There is a woman in her 50s whom I see at an exercise class every week. I don’t know her well. We just work out together.
She sometimes asks me random questions as we’re leaving class, and this week in the elevator it was “what time do you usually sleep?” I told her usually before midnight. She tsk-ed and said that’s far too late.
In the interest of making conversation I replied that on the days I don’t bring work home I sleep earlier. And she retorted: “You shouldn’t be bringing work home at all! You have a child, you know.”
There were so many things going through my head as the elevator made its final descent.
– What do you know about my life?
– What do you know about having a child? (Point of information: she doesn’t have children.)
– Do you think I WANT to bring work home?
– Why DO you think I bring work home? Has it occurred to you that the alternative would be for me not to get home in time to see my daughter at all before she goes to bed?
Instead, I took a second to compose my face. I smiled and murmured something non-committal like oh well, if we lived in a perfect world…
Then I shrugged as the lift door opened and said bye, see you next week!