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Three people who seemed to know each other got onto the elevator with me coming back from lunch today.
There was the usual awkward moment of silence, when the female in the group said, “I just don’t like cinnamon that much.”

It was an odd thing to say in mixed company, but one can guess they were discussing Starbucks latest frapaccino monstrosity or something before getting interrupted by elevator etiquette.

Anyway, that’s not really what stuck with me. The taller guy responded very matter of factly:

“And, that’s why you’ll be alone the rest of your life.”

Whoa.

That’s a heavy punishment for somebody who can’t handle one of nature’s milder spices.

The girl laughed a small bit, but you could feel a strong sense of melancholy rushing in. 

In his haste to pretend he was the brash sidekick in some bland romantic comedy, the guy just laid bare the great misfortune of this poor girl (who, I hate to say, was not a young lady).

I could see her ruminating about grand failure in one of life’s most difficult endeavors.

Maybe she was too picky. Maybe she should keep her opinions to herself. Is that what it takes to land a man these days?

I felt sorry for her. She didn’t deserve this. Cinnamon is overrated.

The other guy stepped in, but I don’t think he helped matters.

“What ever happened to that Ecuadorian guy?”

“He moved back to Ecuador,” she replied quietly.

Oh no. The dreaded “girlfriend in Canada” gambit. She was trapped. Why was this elevator going so slowly?

I wished desperately for somebody to talk about the weather. That’s what small talk is for, right? When you get stuck in a small place and giant, existential dread floods the proceedings?

The bell dinged, the door opened and I couldn’t get out of that box fast enough. I think I heard her sobbing as the doors closed.

I realized these people didn’t really know each other after all.

Photo credit: Darwin Bell via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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