"You hear that all the time don't you?"
I just nodded. A few seconds before I backed, carefully, onto the elevator we were now both riding. He said, cheerily, "Bet you wish you had those back up beepers, don't you?" As if that weren't enough he made a couple 'beep beep' sounds. It's a laugh riot, I'll tell you. I didn't say anything, I just gave him a weak smile.
"I knew it when I said it that it was a stupid thing to say, but I couldn't stop myself," he said while I thought, "yes you can."
After a few moments silence he started up again. "People always say to me, 'How's the weather up there?' or 'Can you see my house from up there?' It's never funny, it's always annoying and I just did the same thing to you." I then looked up at him and, indeed, he was very, very, tall. I said, "Yeah, I don't find it funny either, in fact, to be honest, it's irritating. But I tell myself that people are just trying to find a way to connect."
Another few moments of silence, "I don't see it that way at all. I see it as very sophisticated name-calling. I always feel centred out or pointed at when people say those things. I don't see them as a way of connecting I see them as a way of distancing."
And we arrived at my destination, he was going a few floors further down. I wished him a good day, he gave me another quick apology and I was on my way.
This conversation has stayed with me.
Troubled me a bit.
So I come to you ... those of you who get the same 'jokes' over and over and over again - how do you see them? Help me out here - is he right?