Advanced search think this woman was being ridiculous

(159 Posts)
MrsCosmopifairylight Sun 14-Dec-14 22:48:38

I was out shopping yesterday in a small local branch of a chain store. The store has a lift and a flight of stairs.

I was coming up the stairs with my 3 year old (who was a bit ahead of me), and there was a woman at the top of the staircase.

Woman at top of staircase was peering down, anxiously, holding onto the rail. I assumed she was nervous about falling, so asked DD to stop and move aside so the woman could come down the stairs.

Woman remained at the top of the stairs, and then a young boy passed me and DD, and started to go up. Woman appeared even more anxious.

I said we'd stop to let her pass, so she could come down.
Then she said to us, and to young boy (who was headed to where she was) "I'm very superstitious. Please can you go back downstairs so I don't have to pass you?"

I rolled my eyes and stomped past her, with DD. Woman shot me nasty glares.

There was a shop assistant upstairs, about to approach the woman, but as the stairs were now "safe" she'd headed off to leave the shop.

If she was that bothered why the fuck didn't she use the lift? Or why didn't she just wait for other people to come up the stairs?

I don't understand superstition and I find it incredibly frustrating when there is no rational explanation for this sort of behaviour.

Before I get totally flamed, I've a friend with a number of mental health issues including OCD. She advises me that she has issues with things, and I accept these. However, she would NOT ask other people to go out of their way to accommodate her needs. If she needed to not pass people on a staircase then she'd get in a lift.

ghostyslovesheep Sun 14-Dec-14 22:53:47

oh for goodness sake

your friend doesn't represent everyone with mental health issues - maybe this woman was different?

Inconvenient for you - yes

probably quiet inconvenient for her as well

would it have killed you just to go back down?

ghostyslovesheep Sun 14-Dec-14 22:54:18

<why AM I biting - this place is full moon tastic tonight>

Wonc Sun 14-Dec-14 22:55:51


LadyLuck10 Sun 14-Dec-14 22:55:55

This happened yesterday, move on.

LineRunner Sun 14-Dec-14 22:56:35

My dad won't pass people on the stairs.

PrincessFudgeBonnet Sun 14-Dec-14 22:57:21

YABU to use your friend as a measuring stick for other people with mental health issues. Have you even considered that stairs AND lifts could be an issue for people with certain conditions?

DixieNormas Sun 14-Dec-14 22:57:42

We didn't the women just go back up

ThereIsAPartridgeInTheKitchen Sun 14-Dec-14 22:57:44

She sounds like she has anxiety or similar. I understand that as I have anxiety and have went through periods of time where I went through superstitions like this one.

As for why she didn't use the lift - she might be claustrophobic.

SamCroClaus Sun 14-Dec-14 22:57:48

a lot of people really believe you should not pass on stairs

ThePinkOcelot Sun 14-Dec-14 22:58:08

Why should the op have had to go back down for this womans superstitions?! I wouldn't have either.

AnnieLobeseder Sun 14-Dec-14 22:58:14

Of course she was being ridiculous. You were already most of the way up the stairs. If it bothers her to pass people on the stairs, the onus is on her to wait until the stairs are free or use the lift. She's especially unreasonable to expect a 3yo child to go back down and come up again, since stairs are not especially safe for young children.

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKahleesi Sun 14-Dec-14 22:59:17


Why should everyone have to go back downstairs? If she has a problem passing people on the stairs she needs to wait until the stairs are empty, not inconvenience everyone else

greeneggsandjam Sun 14-Dec-14 23:00:32

So what happens if you pass someone on the stairs??

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Sun 14-Dec-14 23:01:12

Not passing in stairs is a very common superstition that a lot of people adhere to rigidly, it would have been politer to just wait for you all to come up but if it was causing her a lot of anxiety, or if she was stuck there because of a constant stream of people coming up then it wasn't unreasonable to ask and it sounds as though she was polite, she didn't deserve eye-rolling and stomping past.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 14-Dec-14 23:01:17

I would have indulged her. It's just the nice thing to do.
Then I would have been pleased with myself, then forgotten about it.

ThereIsAPartridgeInTheKitchen Sun 14-Dec-14 23:01:33

Probably nothing much. Some people believe it's bad luck though.

SpringBreaker Sun 14-Dec-14 23:01:57

You could have cut the poor woman some slack. My stepdaughter is petrified of escalators and lifts. She literally turns to jelly and cannot use either.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 14-Dec-14 23:02:08

I wouldn't have gone back down. Her superstition, her problem.

feelingunsupported Sun 14-Dec-14 23:03:04

I'm not superstitious but my mum is so a lot of the not passing on stairs / saluting magpies etc is habit / just natural to me

I cross my fingers when I have to pass people on the stairs as it makes me feel like I've partially done it.

<Just realised that I am a little bit odd.No wwonder dp says I'm crazy like my mum>

WhatsGoingOnEh Sun 14-Dec-14 23:03:29

I thought passing on the stairs wasn't unlucky as long as you talked as you passed? So if you'd muttered "you absolute nutjob," as you walked past her, she'd have been safe.

LineRunner Sun 14-Dec-14 23:03:46

I don't know what the bad luck is supposed to be. Meeting my mother, probably.

PrincessFudgeBonnet Sun 14-Dec-14 23:04:04

She only asked after OP suggested waiting. She didn't demand it from anyone or assume people should wait for her. It's very easy to be put on the spot like that and panic and blurt out the actual thing that could help you rather than pretend to be normal (for lack of a better word).

ghostyslovesheep Sun 14-Dec-14 23:04:27

Why should the op have had to go back down for this womans superstitions?! I wouldn't have either

because from what the OP says the woman was distressed and anxious and it's called being kind

SnakeyMcBadass Sun 14-Dec-14 23:05:35

I'd have carried on as well. I understand not passing on narrow staircases in case you fall, but public staircases are generally wide enough for the 'keep left' rule.

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