Twenty years ago or so, at the height of the feminists era, I was walking into a mall when I got to the entrance just ahead of a woman who was walking a few paces behind me. Being a polite young man, I open the door and stepped to the side to let her enter. I didn’t think much of it until the woman slapped my cheek and informed me she was able to open her own damn door.
Lessons learned: #1) Some people go out of their way to be offended and #2) Be careful who you open doors for.
I don’t want to sound overly traumatized, but that second lesson has stuck with me to the point that to this day if I open the door for a woman, I keep my eye on her.
Yesterday I was headed into a local store when I saw a woman approaching from the opposite direction. Realizing I was going to reach the door before her, I planned to open it… but old habits die hard so I started to check her out. My eyes were drawn to her right hand which held a lit cigar. And not one of those thin chick cigars either. We’re talking the kind of cigar a guy named ‘Lou’ chews on while he bets 20 bucks on the #3 horse of the fourth race. A stogy bigger than my left thumb.
About the time I noticed the cigar, the woman realized she was headed into a public building, so she -I kid you not- took a final puff then put the cigar out by placing the lit end in her left hand and squeezing. Glowing red embers and ash went everywhere and when she was done, she plopped the cigar in her shirt pocket and continued on like she did it everyday.
It was at that precise moment I decided to let her open her own door — just in case.