I’m Done Opening Doors

Chivalry is officially dead.

That’s because while chivalry was still alive (thanks to me) and I went around opening doors for old folks, people with walkers, delivery guys carrying boxes with both hands, attractive women with no ring on their left hand, children with autistic qualities, groups of soccer players, foreign dignitaries, and nurses carrying body parts ready for transplantation — no one said thank you whatsoever.

I think that’s probably why I’m done opening doors.

While chivalry was still alive and I was single-handedly responsible for all the open doors of goodwill throughout the greater Los Angeles area, there was no goodwill coming back my way. Mind you, I never reinstituted chivalry in Los Angeles to get thank yous. I didn’t recreate the French Romantic period currently being recreated on film by Sophia Coppola to be seen as a Renaissance man. I didn’t work out my forearms with painful and complicated wrist-lifts with 5 lb dumbells just so I could swing open doors in one full swoop and receive accolades that would bolster my fragile self-confidence.

No — I opened doors because I simply wanted to be that guy.

that guy (thAt g*eye, noun): one who is chosen over “the other guy” to be involved in any activities near or far that necessitate one more participant. one who is a tastemaker, fad-creator and confidant in a myriad of once-complicated situations. the one and only, that guy. “That guy is the shiznit.”

I don’t care about chivalry, although it might be attributed to my act of opening doors. I don’t care about notoriety, although causing chivalry to come back into fashion may very well be added as a line to my wikipedia entry thanks to the opening door fad. I don’t care about the “aww-factor” which usually accompanied the act of opening doors by others watching the door opening calvalcade. But what of the openees? Those on the receiving end of my door-opening goodness?

They couldn’t care less.

That’s why I’ve decided I’m done opening doors. So if you’re handicapped, using a walker, trying to open your apartment security door while carrying two bags of heavy produce from Whole Foods, blind, mute or deaf, one who walks with a limp, has a skewed equilibrium and is constantly dizzy, is short (like a midget, dwarf or circus freak) or simply appears to be a single woman on the prowl for a Hugh Jackman-esque gentleman of sorts who still opens doors in this day and age…

Keep dreaming.

Because me and open doors are no longer bedfellows.

14 comments on “I’m Done Opening Doors

  1. Kathleen - October 28, 2006 at 11:15 am -

    I remember this nice guy in New York got me a cab once because none of them were stopping for me.

    that dude was all right.

  2. Pauly D - October 28, 2006 at 4:30 pm -

    Kat – I wonder if that guy is still getting cabs for women in New York or if he’s finally realized that such things will never get him anything more than a “nice guy” label and has abandoned it all.

  3. Gene - October 28, 2006 at 8:15 pm -

    Sorry that is your experience, here in the Mid-West, I still operate with my mother taught manners of opening doors for folks and assisting others in need. I receive regular “Thank You’s” but I do not do it for the thanks. I do it because it is the right thing to do and doing the right thing is the right thing to do. I do not care how discourteous the world may become, I still am going to be courteous. I work in a hospital caring for some seriously ill persons with mental issues. A calm demeanor, a caring attitude, firm boundaries, and skillful redirectability are additional charms for courtesy. IIWII

  4. Kathleen - October 28, 2006 at 8:16 pm -

    I think he got a side hug too…


  5. Safiyyah - October 29, 2006 at 2:33 am -

    Opening doors matters more to most women than you might think. A random girl might give you a second look, but those little things make all the difference to a girlfriend or wife. Of course, if you’re opening doors and participating in all of the outward niceties without being kind and generous in privacy, you’re making a pretty shoddy impression on the woman you’re trying to please. 🙂

  6. Janet - October 29, 2006 at 8:38 am -

    Then again, you do live in Los Angelos.

    I’m just saying.

  7. Merel - October 29, 2006 at 12:51 pm -

    I would have said thank you if you had opened a door for me!

  8. Gina - October 29, 2006 at 3:02 pm -

    I think you’re lying. I think a man who has been so nice his whole life doesn’t just stop. I believe you, and everyone else who is frustrated with the no-thank yous of life, will go on still being nice. And will also probably be known as “that guy” who did something nice for someone without being thanked. But someone will remember you for what you did, even if they never said thanks. I’m a teacher–think there’s loads of “thanks” in that profession?! But when one of my kids, or a parent, says “thanks” to me, I know it means something.

  9. Jody - October 29, 2006 at 3:04 pm -

    Pauly, I always, always say thank you to any man, woman or child that holds a door open for me. Always! Maybe it’s because I was raised with manners and still use them. By the way, I stopped taking carry on baggage because I could never get anyone to help me put my luggage in the overhead bin. While my bag may be heavy for me, every man that has ever lifted it has told me it wasn’t heavy at all. Nonetheless, men would see me struggling to get my bag in the overhead bin and sit there dumbfounded. Again, if anyone every helped me they got a thank you at the time of help and then a thank you when I deplaned. I’m just that way.

    Don’t give up. There are people out there that are appreciative. Besides if they don’t say thank you, then say it aloud to yourself so they can hear and then follow up with a your welcome. Perhaps you will get through their thick skulls and make them feel guilty.

    Excuse me is another term people seem to have forgotten also.

  10. Arnold Villeneuve - October 29, 2006 at 9:10 pm -

    I agree with you 110%. If I did not open a door for a child, lady, women, elderly person, or even another guy needing a hand because his hands were full my Mom would smack me and rightfully so. However, I really get peeved when you go through the trouble and the person you just helped does not even say thank you.

    I’ve taken a different approach and a very up front one than you have. I’m not going to let peoples rudeness stop me from doing a good thing. Instead, I’ve decided to be direct and confrontational. When I open a door for a lady, or anyone for that matter, and she/he does not say thank you, I point out to them in a very direct way that it is polite to say thank you when someone opens or holds the door for you. And man, does that approach take people back, especially if there are other people around that noticed the rudeness as well.

    It’s a kind of direct pay it forward corrective attitude adjustment approach.

  11. littlepurplecow - October 29, 2006 at 10:07 pm -

    Consider pulling out chairs. I find that this act of chivalry is less common and therefore more impactful. It’s tough to ignore someone with the power to send you to the floor.

  12. cinekat - October 30, 2006 at 7:03 am -

    I know how you feel – I was raised to give my seat to the elderly/handicapped/pregnant passengers getting on the bus/tram/subway, and always do so. However, every once in a while there’s some lady who isn’t pregnant or doesn’t deem herself elderly … and man, they can get nasty.

  13. Darlene - October 30, 2006 at 2:32 pm -

    Gee, I’ve just just discovered this blog and now I find out that its author wouldn’t open the door for me. Oh the shock, the horror.

    Cinekat is right though.

    I can also say the worse offenders for not opening doors or giving a seat to a “lady” (whatever a lady is) are blokes or a pregnant woman. Horrible!!!

    Here you go, Paul, hit the link here (and possibly here).


  14. Darlene - October 30, 2006 at 2:34 pm -

    I think I meant to say blokes are bad at giving seats to ladies and pregnant women. Excuse my lack of eloquence.

    I wouldn’t diss pregnant women, the heifers.

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