I have lived here for almost four years, during which time, the people in my apartment complex have not been particularly outgoing. In my opinion, this is primarily because of the type of people living here -- people who, like me, need the convenience of being close to everything, and as an extra added time-saving bonus, like being upstairs from a grocery store and assorted restaurants and shops. Plus, the place is always swarming with shoppers and tourists who inadvertently wind up trying to figure out why the apartment lobby does not lead to the public parking garage. So, as a general rule, nobody says "hi" to each other in the hallways, or holds the elevator, or acknowledges a person who might be their neighbor with anything more than a polite head nod.
For some bizarre reason, today, no fewer than 3 people said "hello" to me while I was on my way to pick up my dry cleaning. And, for some equally weird reason, I decided to hold the elevator for someone. Of course she then said to me, "Thanks. No one ever does that here."
Being my smart-ass self, I quipped, "I'm trying to be a better person."
I thought this was a conversation stopper. I was wrong.
Apparently, the woman saw this as an open invitation to talk to me for the length of our elevator journey. She started by raving about the convenience of living in our complex, but that quickly segued into a complaint about how the very convenient drug store did not have what she was looking for today. An observer might have concluded that she had known me for years.
Anyway, it was very uncomfortable, so I was greatly relieved to get off the elevator. And now, I'm going to have to think twice about doing that again.