Most of my elevator rides these days are different than they used to be. They involve conversations. Yesterday evening’s ride on the Smith Tower Garage elevator is a good example.
It was about 6:30, and the normally busy crosswalk lobby was quiet. I’d been over at Methodist Hospital visiting dear friends. As I approached the elevator, I was joined by a physician in scrubs going home for the day. We smiled at each other, made eye contact while asking the “How are you” question, and then had a conversation about Galveston and wishing we could spend more time there sparked by my gimme baseball cap sporting a Sand and Sea logo. All that plus a “Have a good evening” in a one floor journey. Real human interaction between strangers who likely will not meet again.
Maybe the frequency of these conversations now-a-days is because most of my elevator rides are in hospitals. Or maybe it’s because I’m more comfortable in my own skin. Or, just maybe, it’s because in a wired, frantic world we all are more appreciative of actual face-to-face human interaction and connection. But whatever the causes, at least in my world, the old elevator etiquette of getting on, pushing your floor button, and then staring at the floor until the door opens seems to have gone out of fashion.
And I’m glad.