You know what really ruffles my feathers? Using doors. I know, a rather inconvenient irritation. Allow me to be more specific: using doors in public places where you have to rely on other people to not be morons. In my experience you can never count on people to not be morons, and might as well count on the opposite just so you don’t lose faith in all of humanity (its getting close … I am fairly sure Paris Hilton: My New BFF is a sign of the impending apocalypse) and turn into some hermit the neighborhood kids refer to as “Scary Cat Lady.” So people are morons, I’ve accepted it. But do they have to enter and exit through doors like morons? Blind deaf and dumb morons? As the saying goes “Hi, my name is Becca, and I have door rage” (“hi Becca…”).
Lets start with a little etiquette lesson; when you are attempting to enter somewhere through a door, be it a train, an elevator, or a building, and someone is attempting to exit at exactly that same moment, you let the person exiting go first. Why? Because you want to go in, and they are already in, so it’s kind of like yielding the right of way – I don’t turn right into oncoming traffic even though I am allowed to turn right on red, do I? No, I allow the cars that are already going in my desired direction (lucky bastards) to go first. I am not sure why this isn’t common knowledge, this letting-people-leave-before-you-enter thing, as it’s a fairly common situation. I would venture to say that every single day I encounter some schmo who wants to get on the elevator so very badly that they attempt to leap on the second the doors open only to find me standing politely, humming a little ditty, at the door. Some people will recognize their mistake right away and apologize, to which I say “don’t worry about it” and I get off the elevator and they get on. Hey, we’ve all done that, no ones perfect. You’re in your own world, you gotta pee/get in to the office before 9:05 so you don’t get yelled at and the quicker you can get on that elevator the better. Simply acknowledge that you had a momentary lapse of social graces and we’ll both move on.
There are others, however, that are simply outraged that you were standing there. How dare you be on that elevator? The doors opened and they wanted to get on but they couldn’t because you were already standing there! It makes them so mad you are standing in their way that they are going to barrel directly towards you so that you can’t get off, making it impossible to remedy the situation. My favorite is the dirty look, the “you’re in my way” look. Oh, I’m sorry – did my already being on the elevator inconvenience you? Well I got here first dick, so back off. Seriously, I am already on the elevator, you want to get on the elevator, kinda looks like I got what you want – elevator real estate. And real estate prices in DC are high my friend, so I wouldn’t piss me off. I might just decide that, you know what? I don’t want to get off at the lobby. No, I think I want to go up to ... what floor are you heading to? Yes, the 3rd floor, I’d like to go there. Ooh bummer, looks like there’s no more room for you here. Guess you’ll just have to wait until next time.
This exact situation repeats itself in a horribly magnified fashion every day on the metro. I ask you, fat mid-western tourist attempting to board the metro during morning rush hour, how in the name of God do you think I am going to be able to get off the metro if you are standing DIRECTLY in front of the doors? Will I walk through you? Am I the “get off my train” ghost from Ghost? Did you notice that everyone else made a sweet little tunnel for me to walk thru? Did you think maybe that tunnel was for you, so that you could get to the front of the line and hop on the metro with a fucking crowd around you? “Go Jean! Go Randy! You can do it … yes! They’re on!” NO Jean. NO Randy. I am not saying your fears aren’t valid - the metro will definitely leave before you’ve gotten a chance to board, I can promise you that. But if I am still standing on the metro, where exactly do you think you’ll go? Nowhere. You’ll go nowhere. You’ll push on, I’ll push off and we will both be at a standstill until YOU get crushed by the metro doors because I know that they don’t spring open when they encounter an obstacle but rather crush the shit out of it. Especially obstacles with fanny packs and pink “FBI” t-shirts …. You know sometimes, when its real quiet, you can hear the screams of tourists who were killed by the metro doors all because they didn’t wait for the passengers to exit before they boarded.….
True story: one day, as I rushed home from work to do something incredibly important (I don’t remember what it was but I am sure it was of supreme importance) I encountered this exact situation. The metro doors sprung open and an entire troop of Boy Scouts stood in the doorway. Like, 25 kids just packed in front of the door – there was literally no where to go. Being the good ambassador of DC that I am I believe I muttered something along the lines of “get the fuck out of my way” and pushed through the Scouts to get off the train. As I walked away from them I heard one of them turn to their Scout leader and say “that lady was mean.” You’re goddamned right I am mean. Your patches don’t impress me. Where’s the “Common Courtesy” patch, huh little Timmy? Where’s the “Physics” patch – the one that proves you’ve learned that one solid object cannot pass through another solid object? Do me a favor, get off my train.