You know those moments where you have a very brief interaction with someone and it doesn’t go quite right, but you also know that by the time you stop and talk about the interaction – with a complete stranger – and hash out what should have happened, it is going to take 3 times as long as the interaction took and it’s going to feel very strange?
On Saturday afternoon I was a bit early for my hair appointment so I stopped at the Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, and as I was coming out of the door a guy was coming in, and he opened the door, and I don’t know if I thought he was holding it open for me to come through, or if I was supposed to wait off to the side and let him through, or exactly what the plan was.
It’s not even like we did that strange dance of “no, you first, no you”. I just went through the door.
And he was sort of talking to me, sort of talking to himself, and he wasn’t rude, it was like he was trying to puzzle out exactly what happened, in his head, except he wasn’t using his inside voice, and he said “Oh. I got to the door first and so I figured I would go through first and I opened the door so that I could go in and you went out and that was just really weird.”
I was in a hurry and wasn’t really in the moment, I guess you could say. No one told me there would be a moment and while my body was in Starbucks, my mind was already starting my car and driving the the hair dresser’s place and was possibly beyond that thinking about cashmere cardigans, which are my latest obsession.
Probably, I should have stopped and apologized or at least said that I assumed that he was holding the door open for me. It was really more that the door was open and I needed to go out of it and so I did, and there really and truly wasn’t anything more than that. I wasn’t trying to make a point about being a gentleman, I was just trying to get through a door with a hot cup of coffee.
Anyway, by the time I realized there had been a moment and not just a door that I was trying to get through it, the moment was totally and completely over and I would have had to go back into the Starbucks and find him and apologize for not paying attention. Which I suppose would have created a moment – another moment.
At least I might have been present for that.