Elevator Games and the Labels We Wear (or Don’t)

Let me spill the beans on a quirky little game I play in elevators and how it led me to challenge a label I didn’t even know I wore.

Spoiler alert: It involves a fist bump, a teenager, and a whole lot of overthinking!

So, flashback to a year ago. Picture me, the life-of-the-party dance school owner, sitting in a psychiatrist’s office. Why? ADHD stuff. But then, out of the blue, he drops this bombshell: “You might have social anxiety.” Say what now? Me? The guy who can salsa his way through any crowd? It felt like being told I’m a cat when I’ve been barking all my life.

Fast forward to a seemingly ordinary Sunday. I’m in an elevator, and I hit the button for the 10th floor. A couple and a teenager join the ride. Now, here’s where it gets fun: I have this silent, totally-not-competitive game where I hope people press a floor above mine. It’s like a mini victory lap in my head when I exit first. But alas, I was set to be third out. Bummer, right?

I chuckled at the irony, and realized they heard the laugh…but did not know the context. I saw the couple shift a little further away from me in discomfort.

Now, most people might’ve just smiled and looked away…or just looked down at their feet until their floor.

But nope, not me! I decided to dive headfirst into the sea of awkwardness. “Hey, ever play the elevator game?” I blurted out, explaining my silly little ritual. And guess what? They laughed! We shared a giggle, and as the couple left on the 3rd floor, I gave them a playful salute, “Good job guys!”

But the real challenge was yet to come. The teenager. I felt this urge to give him a fist bump. But oh boy, the what-ifs started flooding in. What if he leaves me hanging? Do teenagers even do fist bumps anymore? But hey, I’m the guy challenging labels, right? So, I went for it. “Hey, buddy! You totally won this round!” I said, extending my fist. After a suspense-filled moment, he bumped it back with a grin, “Thanks, dude!”

Stepping out on the 10th floor, I felt like I’d just won the Olympics of social interactions. Who knew an elevator ride could be such an adventure?

Life Lesson: We all wear labels, some self-stitched and others handed to us. But here’s the fun part: we get to decide if they fit. So, whether you’re dancing through life or playing silly elevator games, remember to challenge those labels and embrace the playful moments. After all, life’s too short not to fist-bump a stranger!

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