Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chivalry Is Deader Than Doornail

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a "yes ma'am", "can I get the door for you" kind of person.  I went to college in the south and learned pretty quickly that I could not marry a southern boy.  I was raised to do it myself.  Anything you can do, I can do too and probably better.  I am a truck driving, lawn mowing, tractor driving kind of gal and if you feel threatened by that, tough noogies.  My father didn't raise boys, so we had to be the boys he didn't have.  We didn't know it wasn't normal to be playing in the old barn and come in with grease all over us.  Or that driving a tractor long before we were even teenagers wasn't the norm.  Even today, I sometimes do things no other female I know will do simply because the men are never around when I need it done, so I've learned to do it myself.  At 5'2" my height and strength often get in the way.  The one thing I have never done, much to my father's dismay, is get my CDL (Commercial Drivers License) and do you know why?  Because that is the last thing around here that I can't do.  Once I get that, then there would be nothing that anyone would have to do for me.  And I'm not ready to do absolutely everything myself.  Even though boys seem to think it's really hot when a little girl climbs down from a big Mack truck.  In my experience, they also find that threatening.

It took me the whole 4 years I was in college to learn to accept the "yes ma'am"s and wait for doors to opened so as not to step on anyone's toes.  I'm a Yankee, from a long line of Yankees and before that I'm sure we were farmers somewhere that got just as dirty as I seem to get on any given day in the summer.  I clean up nicely, but really, it's much easier for me to just be dirty and sweaty and for you to just accept that this is the way you will usually find me during the warmer months.

So, imagine my surprise when I was irritated in the following situation.  I did a lia sophia jewelry show for a girl today.  I did one at this same house about a month ago and had the same reaction, so I don't know why I was surprised.  It takes 2 trips for me to get into the house with all of my stuff.  One load entails one of those square carts on wheels that you can put things in.  This is great when I'm wheeling it down a driveway but when I have to bring it up stairs and into a house, it can be a pain.  So, as I entered, the husband was sitting on the couch.  We exchanged hellos and he sat there as I made trip #1 with my bags.  Mind you, I was wearing heels and looking decent.  The second trip required a lot of stopping, lifting, carrying that cart.  Banging through the door.  And there he sat.  Not ONE lick of interest in helping me.  Not holding the door.  Not moving the cart, nothing.  And on the way out, same thing.  There I go, struggling away, and there he sits, watching.  Or not even watching, who knows.  Just holding the door open would have been an acceptable gesture.  Yes, I could do it myself.  Anyone could.  But helping me by holding the door or taking the cart would not have insulted me.  Maybe saying something like "Let me get that for you, Precious, you're too delicate to carry that" might have insulted me.  But letting me come crashing through your house, titling on heels all the while?  What a jerk. 

I could almost say "give me those southern boys anyday."   Where's Rhett Butler when I need him?  But I know what would happen.  They would all descend on me as I pulled into the driveway, they'd open my car door, carry in all of my things and then insist that they set it all up for me.  And that would be too much.  

But holding a door open?  Please.

1 comment:

  1. One thing that surprised me in Japan is that if a man and I approach a door at the same time, they bustle right through without any thought of me. Or maybe they do think of me as in, Why isn't she standing back to let me through? XD

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