to wear them in public. I'd rather see people walking around in pajamas instead of belly shirts and short shorts especially when they're over 40. Thanks Lee!

    Julie

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  25. I'm not sure if Tony Bennett got surgery. Looking at that pic, it seems like he's still capable of forming expressions. :-/ Hm.

    Silly mistake of that woman to ask another woman's age. I mean seriously.

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  26. What a hilarious post! Your mom sounds like a hoot! My mother in law recently visited. I asked her a few questions say like...how do you like our new floors? She changed the subject. I took her for her first pedicure, thinking she'd enjoy the special attention to her feet and legs. When I asked how she liked it, her response was "yeah, yeah, yeah." I love my mother in law but sometimes fail to keep my humor as you do. Again...great post!

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  27. Hi Julie,

    Yay and you can relax! Yep, I'm actually here typing a comment! :) Your mother is quite the treasure and such amusing situations you seem to experience. Elevator etiquette, evidently requires that you fart and get out of the elevator so any other passengers can wonder which one farted.

    Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco but kept his face! :)

    Yes, sadly, I must now leave.....

    Gary

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  28. Misha - Ha, great point! I think his surgeon went easy on the Botox. My brother and I were raised to believe that our mom was still 29, long after she turned 40. Ok, he stopped believing it before I did. Thanks Misha!

    Terry - I feel terrible that your mother-in- law was so unappreciative. She waiting a long time for that pedicure, and even though she didn't thank you, I'm sure her feet did. My mother-in-law lives out of the country, and when we visited her in 2014 she didn't say one word to me until our very last day. We thought she was having trouble talking, but she lit up when her niece came to see her. Maybe they haven't forgiven us for taking their sons away from them. Thanks Terry!

    Gary - I feel much better now! I'm glad you aired out the elevator. Tony Bennett's face looks good on him, and the man can still sing! Thanks for sharing my silly story on FB, Gary! You're good people!

    Julie

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  29. There's always a certain level of 'tension' in a crowded elevator.
    Have you studied the elevator eye manoeuvre techniques? There's darting eyes, shifty eyes, upward staring eyes, blank eyes, downcast eyes... a blog post waiting for you to write it. LOL
    Thanks for the update on your mom. Sounds like she's still full of vim and vigor!

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  30. Empty Nest Insider has been included in our A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that we hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-sunday-drive.html

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  31. Michelle - Or a five sentence fiction piece for you! It would be really creepy to stand backwards in an elevator to capture all of the "elevator eye maneuver techniques!" Thank you, Michelle!

    Jerry - I'm honored to be included in "A Sunday Drive!" Thank you so much, and I'll head over to your place soon.

    Julie

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  32. Hi Julie...We have many mutual followers so here I am! Loved your post and can I just say it drives me crazy when people don't use elevator etiquette. Some are just down right rude. Your mom sounds funny. Mine will be 91 in January and she is one amazing lady. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.
    BB

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  33. This whole post was entertaining. Still, the best line again goes to your mom: "You don't worry enough." I can't stop laughing, Julie. Oy vey. It's always the uncaring daughter that gets the parents' tsores. (I'm not sure if I'm using that word right.)

    Happy Hanukah, longtime blog-friend.

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  34. Barb - It's so nice to meet you! How great that your mom will be turning 91 next month! Glad you agree about the importance of elevator etiquette. Thanks for following me, and I'll be over soon!

    Robyn - Ah, the troubles (tsores)! A+ for spelling! I about keeled over when she said, "You don't worry enough!" Happy Hanukkah my funny and talented devoted blogging friend! Thanks Robyn!

    Julie

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  35. The elevator etiquette test... What don't I know? ;)

    People are funny, don't you think?

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  36. Three cheers for Elevator Etiquette! Especially when there are PJs and a dog involved :)

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  37. Your mom is a riot. I love that she believed your brother but not you. And for me personally I hate when random strangers fail the elevator etiquette test by standing way too close to me. Like, rubbing shoulders close. Especially if the elevator isn't even packed.

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  38. Your mom is so funny! I think Tony Bennet is lovely. I don't like his singing but I think he is a lovely person.

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  39. Your mom is so funny! I think Tony Bennet is lovely. I don't like his singing but I think he is a lovely person.

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  40. Blue - I'm sure you'd pass with flying colors, and people are funny! Thanks Blue!

    Carol - It's great to see you! Yes, the PJs and the dog were delightful additions! Thanks Carol!

    Bryan and Brandon - Can you really blame them for rubbing shoulders with you? Even your cartoon characters have animal magnetism! Thanks B & B!

    Jenny - Tony Bennett does seem like a "lovely person," but I happen to like his singing which hasn't seemed to fade with age. Thanks Jenny!

    Julie

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  41. I kinda want to take your mom aside and tell her to start treating you a little better, but I'm sure that's my jaded perspective reading into this. Happy b-day to your mom. It sounds like she had a wonderful one.

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    1. Crystal- My mom has done more than enough good things for me, so I'll just continue to grin and bear it. She means well, and I'm grateful for the blog fodder! Thanks for your generous offer, Crystal!

      Julie

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  42. Some new "Julie's mom" tales is just what I needed today. Made my smile get even bigger. Your mom may provide an endless supply of delightful blog post material, but you, dear Julie, lovingly spin it into pure gold.

    Ever since a rickety (and rude!)old freight elevator I was on pooped out between floors with just me, a cart filled with medical supplies, and an orderly with a severe case of BO on it, I've had elevator trust issues. The orderly was perfectly polite, but not the elevator. Leaving us hanging between floors was a terrible breech of etiquette! Now, as long as my knees are behaving, I take the steps. :)

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  43. Your mom is a lovely lady, who speaks her mind, good or bad. My m-i-law is much the same. She says that at 89 she can do that.

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  44. Susan - Fortunately, my mom never locked me in a tower like Repunzel! Thanks for making my weekend, alright my month with your kind words, Susan! Hope you're doing okay. I know you have a birthday coming up soon, and I'll definitely give you a holler. It must have been pretty scary being stuck in that odoriferous freight elevator. I usually try to take the stairs too if it's only a matter of a few floors. Thanks again, Susan!

    Susan K - Sounds like your MIL really keeps you on your toes! I hope that she was a late bloomer. My mom has always said whatever's been on her mind to me since I can remember, and she's always been "lovely." Thanks Susan!

    Julie

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  45. Lots of points on that elevator test! Here's to your mom. It's nobody's business what the age of a lady is.

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  46. Your mom's cool. Love those stories. Thanks for sharing them to us.

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  47. Lee - You are absolutely right about a woman's age, and it does help to have a cheat sheet in the elevator! It's great to see you! Thanks Lee!

    Lux - She is one cool cucumber, and I'll tell her you said so! Thanks Lux!

    Julie

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  48. You are right. It is no ones business to ask any one about their age. I hope that all is well with you and your family and I wish that your wishes come true. Amen. Merry Christm

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    1. Thank you Munir, and I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas too!

      Julie

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  49. Great post.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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  50. Mom stories are the best!

    Might as well take this opportunity to add my end of the year post to all the bloggers I know and love! Thanks for your hard work, great posts, and bloggy friendship. Wishing you all the best in 2016 from "the Flipside."

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  51. Olivia - Thank you so much, Olivia! Wishing you all good things in the New Year!

    Cherdo - I feel the same way about you! Thanks for all you do, Cherdo! I can't believe how fast this year went by, and I hope that you and your family have a Happy & Healthy New Year!

    Julie

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  52. Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett were in a commercial? Good grief,I oughta watch more TV. Or maybe not.

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    1. Al, you and Bones definitely need to spend more time cuddling in front of the TV! Happy New Year!

      Julie

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