When I was younger we used to pass on the stairs. I remember this because we had a relative from Canada come to live with us and she made a point of telling us that she wouldn’t pass on the stairs. She thought it was bad luck or she thought she was too wide or something. I remember it making no sense at the time. She used to make a point of lots of things and she was generally annoying like that but hey, what can you do when you are eleven? Anyway, that’s how I remember that the rest of us didn’t mind passing on the stairs, because she was different.

I’ve recently finished working in an office where we worked upstairs with the kitchen downstairs. All day we’d be up and down to the kitchen and frequently I’d meet someone coming the other way. The stairs weren’t nearly as narrow as those in a house, although they were not quite as wide as a double width staircase. Colleagues would always wait when someone was on the stairs, often forcing some delay. This seemed strange to me, there was plenty of room.

Is there some change in people that I’ve not noticed? Over all these years of working at home have I lost touch with the etiquette of stairway traffic? Are people more sensitive about personal space? Did I grow up in a family where we were happier to share out stair space? Or was I so small at eleven that I could get past anybody? Hang on…?

It’s just a notion and I thought I’d share.