Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Door

Holding the door in New York City can turn into a full-time occupation.  The job of the doorman developed when the few brave souls who were willing to unabashedly hold the door for a loved one then the string of people who followed realized they were being taken advantage of and so decided to organize.  

For the rest of us who hold the occasional door without tip or guarantee of monetary retribution, the feeling that you can wind up holding the door for every living person in New York arises every now and then.  The door is held and here comes the never-ending line of people-- some of whom acknowledge the gesture and others of whom ignore it completely. Generally I find it my duty to let go of the door if no acknowledgment comes-- whether or not it swings right into the person's face. 

For a while I felt rude doing this, but once I realized that these people are most likely skating by on doors held open for them all over the city and thus living the life of ridiculous privilege. If I don't let go of the door I may as well get a crimson suit with gold braiding and an impressive hat. 


  1. I'm afraid I'm guilty of slipping through open doors way too often -- I realized this when I actually had to put my puny arms to the task of pushing a door open myself recently, and discovered that I am almost incapable of doing so without resorting to getting my entire body into the act! I need a personal doorman to follow me around. I think you would look fetching in crimson....

  2. Cate! Door slipper and first commenter! Do the people of San Francisco take your door slipping lying down? I also think it might be a remainder from the days of chivalry that men will hold doors for billions of women without any great expectation of recompense. Do girls ever hold your door (and I apologize if that is a euphemism in the Tenderloin)?