Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Man holds the door.

Fortunately I am very blessed to have a husband who is very courteous and very much a gentleman, but now that I have a son I am insistent on teaching him good manners and how to be a gentleman as well. Here is an example of my recent pondering.

I went to pick up my daughter from school the other day and a young boy around the age of 9 or 10 ran behind me and pushed me a side as he proceeded to get in front of me to get to the door and ran into the building. Now one may excuse this behavior given the boys age and going with the assumption "boys will be boys" Well I proceeded into the building and picked up my daughter and on our way out another little boy maybe a year younger stood and smiled politely and held the door for us as we walked out.

Isn’t it funny — and by funny, I mean sad — that the only photo around of a man opening a door for a woman is from the 1940’s? This fact should tell you more than you need to know and only serves to re-enforce the resolve of SP to offer up these little finds unearthed in my archaeological digs. So here we go.

A man opens a car door for a lady. Yes, you know this and you practice this on a first date or two, then lapse into comfort. But you should be opening the door all the time so this practice becomes second nature. You open the door for your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, for any woman your age or older. In a nod to modernity, this rule can be relaxed when the sexes mix and it is all friends and no romance, but you should wait until the woman instructs you otherwise before you abandon this courtesy. And this isn’t just car doors, mind you. Front doors — any door you open — should be held open to allow a woman to walk through before you. If it’s an extremely heavy door you can push through before her and hold it until she passes. On a revolving door, give it a push to start the contraption moving then allow the lady to enter first. Alone. One person in a revolving door pie slice at a time please.
There are more rules about walking in front or behind a woman on the stairs (behind her on the way up, in front of her on the way down), or the exception of when you would walk into a room before a woman (if the room is dark or creepy), which we can cover in subsequent posts, but SP just wanted to get this out after witnessing some recent egregious behavior from men on the street. The front door policy goes for older gentlemen as well. Younger defers to older as man defers to woman.
On a similar topic, a man driving a woman home walks her to the door. Exception to this rule would be when you are the same age or the girl is younger and she jumps out of the car before you can react or perhaps you are old friends and this formality seems, well, formal. At night a gentleman driving a car should always wait until his passenger is safely inside the house or building before pulling away. This courtesy should be extended to anyone actually, man or woman. If you are driving someone home or to a destination at night, wait for your passenger to walk safely through the door. As for city folks entertaining in high rises or apartment buildings, a gentleman should always walk a woman to a taxi. SP has seen far too many a woman attempt to leave a party unescorted to the street. Even if she objects or refuses your offer, make up an excuse to run down to the corner deli for a pack of mints, and on the way you will safely deposit her into a taxi, feminism still intact.

Let me know your thoughts on the subject

(Social primer)
xoxo CC


  1. Another thing I love about my husband ...

    when we walk on a sidewalk - he always walks on the side closest to traffic. same with crossing streets. always on the side where cars are the closest.

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    send me a quick email to picy203@hotmail.com and i'll tell you about running ads on your blog and earning money - if you're interested.


  2. i totally agree with you. my hubby is extremely courteous to all people but most definitely women (his german grandma made sure of this!) but since i wasn't used to that, it was a little bit uncomfortable at first. i also have seen the way my friends and family are practically in shock when he opens doors for them, waits until all of us girls are in the car before he even opens his door to get in, he even bows his head a little when he extends his hand to meet my girlfriends for the first time.. we shouldn't feel uncomofortable or even shocked! i was reading a book to the kids i nanny for today about true heroes and true gentlemen so it's interesting how you blogged this today.. i'm sure little liam will be just like his dad! the best lessons learned are from examples!

  3. sarah ... here is the link: http://www.blogherads.com/for-bloggers

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