The fine act of gate door holding

3 Sep

What did you think I would write about on Labor Day?  Jobs?  Work?  Nah.  I obviously have had some free time today (yes, my studio was closed for the holiday) so I thought I would write about something else.

This is about the fine-art of gate holding.  Run now, while you still have a chance.

I forget who wrote – or talked about this – before.  I think it was Jerry Seinfeld or someone else that talks funny, so trust me, I don’t think I’m writing about any original here.  In fact, I may have wrote about this myself at one point in time (I don’t know what all my archive has to offer).  But what it’s about is:  how long do you wait to hold the gate open for someone?

Let me elaborate a bit more.

We have a metal gate to get into our apartment.

Anyway, I go in and out of the thing constantly, just like everyone else that parks in the adjacent parking lot.  And the one area I know I over think too much is how long to hold it open for the next person.  There really is a fine-line for it.  Hold it open for too long and you look a bit weird.  Not long enough, you look rude.  And then there are other factors; like, do they have their hands full or how fast they’re walking.  It’s all about timing + awareness = friendly scenario with neighbors.  Or something like that.  I’m just guessing it’s a math equation.  Yea, it’s a math equation.

I have this whole math equation going on when it’s deciding time whether to hold the gate open or not (and I suck at math).  For example, a guy my age (or younger) doesn’t need the kind gesture as much as a female (any age).  It’s just a guys nature.  They probably don’t even realize it too much (even though I do notice it and I’m a guy).  So, if I get a male that is walking slow that is roughly 50 feet or more away, I don’t stand there and hold the gate open for him if met with the opportunity.  UNLESS, I know them or something, then I might.  However, if he’s walking very fast – or running – I’ll usually give the guy a break and hold it, knowing I won’t have to use much of my time.  So, this whole moment in life generally runs about 15 seconds or less – but for me, I still over think it all.

One time, I let the gate close and there was a person behind me, adding another element of you should probably look around your surroundings before shutting the gate.  More to think about.

Listen, I’ve just got good manners about particular things, and this is one of them.  I’ve had those people that don’t hold the gate and I find myself getting irritated about it.  Like, how….how could you….you fiend!

Of course, the same situation occurs in the elevator.  The difference though is there is little space in the elevator area, so you can’t really predetermine the chance of a person happening upon the elevator at the same time.  Not as difficult as our clear metal gate where you can see someone from a mile away.  You’re not the $&*# if you use the elevator unbeknownst someone was about to hop on.

It’s not just the gate either.  It’s any public door allows the opportunity to determine whether you will hold the door open for the next person or not.  And those public doors can be tricky.  Ever offer to hold the door open after a movie at a theater?  You hold it for one, and then it becomes two and three and so-on and so-on.  Crowds are vying for a spot to have that door open for them.  Where is that line that you cut it off at and shut it?  When that happens, at least one of the patrons will think you’re a jerk.

I really hate it when I slip.  What I mean is, I’ll be in a good mood or something and I spend extra amount of time holding the gate open (considering I don’t feel awkward) and then the lady – or gentlemen – walks through it without saying a “thank you” or anything.  It just makes me want to go back in time and redo it all with shutting the gate with force so they know that I wasn’t about to hold it open.  Yes, that’s a major pet peeve of mine.  Hey, I’m entitled to a few.

So, the next time you walk through a gate, a door, use an elevator, etc., keep an open mind about what you will do.  I still don’t have a good system for it, but I’m guessing if I live another decade or two, I might eventually get a good one down (a system).   Or not.

But for now, I’ll keep over thinking it and keep using the gate.

If I was smart, I would probably just use the automatic doors in the front so there’s nothing to think about.


4 Responses to “The fine act of gate door holding”

  1. Sandra September 4, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Gate holding as a math equation indeed. Is there a ratio between how many people are in the elevator to how long you wait holding the door? 😉

    • w101njf September 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Yikes! Beats me. Probably, but I haven’t even began to work on that one yet.

  2. bearmancartoons September 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I think you are overthinking it..haha

    • w101njf September 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      What’s new? 🙂

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