Etiquette, It is I.

Posted: September 1, 2016 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , ,

I’d like to think of myself as a polite person. That may not come out in this blog on a regular basis, but despite my constant whining, complaining and tendency to nitpick things to the point of drawing blood – my parents raised me to be a kind, compassionate soul. I have a genuine concern for not offending people and for all people to be treated fairly and without partiality.

Do you need an example of my courteousness that often goes unrewarded and unnoticed?

Aggressive Motor Courtesy (ACM).

I tend to drive pretty aggressively, but also pretty courteously. I let people merge where they should, stop them from merging when they shouldn’t and generally avoid merges if at all possible. Instead of driving in a pack of 13 idiot drivers all going to the speed limit, I’ll speed up and clear the pack to drive alone a few MPH faster than I should. All in the name of being courteous to those stupid morons driving around me.

So what spikes this punch? Why am I going on and on about courtesy? I have had two simple incidents in the last week that have sparked an ember of questioning in my brain, and I am posing them to you, the loyal reader, for your input.


I’m a big fan of holding a door open for someone – male or female. It gives me a sense of pride that I go out of my way to keep the door open for a random person. Of course, there’s always a quick mathematical computation needed to run in my head to determine if the door needs to be held or not, but I’ve not needed to use pen and paper for quite a while now to calculate the possibility. The equation in question is quite simple:door

(Number of packages being held)(Distance from door)-(Speed of Person Walking) =  Door Holding Quotient

Normally, I round up to give the person the very best chance for holdation. This is almost always greeted with a warm thank you and a quick sideways smile. Warms the darn cockles.

But here’s the problem – and this is where your opinions are needed. Should the person being let IN the door by me then let me go first in line? I always say yes and never once has it happened. The other morning I was at Dunkin’ Donuts at about 6:15am (don’t judge) and noticed a successful equation walking towards me. I dutifully held the door for her, she said thank you, and she then proceeded to walk into the empty shop and order in front of me. Don’t you think there should be something in the door holding rule book that as you are let in, you turn and say, “please go first”….? Again, I’ve never had this actually happen, but I’d be overjoyed if it did.


Of course those are two words that should never go together. I am proud to say that one of the key life lessons my parents taught me is that you should bathe BEFORE you get to the office. While you think that makes obvious sense, imagine my surprise the other morning when I walked into the office bathroom and saw this:


Well, it looked ALMOST like this – except the guy was about 40 years older, much hairier and much uglier. He had his shirt off and it was hanging on the open handicapped toilet stall, and he was spraying his armpits like Orkin sprays for mosquitos. The funny thing was – he was definitely NOT well-toned and had nothing to be showing off in such a matter. He was completely ordinary in every way except that he obviously had not a single morsel of self-respect or humility – both qualities of which he should consider partaking of in a liberal manner.

So the next time my wife complains about my aggressive driving, just think of what she COULD have.

  1. I love your preemptive approach with the “don’t judge” insert about the 6:15 trip to Dunkin Donuts. How did you know some of us would get hung up on that and want to comment (which I have since done, anyway). And I also liked the phrase “I noticed a successful equation walking towards me”. This could be taken in oh, so many ways. The scientist within me applauds this phrase.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. writerinsoul says:

    I think the people you let in first assume that you’ve essentially forfeited your place in line. Or maybe you’re merely a professional door opener and they needn’t worry about you further. If you flicked them in the back of the head, they might begin to reconsider.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hapidays88 says:

    I am pretty sure your mother raised you to be a gentleman which includes holding the door and giving up your spot in line.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David says:

    Sorry, if you’re being polite in order to get returned politeness, you lose. I’ve also never had anyone let me go back in front of them, with one exception I just remembered…if there are two doors in a row (think modern (?) office buildings with the air lock concept), and the equation is another male who I was just being polite to, they will usually hold the second door for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And THEN who goes first? The initial holder or the secondary holder. I feel that we may need some type of amendment to the constitution to cover all the ramifications. What if it’s a ‘push’ door instead of a ‘pull’??? The mind boggles.


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