Today I held the door for a woman walking behind me. She smiled at me and said “Thank You”. Normal right?
Not where I come from…
It’s the summer of 2010. One of those beautiful days where the sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing. I jump in the whip, roll down the windows and hear Cher blaring from my stereo. I start my 5 minute commute to the theatre.
I roll into the parking lot and I’m not gonna lie…there’s a smile on my face as I hop out of the car, throw my string bag over my shoulder and start the walk to the town center doors.
Young, naive Margaret. You can’t even see what’s coming.
I get to the entrance (regular push/pull doors luckily. “I hate those revolving doors. One day somebody is gonna get hurt in one of those,” I think to myself). I see a man in a wheelchair struggling to open the doors. Seeing this I immediately go through the one next to him and start opening up his door from the other side.
Big Mistake. Big. Huge. (Name that movie)
“I DIDN’T HEAR MYSELF ASK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!”
Who said that and to whom, I wonder to myself. Surely it can’t be directed at me. I stand still with the door open.
“HELLO!? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? I DON’T NEED YOUR DAMN HELP!”
Now I see what’s going on. I see clearly. Its my punishment for being in a good mood. It’s what I get for walking in with a stupid smile on my stupid face. C’mon Marge you know better than that! #RookieMistake
“I’m sorry I was just trying to help—” I said it with true sincerity..but that kind of sincerity gets you know where at the theatre. “GET YOUR HAND OFF THAT DOOR! I CAN OPEN A DOOR!”
I let go of the door immediately, contemplating if a jump from the roof could kill me…nope I’d break a leg at best…
I watch as the man gets through the door…eventually. I turn my head to see a nice little audience watching the show. With nothing coming to mind to say, I start heading towards the theatre. Thankfully there’s not far to go so I start walking…briskly…to safety.
“IT’S PEOPLE LIKE HER THAT TRY TO MAKE US INFERIOR TO THE REST OF YOU! THAT’S THE REASON WE’RE TREATED LIKE CHILDREN!! LOOK AT THAT DUMB BITCH! SHE WON’T EVEN FACE ME NOW! SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE DID!!!!”
The sound of his screams and profanities muffle away as I walk through the theatre doors. I’m safe.
I start thinking over what just happened. Did I really do something wrong? I didn’t huff and puff or roll my eyes about holding the door.
I had a residual smile on my face from my blissful car ride, so certainly I didn’t look aggravated..
But apparently in my act of opening a door for someone I was sticking my middle finger up at all people in wheelchairs, all across the land! Had it been an old lady, or a 30 year old handsome gentleman or an 8 year old bratty child walking in, I would have held the door open. It’s just what I was taught. It’s just how I was raised. So clearly there’s only one guilty party here.
Thanks a lot mom for teaching me to hold doors for people and all about manners and saying stupid shit like “thank you”. Screw you ma for showing me to be nice to other people and to treat others how I’d like to be treated.
By your dumb logic I’m supposed to help someone in a wheelchair struggling to get through a door! You dumb biddy!! You haven’t prepared me for life and you certainly haven’t done your job. What else have you lied to me about?
You’re dead to me.