Recently, I encountered an unpleasant young woman. As I was leaving the office one evening, she was ahead of me on the walkway. I couldn’t help noticing how she quickened her pace when she saw me behind her. She wanted to leave me in her dust… and I knew why. She didn’t want to have to keep the door that lay ahead of us open for me after she walked through it.
As anticipated, when she reached the door, she paused ever so slightly… just long enough to look at me before letting the door slam in my face. I walked through it of my own accord and she glanced back over her shoulder, not stopping to turn toward me. She said in a snippy voice, “Sorry. I have a three-second rule. If you’re not through the door within two seconds, I let go.” Notice that her patience altered from three seconds down to two seconds in one breath.
“Oh, really?” I responded, surprised, but laughing a little… hoping that if it was a case of her just being in a bad mood, I could lighten it… but nonetheless wasting my breath talking to her back, which was speedily making its way down the sidewalk away from me. “I always hold doors open for everyone who walks through behind me.”
The young woman tossed a squinty-eyed sarcastic glance over her shoulder at me, offering no verbal response. But it was inferred that she thought I was a complete waste of her time, effort and sympathies. She walked on, quickening her pace to create a greater distance between us, and I was happy to see her go. I had no desire to get caught up in her negativity.
By the way, if we are counting her three seconds as “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi…”, then she only actually held the door open for the length of a “One Mis–“.
In contrast to that experience… when my daughter and I arrive at home after an outing, if my hands are full as I’m walking toward our house (which is almost always), she dashes past me saying, “Hang on, Mommy. I’ll get the door for you.”
I so love her. 🙂