I didn’t miss the memo, being deeply engaged in society, MJS. I just am sad that these manners have gone by the wayside. I’m fully aware of the changes, but by the same token a guy who understands that he should walk next to the street instead of you is also someone who had what is called “good upbringing.” I travel to countries today where this is a very good idea; kidnapping is a real and present danger. I don’t argue your point. The mechanical changes are there, but that doesn’t mean that nice manners should disappear. As a woman in her mid-sixties, I too open car door, building doors for people, especially infirm people. Manners needn’t be sexist nor am I implying you are saying they are. I am aware, however, that small kindnesses, like when my BF opens my car door and helps me out because the car seat is so low it nearly takes a crane to get out, especially if I’m in heels and a skirt, that this has less to do with the heaviness of the door than the design of the car. The weight of the door doesn’t come into it, although my best friend’s Subaru doors are so damned heavy that if you happen to park on an incline you nearly have to out the other side. Manners are just manners. I consider it supremely bad manners for a woman (or anyone else) to excoriate someone for holding a door open for her. That’s just RUDE. But also, that’s just me. I also wonder what a truly equal society would mean- given that the sexes are built very differently ( and yes, I’m a very serious athlete, and strong, but that’s beside the point). That equal society would have to take into account leveling the playing field across the board including age, gender, religion, culture, and a vast array of other issues that separate, divide, and irritate so many of us across the entire array of topics ranging from work, medical care, child raising, access to resources, and every single other aspect of how we live together. It’s not going to happen. Not in our lifetimes. In the meantime, I will happily take good manners when I experience them, and be grateful, just as every so often someone is grateful for mine. Kindness isn’t an insult. Insulting anyone for a kindness, is. Doesn’t make me right. It’s just a take.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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