Um, Excuse Me?! I Just Held That Door Open for You


Last week I looked like a crazy bag lady. And then a crazy, ticked off bag lady.

While carrying my 42-pound toddler, my big-arse patriotic tote bag (‘Merica), my toddler’s travel toy bag and a travel snack bag, I awkwardly leaned and twisted my body to hold the door open for a woman exiting my doctor’s office.

She clearly saw me holding this door for her. Yet, she didn’t say “thank you.” She didn’t even smile or give me any kind of a look of acknowledgment or gratefulness. She just blankly looked at me and exited.

For real, lady?!

She had just talked to the receptionist and laughed and said goodbye, so I knew she could talk.

She saw me all contorted, yet still smiling at her, and holding the door open for her.

Perhaps my door holding was not impressive enough for her? Maybe next time I should roll out a red carpet, add a bag or two…and place a monkey on my shoulder?

So, I did what any rational person would not do and loudly quipped, “You’re WELCOME!” as she trotted away.

No response. Darn.

Anyway, it was seriously so irritating to me that this woman didn’t have enough courtesy or manners to extend a quick “thank you.”

Did she not realize she shouldn’t blindside a stay-at-home mommy who hasn’t really had quality sleep since 2010? (#momlife #yeahbuddy)

Ok, ok, so it might seem petty. I could have just kept my mouth shut and chalked it up to someone being rude or ignorant or distracted. I could have just whined and complained on Facebook. But, instead, I barked out like the petulant crazy bag lady I apparently am. It appears I also figured I would just vent here in a blog; that way only approximately 1 to 12 people would read about my spazzy and momentous mommy moments.

But, seriously, I just have to believe that by now people should just know better?! This was a GROWN woman. And this was not the only time something like this had happened to me; certainly it was happening to others, too (unfortunately)?

I didn’t hold the door to get a thank you…I did it because I was being polite. (And not to mention, quite crafty with my balancing of all those bags and a toddler. It could have easily transformed into a random bank or hair or credit card commercial of some sort with the way the sun was glistening on us through the office windows. Tee hee.) Anyway, I really don’t think it is too much for me, or for society, to expect reciprocity with things like simple manners and courtesy.

It illuminated to me once again, amidst other encounters over time where manners did not prevail, that sometimes common courtesy is completely nonexistent. I mean, I knew displays of manners were a dying breed, but I have always tried to be optimistic that by now people truly understand that being nice is a “cool” thing and ultimately the right thing.

As a country, we have witnessed some awful things happen over time; terrorism, bombings, school shootings, politics (I’ll leave it at that) and so much more…and we always seem to come together and talk about “prayers for this” or “prayers for that.” We tend to show compassion and empathy online ALL the time. Yet, in person, is that what we are always seeing demonstrated…compassion? Acknowledgment? Kindness? Gratitude for the little things in life? Helping others out and witnessing reciprocity? Incorporating the whole human element of actually being a human?

Sadly, not always. Yet, it shouldn’t always have to be the big things that garner our attention; the little ones all add up as well. We know life is not easy.

I learned all about a stranger’s foot problems, sleep patterns and car issues while I was sitting in the doctor’s office the other day. She had an ENTIRE conversation on her cell phone with someone, who I’m sure must have had bug eyes just like mine, and if that individual didn’t, then certainly alcohol (a copious amount) was involved. I seriously could, yet could not believe, that we were in this tiny waiting room and this woman thought it was totally acceptable to sit there rambling away and laughing maniacally at times on her cell phone. We were all captives, trapped in a small space, stuck listening to incessant TMI, trying to decide if we really needed to see the doctor, or if we could just suck it up and escape this madness. Sigh. This happens at the post office, restaurants, everywhere. It’s super annoying, and it’s kind of rude.

I could go on and on with examples (surprisingly people not thanking me for door holding has been the biggest offender lately…darnit), but I’ll stop there. We see craziness on the roads, at work, at school, in public and even in our neighborhoods. I know that poor manners are not always exhibited purposefully, yet, perhaps we need to re-evaluate our actions and snap out of the blur that sometimes encapsulates our everyday life (especially with technology).

Ultimately, I know I can’t control what others are doing, so I have reminded myself to focus on what I can do, which is to continue being polite myself (and not yell “You’re welcome!” at people), and to model for my son kind behavior and how to treat others. I am proud when I hear him say “please” and “thank you.” He is only 4, and he is on the right track in this department. (If I could just get him to stop sticking his butt out, we might have a winner, winner chicken dinner!)

I can also choose to be genuinely be happy when people do nice things, and also, when they offer appreciation for kind acts or everyday gestures. Luckily these still happen, more so than we probably hear about; my goal is to focus on embracing such moments.