Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hands Free Chivalry

An Open Letter.

To the Woman Exiting My Office Building at Approximately 3:00 PM Today:

I just wanted to give you a small bit of background, then ask you one simple question, which, by the time I'm done writing this missive, will likely spin off to more than "one" question.

Background: My office devours soft drinks like crazy. We take turns paying for two "fridge packs" of canned beverages at a time. This afternoon, I did the obligatory CVS run and as a result, I approached my building lobby carrying two 10-packs of Coke Zero, one in each hand.

This is, I'm sure, a fact you noticed, since the doors to my building (I'd say "our building", but I don't know if you work here or are simply a guest) are made of glass. I'm not that tall. You can take in my entire body with one quick glance, which would then include seeing that I had no free hands.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you did not see how I had to use my right foot to open the first set of double doors (again, because of my utter lack of free hands), because I presume you were still walking toward the inner set of doors and thus not really looking at me at the time.

But it's at the inner set of double doors that you engaged in what I can only regard as bizarre behavior. Through those completely transparent glass doors, you observed me approach as I tried to enter the building. Those same doors would have yielded your egress. We would have passed through the doors at the same time.

I'm counting up the options you had at this point:

1. You could have pulled open the door and let me walk through, which would have been very nice of you; I would have smiled and said "Thank you" for your effort;

2. You could have pushed your door and walked through, then stopped and held the door open after you were done to allow me to walk through; again, I would have smiled and thanked you for your effort; or

3. You could have stood there like an idiot on the other side of the glass door and watched me, with no free hands, work my way through the doors on my own.

I think we both know which option you actually chose.

Look lady, I'm not saying that it was hard for me to get through that door. I'm not saying that, had you not been there, I would have somehow been trapped outside my office building forever until some kind soul took it upon themselves to open the door for me.

But WHAT were you THINKING? (That's the one question, by the way. All the rest of these that follow are just offshoots.) A guy comes up to a door that he's obviously less than 100% prepared to open, and your first response is to stand there bemusedly while he opens the door on his own? What, do you regard that as some kind of triumph of spirit moment? Perhaps you were standing there with your heart proudly beaming for my accomplishment: "Look at the little trooper; no hands and yet he still manages to get the door open! Good for you, son!"

I'm all for holding the door open for a lady. Actually, I'm all for holding the door open for anyone, regardless of their sex. It's just one society's niceties that, when exercised from time to time make this world a more pleasant place to live. Were I not carring two fridge packs worth of canned beverages at the time, it is quite likely I would have opened the door for you. But you know what? I'm not terribly inclined to engage in the polite niceties of society when doing so would result in substantially awkward bodily contortions as would have been required when balancing twenty cans of Coke Zero.

If there's a next time -- and I really would hope there's not one -- I think I might actually take the time to stop, put down one of the packs of soda, and reach into my pocket to retrieve a quarter for you, so that perhaps you'd be able to buy yourself a freakin' clue.



Exiting Woman said...


It's simply just too fun to watch men struggle like that. And besides, I wanted you to have something to write about in your blog. For I so enjoy reading it.

Woman Exiting Your Office Building at Approximately 3:00 PM Today

p.p. said...

Next time you see her, punch her in the throat.

duane said...

I love people like that... my favorite are the people that pretend the door has poison on it, and would rather let it hit them than actually touch it to open it for themselves. Or better yet, those that wait in line a double door, when people are coming out, so they don't have to be the one to actually open the other door. Bitches!