You know that narcissist test where they ask if you have backup dancers?
No? Never heard of it?
Okay, so it’s this thing, not quite a quiz, and one of the statements is “I often visualize myself with backup dancers/singers.” For the record, I’m pretty sure that was the only one I agreed with, but I can’t remember for sure if there were others because my friends were so freaked out by the backup dancer thing (and the assertion that I need a theme song, too) that that became the topic for the rest of forever.
I was going somewhere with that thought… hang on…
Right! Doors! I don’t open ‘em.
This isn’t a “dainty lady” thing, I just don’t open doors. Other people open doors, and Other People never wash their hands—actual statistics are available, please don’t make me google that shit for you—which means they are literally smearing shit and eye boogies and cat food and semen on door handles.
That, in case you’re still not following me, is how you get atomic finger herpes.
It took my friend Nadeen over a year to notice this about me, because I am so adept at not opening doors; seriously, if we were hanging out (ooh, we should! Let’s do something soon, ‘kay?) we would go here and there and you’d be opening all the doors and never notice that it was happening. Your hands would be full and you’d find yourself juggling to get the door while I lagged behind and you’d never notice. I’m that good. She only noticed because one day she and her friend, whom I’d known for less time than it took to walk from the parking lot to the doors of wherever it was we were going, both moved ahead to get the door. Automatically, because that is the instinct of anyone walking near me. Anyway, with both doors open for me I made rather a grand entrance and they sort of trailed after me; the new girl noted that they were kind of like my backup dancers and that’s when it clicked for poor Nadeen that I’d never opened a door.
She was displeased, but what could she do? Doors are gross, I argued, and try as she might, in all the years since she hasn’t managed to manipulate the situation so that I had to open a public door.
Know what else gets vile and is rarely cleaned? Elevator buttons.
HIM: (steps into elevator)
ME: (joins him, fiddling with phone)
HIM: (trying to reach buttons past me)
ME: (flicks glare at panel)
HIM: You know, most people would have pushed the button. You just shot it a look and the doors closed!
ME: Well, given that I tend to push the buttons with my foot…
Yeah, see, sometimes I’m alone and going someplace that’s not loaded with people who can be compelled—by my charisma and shiny hair, I think—to open doors and press buttons for me. Fortunately for me, there’s the ADA, which means most places have doors that can be opened by pressing a giant button nearby. This button can be activated by foot, knee, elbow… whatever I’ve got available that’s covered in fabric. Husband used to think this was terrible, until we told a friend who is a nurse and she confirmed that she does the same damned thing. Because her job is to wash her hands eight billion times a day and the last thing she needs is to also have to wash them every time she touches a door panel crusted with ball sweat and ear wax.
HIM: (calls elevator with elbow)
ME: Got you doing it too, huh?
HIM: (whispers) This is where sick people go to die!
ME: Not this exact building
HIM: You don’t know. (points at directory plague) (loudly) People could die of… urology!
ALL: (glance at woman who came up behind us)
WOMAN: (stares awkwardly at her phone through entire elevator ride to our floor, then goes straight through clinic doors rather than stopping at counter)
ME: (at reception desk) Can you tell me, that woman in blue who just walked in… does she work in the urology department?
RECEPTIONIST: Oh… no, she’s in Neurosurgery with Dr. S.
ME: (to Offspring) We’re telling your dad she’s in urology, right?
OFFSPRING: Oh yeah.