Tuesday, July 08, 2014

{the automatic door}

I was coming out of the Shoppers Drug Mart on Broad Street the other day when the automatic door closed in my face.

(I was pushing Sullivan in a stroller, so it actually really closed in his face, but you know what I mean.)

I scooted past Sully to catch it before it rammed into his little feet, reaching out as far as I could with my left hand, bracing the door open with that whole side of my body while I grabbed the stroller by its front wheel and pulled it along beside me.

My purse caught on the door frame at the same moment that a gust of wind from outside blew my hair into my eyes, a flurry of fluff and frizz that blinded and disoriented me. With no free hands, I had to whip my head around like a woman in a shampoo commercial. (But if I'm being honest here, it was maybe more like a horse with flies in its mane than a woman in a shampoo commercial.)

Picture it, you guys. It was a shining moment.

When I looked up, there was a man standing about two feet away from me, with an expression on his face that said, "I've been watching this whole thing and I don't really think you're fit to be a mother. I also don't think you're fit to be in a shampoo commercial. You remind me of a horse."

I grinned sheepishly as I pulled the stroller the rest of the way through the door, still leaning heavily on it and blowing a stray piece of hair off of my nose. I made a joke, something about the automatic door that I can't remember now. I thought it was funny. I wish I could remember it, because I'd tell it to you and you'd laugh your face off. I think.

He didn't laugh. He didn't even smile. He waited until I was out of the way, and then strode past as though the whole thing had been a terrible inconvenience. He didn't think I was funny. I ran the joke over in my mind. I was bothered.

I was about five blocks away when I realized that it had bothered me much, much more that he hadn't laughed at my joke than that he'd sat there watching me struggle for five minutes without grabbing the door for me. I guess we've come to a place where I don't expect chivalry, but, you know, a pity laugh would be nice.