I’m talking about those supposedly upright citizens who impose upon unwitting fellow citizens the duty of jogging to a door being held open from a distance or more than two normal strides. These passive-aggressive door-holding misanthropes usually perform this unsolicited bit of courtesy with a closed-mouth half-smile/half grimace, subtly exasperated at your indolence in reaching the door. Invariably, white headphones fill their ears, rendering them deaf to the forced gratitude which the door-holding elicits. And for that person leisurely approaching an entrance, upon seeing a door being held open, he/she must then accommodate the door-holder by doing a pantomime of a jogger, which consists of awkwardly bobbing your torso and arms without actually walking any faster. Frequently if I see a door being held open for me at an uncomfortable distance, I’ll fake that I just got a text or call, diverting me from my presumed path, and forcing me to linger outside until the door-holder gives up and slinks away. In those situations I consider myself the winner of that little unspoken social contest. I choose not to analyze what it says about me that I see in an innocuous gesture a highly charged battle between two feuding citizens.
In fact the whole convention of holding doors open as a courtesy ought to be scrapped regardless of distance considerations. I much prefer opening the door on my own schedule and resent being beholden to the door-holder, and I am also convinced that society would generally be more efficient if this “courtesy” ceased, with positive implications on our GDP.
 On a somewhat unrelated note, now that every well-adjusted pedestrian puts on headphones immediately upon entering a public space, what is everyone listening to that I don’t know about? Seriously. And this question comes from a person who listens to music and podcasts at a healthy clip. Do people like music that much more than me? I feel like other commuters see me as some kind of social deviant when I ride the train to and from school without anything in my ears.
- Gorman Dupee