Every day I am amazed at how the simple things, that are signs of good breeding, go unobserved. As a young single girl, back in the day, the door was held for me often by those that thought themselves gentlemen. I say, thought themselves for this reason:
As I started a family and became a mom, I noticed a transition in the respect held for the simple gestures.
A new mom, struggling to juggle the diaper bag, bulky stroller, and demanding child, I ventured out solo after a few weeks into motherdom and noticed how different the manners of those around me. No longer did I get doors held open for me. In fact, the more I took note of it…doors were held open less when I was with my stroller than when I was by myself. This amazed me! Obviously, here is a new mom trying to fit a big stroller through a heavy door, and men and women alike actually hurried to get a head of me…not to hold the door open but to walk in the door before me.
Now I know that sounds kind of harsh, so let me clarify. There were a few kind gestures from strangers now and then, but I noticed they were all women. Women now were opening doors for me! Wow, what a switch. Now, four years into motherdom….I find myself making sure I open doors for those mothers struggling to get it all together and through the doors at the mall or the grocery store. It makes my heart feel good when I hear a grateful, “thank you!”
This email isn’t meant to bash anyone, as that’s not me at all. I’m just trying to make people think a little bit. For example, last night my husband took me to dinner and a concert. I have a bum knee right now and was needing to sit down. I looked around the waiting area at Red Lobster, where we had a 30 minute wait, and noticed that most of the men were sitting down. Men sitting down, where there were women with child and women beyond their years standing!!! It make my blood boil! This was not the first time I had been to this same restaurant where this happened.
I know I’m only 34. To some of you that may seem really old. To some of you that may seem really young. Either way, I amazed at those around me. I was raised that men should open the door for ladies and give up their seats to a female, young and old. I realize that it’s very old school in thinking, but it’s just common courtesy!
Last night, there was a split second for me to make a dash to an open seat to continue my wait for dinner. I saw an open seat and knew others were going to take it if I didn’t grab the chance. There were about 3 men trying to angle it for it as well. It was like musical chairs with a vengence. I hobbled as fast as I could, and almost sat. I looked up and there was a 65 plus year old lady. I sat my bottom on it for one second to claim it—kinda like licking the home made roll to keep your sibling from eating it. Then I stood up to offer it to this older lady, who’s eyes lit up when I motioned her to sit. I made my way back to my husband, and said a little too loud to who ever could hear, “There’s no way I could take that seat, when there was a lady that needed it worse than I did. That would just be rude!”
I don’t get angry very often, but those in society who are just clueless to common courtesies get me every time. If you’re one, who don’t recognize your surroundings, please take note:
Men–Please give up your seats if there is a woman standing and waiting for anything–whether it be the subway, a restaurant, or a medical wait room. At least make the offer, so if a woman doesn’t want to sit…she can make the decision and appreciate your good manners.
Young women—ditto for you when it comes to relinquishing your seat for older women, who have paved the way for you.
And remember if you see a mom, trying to push her stroller through a heavy door. It’s a double task to open a door and push something big through it….do a good deed and get the door for her. It’s commom courtesy.