Man #1: But is it a guy or a girl?
This is what Man #1 said to Man #2 moments after I entered the elevator in my office building. I look up, surprised at their audacity, ready to bare my teeth, when I realize they are talking about someone else.
They move on to office chatter and gossip about avoiding a co-worker, until they come back around to whether or not it was a guy or girl.
Man #1: No, but seriously, is it a guy or a girl?
Man #2: I don't know.
Man #1: I just can't tell!
Then, I'm all riled up, and like a gender-neutral tea kettle I screech:
Me: Who cares?
Man #1 turns to me so slowly I'm afraid I might have to say it again. But eventually he turns to face me and says with pinched eyes:
Man #1: What?
Me: Why does it matter?
Man #1: You don't even know what we're talking about.
Me: I know. I'm sorry, you just sound ... really judgmental.
Man #1 huffs and puffs looking alternately at me and Man #2. His anger and confusion make his eyes look like they're about to pop out of his face.
Man #2: Just be quiet before someone gets hurt.
I decide Man #2 is warning Man #1 about me and how I could become violent at any moment. Either way, this is a long elevator ride and we have some time together. I'm on the 60th floor of my building and though the view is nice, it's insane how high up I work. We all stare at the video screen, reading about Kate Middleton's pregnancy, until the elevator doors open at the ground level. I start to rush past them, happy that I confronted this situation. But then:
Man #1: I was talking about my dog.
Me: You're talking about an animal?
My mind races. Am I a total, total asshole??? I conclude that I am.
Me: Ahh. My apologies.
So that happened yesterday, and when I told my girlfriend that story, she immediately said that Man #1 had enough time to think of a good excuse. She argued that it's really not hard to figure out if a dog is a boy dog or a girl dog.
Do you agree with her? Or, am I total asshole?