I think a person shows their true colours when it comes time to hold the door for someone. You’re in a public place, you open a door, let your arm straighten as you grab hold of the edge and give a little shoulder check to see how close your next pursuer is. Personally, I’m about a 5 stepper. That cut off point, however, is anything but black and white. Today, for instance, I had a guy in the 6-7 step range. I did the full arm extension, clear check back and even a split second hesitation dance before deciding that I had better places to be. I didn’t dare look back after letting the door swing shut and I obviously felt at least enough shame to write this.
I have long since accepted that we don’t live in a world with moral absolutes. But I do wish that door holding was a little more like golf. When a golfer is posed with a short tap in putt he will look to his playing partner for the go ahead to finish out. I think the onus is on the 5+ step follower to acknowledge that no corridor is a soup kitchen and that the door holder gets enough brownie points for at least considering waiting. The follower should give a little nonchalant wave and a “just go…”
I think the main things to consider in a grey territory door holding stand off are the following:
1) Is this a potential mate?
2) How bad do I have to pee right now?
3) Will I ever see this person again?
4) What is my recent good deed to selfish behavior ratio?
5) Did we reach an agreement with our eyes?
6) What Would Jesus Do?