For lunch today I decided to go to a local convenience store to get a bagel from their deli and for probably the first time in my life I was struck speechless. I still, over an hour after the attack, feel like I just got sucker-punched in the gut.
And I didn’t – at least not physically anyway.
As I was walking into the establishment a man held the outer door for me. So, as usual for me, I thanked him and to reciprocate, I stepped over to hold the inner door for him.
Not only did he grab the door out of my hand but he told me that he “couldn’t accept that.”
I should have had a good comeback. I’ve been a feminist for almost three years now and I always have one that makes at least one person smile (or clap or laugh) and at least one person question their own subconscious motives for their actions.
This was a first.
Now don’t get me wrong I love being on a date and having my date open the door for me or pull out my chair for me but it is a very different type of interaction than what happens at a convenience store between two supposed human beings on a non-date.
I still expect that I will select and order my own dinner and let the server know when I am done with my plate. The only exception to this would be if I was on a date with a culinary or wine expert, in which case, I may trust their experience to help me with my selections.
But I am still going to order my own damn dinner.
I really hope for my daughter’s sake that he was just trying to be nice, but my own experience has led me to believe that there are just some people out there who do not consider men and women equals.
And, niceness does not equate with kindness.
Sometimes being nice is just being a coward, like when you tell a little white lie to make someone feel better because you don’t want to tell them they have toilet paper stuck to their heel or food in their teeth.
Kind would be telling that person, even if it was slightly embarrassing for both of you.
Nice can also be weakness like when a person stays in a relationship because it is easier than being alone or because they don’t like confrontation or because they don’t feel they can do any better.
A kind person would not play games with someone else’s feelings. They would be brave and honest about their feelings and they would not misrepresent their intentions.
Kind is not always the easiest route but don’t kid yourself and say you are kind when you are really just being a nice coward.
Anyway, now that the situation is in my past I am still offended but I am clear headed and the comebacks are streaming in.
I will have to jot them down for the next time because I am sure that it won’t be the last.
And guys, be a gem and let her hold the door for you every once in a while – especially if you are not trying to get in her pants.