To be honest…with Lauren Berndt

To be honest, stop holding the door for me. Jewell is a campus of wonderful overachievers and overall nice people. In fact, Jewell students are so kind and trustworthy that I don’t think twice about leaving my backpack containing a Mac, iPad and wallet in the cubbies by the caf.

However, the level of Jewell politeness registers highest when considering how long a Jewelligan will wait to hold the door open for someone. I have literally been 30 paces behind someone and the Jewelligan will wait, smile and hold the door wide spankin’ open. So I am obliged to perform a rapid hobble conveying that I acknowledge his or her gesture and am hurrying. When I finally reach the door after attempting to avoid eye contact, I am compelled to offer an over the top smile back, accompanied with a morph between “thank you” and a moan due to being winded from Jewell’s hellishly hilly campus.

Then the situation gets more awkward because Jewell doesn’t think one door is enough and every building has a double-door entry. Therefore, the Jewelligan, being quite the lady or gentleman, holds the next door open for me. After an internal debate of “do I have to say thank you twice?” I parrot out another unintelligible “thank you.” Please save me the performance and just let me open my own dang door! Last week I even had a fella that was going in as I was coming out, and he passed me then came all the way back just to hold the door open… it’s too much!

I admit that I am the same as every other Jewelligan. I also hold the door in unnecessary scenarios. However, I am usually thinking, “I’m already late; let’s go slow poke!” I believe Jewell has a door-holding obsession because we are such a small community. That door that you let slam could have smacked your next professor or perhaps your classmate that will end up rating you on your under-performance in a group project.

However, as we learned in “Responsible Self,” that rationale would mean that our good deeds are only out of self-serving benefit, instead of for the inherent good of the act. Now, let’s clarify. I am not talking about those times when you hand the door to someone because they are right behind you and you do not even have to turn around. I am protesting waiting for a non-acquaintance Jewelligan for an extended period of time. So why do you hold the door for our Jewell community members? Because it is custom, you are afraid of the consequences or because you truly want to hold the door?

I’ll let you in on a little secret—they don’t call it the real world for nothing. It is a parakeet-eat-parakeet world out there, so at your first job interview, don’t be astonished when no one holds the door for you. Instead, hit the gym and strengthen those muscles because those pesky doors can be heavy. Back to the safety of the Jewell campus, I think Jewell’s door holding timing and perception is off due to the over abundance of automatic doors in the real world. Machine-operated doors have eliminated the need for the kind act. Therefore, when met with a manual opening door, we panic.

So, when is it socially acceptable to let the door close behind you? I propose at Jewell we institute a pact to make door holding less awkward for everyone. If someone is farther behind you than the time it takes to say, “No nose knows like a gnome’s nose knows,” then you can let the door shut without fear of nasty thoughts from the Jewelligan behind you. If you feel the need for extra security because a Jewelligan is expecting a door hold but you have already completed the sacred chant, then simply touch your nose so that that person understands that you are acting under the code of the pact. These pact conventions are effective EXCEPT in extenuating circumstances, such as a Jewelligan with crutches, in a wheelchair or with an ice cream cone in one hand and a coffee in the other. This will save all of us a lot of time and awkward happenings. Thank you.

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