Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have to admit I love etiquette books.  If you ever wondered who actually reads them for pleasure not simply as a reference, look no further.  Miss Manners books I can highly recommend because she can be politely snarky, and both G and I love it!  And she has a column published at the Washington Post and I recently found one in a Buffalo newspaper online that allows me to get more of her each week.  

Today I was reading about women and doors being held open for women and I knew I needed to find out how everyone else handles this!  G and I are unusual in that he likes to open doors and I've come to expect it.  There have been a couple times when I'm out on my own that I reach a door and have to pause and think to open it for myself (not too often, since usually there is a man around who holds it for me).  G opens my car door and can tell when I'm upset with him because I will get my own door, although usually he fights me for it!  He also walks on the outside of me (whatever side is closest to the street), and we've actually gotten it down to such a habit that when we turn and the outside side switches we seamlessly weave around one another while still walking so that he's on the outside.  It's habit, something I don't even notice usually.  He also has begun helping me into my coat, and other little niceties.  

So I was wondering........ 

Are you a woman who likes doors held open for her and says "thank you" when they are?  Are you a gentleman who holds doors open for ladies and elderly?  (for that matter, women you should be holding doors open for the elderly too!)  Are you an equal opportunity door holder who holds the door for anyone behind you?   Or are you a person who hates it when doors are held open for you and considers it an insult?  I've been all three of these options before (obviously I don't qualify for the gentlemen one!), so I am curious as to what other women and men think.  Sound off please!


  1. I don't mind if a door is held open for me, I appreciate it, but I don't stress if it is not. I always say thank you to whoever holds the door, and I am a common door holder myself! The only thing I really hate is if you reach the door at the same time as someone (or go through a double door, if someone holds the first door should you hold the second one for them??) and there is that weird moment of who is going to open the door and are they going to hold it for the other person. :)

    If I am walking ahead and as I go to open the door I see someone coming close behind me I'll hold it for them. If they are elderly, in a big group, carrying something, with a child, etc I will wait for them if I see them coming even if they aren't too close yet.

    My husband tends to open doors to buildings and such most of the time, but he doesn't open the car anymore. He used to, but half the time I would forget and jump out (getting in it usually worked). Life got in the way of that habit though, we have a 21 month old daughter and between one of us getting her out and the other getting all the stuff we tend to both get our own doors in and out. :)

  2. Sheesh, I wrote a book! Sorry! I type fast so I tend to get carried away. :)

  3. Jesse is the same way with doors. He actually gets upset if I forget and grab my own door (which happens often). I've gotten better at waiting for him to get the door though. Lol.

  4. Before I felt that I can open my door and no need a man to do it. Now I love that my husband does open the door for me. Also, I do hold the door for others if they are behind me.

  5. I enjoy having doors etc held open for me - and always say thank you. I have always felt this way. In my family and my school this was normal behaviour, so I just grew up assumign it was normal and never taking offence. Now that I am older and I know the opposing arguments, I still like to see it as a polite, deferential courtesy that has no bearing on my abilities, but rather a politeness offered by one person to another.

    I always thank peoplem, and in fact I will say thankyou to others even if I am in the first spot to get out of the lift/door first anyway....I think it's a nice little reminder that I am grateful, and men are more likely to do it next time if they know I expect it and am grateful for it. I'm lucky in my profession most men do defer to women in the simple courtesies - opening doors, standing when a woman enters or leaves the room, offering to carry heavy material etc. I see no harm in it - I always thank someone if they do it, but don't make an issue if they don't. Of course, I am happy for this little old fashioned, polite courtesies, but conversely I do not expect to be patronised or treated any differently in respect of my work or my mind....

    However I think some people can take it too far in this direction - a friend of my mother's once said she had never touched a door knob in her life (the implication being someone had always opened it for her), which I thought (and still do) was ridicules. And I have been in lifts/trains etc at times when the male is in the closest position to the door and should exit first, but he contorts and breaks his back trying to hold a position to allow the females on the lift to exit first. To me that’s just a bit silly.

    (Please can no feminists attack me and accuse me of taking the sacrifices and achievements of the past lightly. I'm grateful to all feminists who paved my way - and greatly appreciate that the practical effect of their achievements allows me to live and work as a (mainly!) equal member of society. The above is my interpretation of the way I chose to live in that society).


  6. I echo Kaycee's comment - that once children are in the picture, there is simply too much to do! However, nowadays my husband opens the door for me if getting in the car - but I open it for myself when getting out, unless there is some obstacle, like dress or weather, making it difficult.

    Thanks for the Miss Manners link! I also read her in the Washington Post, plus you can find her on MSN Lifestyle http://lifestyle.msn.com/Relationships/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=8318975

  7. My He-weasel is a gentleman. He always gets the door for me and I love it. Every time he does it I feel so grateful to have such a gentleman.

  8. Kaycee-- I too tend to write long comments on blogs, so feel free to do so anytime! I tend to jump out of the car before my husband has a chance to undo his seatbelt (what can I say, I'm a hyper little thing!), so it's usually just opening it for me to get in.

    Laura-- Jesse's adorable! You guys are way too cute, and I am looking forward to seeing how you plan your wedding!

    Ping-- Aren't husband's great? I love gentlemen!

    J--Never touched a doorknob in her life? Wow. What on earth will she do when she's alone?

    Patricia--oooh, thank you! I love me some Miss Manners!

    La Belette-- I am not surprised in the least, he's definitely a keeper!