Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Everyday Chivalry 101

Now, I don’t want to stir up any big fights about gender roles/expectations, but there are a few things that I think every person in the world should try to practice. If you’re a lady this means knowing when it’s appropriate to cross you legs or cross your ankles, and wearing the proper colored bra.

All people in the world should cover their mouth when they cough or nose when they sneeze, never unapologetically burp—or worse—in public, and chew with their mouth closed.

As for men, I could go on and on over what I think every many should say/do; part of this stemming from being an optimistic single female, part of this stemming from being an older sister who wants her younger brother to be the most perfect man. But really truly, there’s just one thing that I hold above anything else.

When guys hold/open the door for a girl.

This is on my mind because a few days ago I had to stop for some gas. I was on the way to the gym and had forgotten my bottle of water so I figured I’d step inside and grab one. Now, I won’t lie to you, I was looking hott. I was wearing my favorite black spandex capris leggings and my pink Waco Lions t-shirt. My hair was in a ponytail and since I hadn’t been anywhere that day I had on no make up. Oh, and I didn’t have any deodorant on either (I didn’t go anywhere that morning and so my whole routine was off!) As I’m hurrying into the convenient store a guy is coming out. He looks like trouble—baggy shorts, a shirt four sizes too big, a ridiculous cap, and some pretty spectacular sneakers that put my three year old Nikes to shame. But what does he go and do? Straight up backs up, catches the door and holds it open for me. I of course whisper a thank you as I fly in, not at all conveying how I’m really feeling.

What I wanted to say is, “Whoa! Thank you so much! I really appreciate that!!!” Because that’s how I feel anytime anyone holds the door open for me. When I’m running into the school, when I’m at a restaurant, when I’m at a store—anytime a stranger does that I’m always taken aback. Sure, that’s what I expect all guys to do, but I’m not really expecting them to do it.

There’s also something about random acts of kindness from strangers…hmm

Like that kid who held the door open for me at the gas station. After my initial wow-I-can’t-believe-that! moment the next thing that popped into my head was “He has a sweet little mom who taught him right.” Why am I like that? Why am I thinking about strangers’ mothers?

When my guy friends hold the door I’m also surprised. We’re friends, we’re overly comfortable with each other, we’ve known each other too long. But when my little guys do that for me or any other girl I get that proud little mama feeling.

So my little brother is turning thirteen this week and he’ll officially be a teenager. And while there are so many things I want him do (wear a white undershirt, remember to spray a little cologne everyday, not make fun of people or laugh at their expense, never wear white socks unless they’re cut below the ankle and you can’t see them), the most important thing I want him to do is to start practicing becoming a man who treats all girls nicely, and to hold the door for people, girls and guys.

I guess I want him to become a doorman? I keed, I keed.

And for some more comic relief:

1 comment:

rena said...

i love it. i love the entry and i agree. i also love the last cartoon, that's SO the only reason guys hold doors open for us;)