Monday, November 8, 2010

Cringe Factor

I originally mentioned awkward lift conversations in my blog title as a bit of a joke; they didn't really happen that often, but when they did, it was pretty amusing.

However. Recently, much to my alarm, the awkward lift conversations have been occurring at a much higher frequency. And they are ALL about the weather.

I'm not kidding. For some unknown reason, strangers are getting into the lift with me and having an uncontrollable urge to blurt out how beautiful and warm it is outside, or how unexpected that rain was we had last night. I don't know what it is. I must have that look about me. You know, the one that says 'please talk to me about the weather, cos I think it's the most interesting topic of conversation we could possibly have in the ten seconds we'll travel together in this lift, and it would really start my day off on a winning note.'
Yeah right....

It would be funny if it wasn't so weird. Or wasn't happening to me. My coworkers find it utterly hilarious. And what's even more bizarre is some of the encounters have been so quick. Like the other day, when a man stepped in and pressed the button for level 2. We were on level 1. He was only going up one floor, yes one floor. But as soon as the doors closed, he turns and blurts out, 'Wow, windy out there this morning!' smiling and nodding enthusiastically as he pats down his hair.

I am startled by this. I didn't expect to have to deal with the weather conversation when he was only travelling one floor! I attempt a smile and polite nod but even as I do so, the doors are opening on his floor and he's hurrying out and hasn't even noticed my response.

So what is the friggin purpose of these conversations?! It's a conspiracy if you ask me. Most people who know me well are very aware of my dislike of mornings. And if you're my family members, you would also be aware of my ill feelings towards any form of conversation taking place in the early am hours. If I arrive at work in the morning having only uttered 10 words or less, I would consider it a successful morning. I don't know why this is. My reasoning is that I would prefer to still be asleep during this morning preparation and travel time, so I try and pretend I still am unconscious by not speaking. Well, not really. But basically, it's just my slow way of waking up to the day without being assaulted by all sorts of unnecessary communication when my brain hasn't clocked on yet.

And number one on my list of unnecessary communication is WEATHER TALK IN LIFTS WITH PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW! I think it's mainly fuelled by the human instinct to break the awkward silence with the first thing that comes into their heads. And usually that is the weather. But seriously, why? Why do we feel compelled to talk nonsense to each other for seconds that could be spent in comfortable, relaxed silence?

People should really take a leaf out of my book. It's ok, it's not awkward, I promise! Just let me have my morning silence. Please? Thank you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

We're just mates

Guys and girls can't be friends. There, I said it. Oh sure, you can be tight with your bestie's boyfriend. Or have a great rapport with one of your exes, having realised you're no longer attracted to each other. But these friendships only work because of pre-existing factors - i.e. he's taken (by your best friend), or you gave it a go with him, but the sex was shit. So there's really no option to be anything but friends.

On the flipside, I have never come across two single, heterosexual members of the opposite sex who have managed to sustain a friendship without a remote trace of sexual curiosity from one or both parties.

It's natural instinct to survey the opposite sex for potential mate value. And a friend of the opposite sex couldn't be a more worthy candidate. I mean, don't the qualities we like in our friends form the basis of what we look for in a partner?

You see it happen all the time. A supposedly platonic relationship turned passionate affair after a few drinks at the pub. The confession of undying love from one party to the other, often only to discover it is unrequited. Or the most heartbreaking scenario - when feelings are kept to themselves, stewed over for years, but obvious to everyone around them. And why are these feelings never publicly acknowledged? Because the girl or guy is terrified of ruining their 'friendship' with their best mate, AKA the love of their life.

Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of male-female friendships where the romantic avenue has been travelled down, only to discover they took a wrong turn. There may be no hint of it now, but my point is at one time, if only for a drunken moment, there was sexual experimentation or speculation from one or both parties in question.

The friendship gig simply cannot play out between single man and single woman, as the elephant in the room will forever be present... you get along, you make each other laugh, you agree on the big issues, you've got each other's back... so why are you 'just friends'?? Perhaps you should grab a beer with them and find out..