Friday, July 21, 2006

Flaws in praise

One day last week on my way back in the office after lunch, I stopped after I pulled open the door and started through, and waited a couple seconds to hand it to a woman who approached. I didn’t pull it open for her to let her walk through; I merely didn’t let it fall shut so she’d have to pull it herself. I’ve held the door for many people, male and female, so for me this was no big deal. She, however, couldn’t believe it, and made a point of commenting on how unusual it was to find a gentleman. As it turned out, we both headed to the escalator, and she continued to remark on it. I muttered something that I don’t even remember now just to acknowledge she was still talking.

I think more guys would be likely to hold the door for her if she didn’t make such a production of mentioning the pseudo-chivalry; I’m sure all the guys within earshot who didn’t hold a door unconsciously thought, Well, I’m not going to do it now.

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