Posted in Throwback Thursday

Uncommon courtesy

At the risk of sounding like a relic, I have to say that sometimes it seems like there is no such thing as common courtesy on the road anymore.  It use to be you could turn on your blinker, and people would make room for you to change lanes.  That’s right.  The blinker was like a request.  “May I come over?”  Then your buddy in the next lane would ease up on the accelerator just a little bit.  Not enough to make him late for work, but just enough to say, “Sure!  There’s room for both of us.”

When I learned to drive, I was instructed to go slowly in parking lots because people who were backing up didn’t necessarily see you. Then if you saw their white reverse lights, you stopped so they had time and space to back up. Nowadays, if you see someone backing up, the protocol seems to be to honk so they know you’re barreling through.

Yesterday I made the mistake (or was it?) of going out of turn at a 4-way stop. We’ve all been there. You think you’re next, but maybe someone else thinks their next. So I went. As I passed the woman who obviously thought she was next, she gave me a look of horror like I had threatened the lives of her children in the back seat.

Call me sensitive, but a middle finger, a honk or a dirty look, can ruin my day. I’d be willing to bet if you knew me, you wouldn’t want to ruin my day.

And you know what? Today in a parking lot I almost pulled out in front of an SUV due to a huge pile of snow blocking my view. I slammed on my brakes enough to skid a few feet. You know what the woman in the SUV did? She waved at me and smiled! And that simple act revived my faith in humanity.

Would you rather ruin someone’s day, or make the world a little better place to live? You have that power.

Peace . . .

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Posted in Lore

Chivalry or Courtesy?

This gender thing is so confusing, isn’t it?  The last thing you need is one more person with another opinion.  Yet, here I am.  Let’s examine the simple act of opening a door.

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I was walking with a gentleman and having a conversation.  When we reached the door, what did I do?  I opened the door.  What did he do?  He looked like I had just asked him to step over hot coals.  He started, then almost tripped over his feet, looked at me, looked at the door, smiled, tried to usher me through . . . it was completely awkward.

Had I been with a woman, or he with a man, or if we had been each other’s gender, it would have been a smooth passage.  Why? because this is what you do for another person when you are walking and talking.  Except when you are a woman walking with a man.

There is a correct position to pull open the door for another person.  That is, when you are on the side of the door with the hinge, you can do one of two things.  You can walk through and hold the door behind you for your companion.  This is the choice most women make when they are in the door-opening position and walking with a man.  This enables them to avoid the awkward situation I encountered.  The other choice is to open the door and hold it for your friend, which is much more efficient, comfortable and practical.  Being a practical, efficient person, this is the choice I made.

There really are only a few things that men can do and women cannot.  Yes, they can pee standing up.  Listen guys, we can do that too, it’s just not a good idea.  I’m talking about strength, here.  I need someone to carry heavy things and turn stuck jar lids and crank on tight bolts.  Typically, this is the nearest man.  On my own, I can clear a plugged drain, change my own oil, and I can handle opening a door.  So ability was not the issue.

Were we in a dating situation where he would want to act chivalrous?  No.  We were in professional roles at the time.  So there was no need for me to be coy, feminine, or gentle.  Nor was there a reason for him to think he was going to “get any” if he acted polite.

Do I let men open my doors?  Of course!  Do I think for a minute they feel stronger for doing it?  Oh geeze, I hope not . . . in the same way that I don’t get offended when they do it.  Would I let women open my door?  All the time!  It’s not gentlemanly, it’s courtesy!

I don’t understand what the big deal is with opening doors.  It’s just about being nice.  It isn’t a gender issue, and it sure isn’t something that should embarrass or offend!

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A couple more posts to get you thinking about gender:

Women Are Crazy (The way to lose your female readers) / HarsH ReaLiTy
Unrealistic Expectatinos / Akela Kella