Don’t Feel Rushed by My Random Act of Kindness


Baby Smiles 

Have you ever seen a baby with a pacifier in its mouth smile?  The paci (as it is commonly known in our house) tilts a bit and you start to see the edges of her lips curl up until finally the paci drops to the floor and the smile becomes full born.  It is a pretty great moment seeing a smile like that and we can’t seem to get enough of it these days.  Our 15 month old little girl is bursting with new smiles, new words, and new personality every day.  Seeing a smile being born is totally sweet.


The Fine Line of Chivalry 

I think I need to get an official ruling from the judges on something.  What is the line of demarcation between “thank you for holding the door open for me” and “great, now I have to rush to get to the door because I am making you wait.”  I am thinking it is around 10 feet but we have all been there before.  You step inside an elevator or walk into a door and you know there is someone not too far behind.  Do you stand there holding the door like an idiot realizing they are still several steps away and see their pace quicken in obvious frustration that your intended kindness just flipped on its ear and now they feel rushed because you are waiting on them?  Or do you risk having the elevator close in their face as you fiddle with your phone to avoid eye contact while you are safely inside?  I have even experienced the awkwardness of holding a door open and realizing the person was farther away than originally thought and had them shout to me to “go ahead, I’ve got it.”  Or even better is holding the open door on the elevator just to have that person walk right by.  Yep that makes you feel like a winner, might as well just accidentally lean into the alarm button then step off on the wrong floor and look around before shamefully baking back in to complete your elevator trifecta.

Sorry if my attempt to do a nice thing and show that chivalry is alive and well caused you to feel rushed.  I guess me (a total stranger) standing there like a doorman as you walk all the way across the parking lot is a bit unsettling.  When kindness backfires it is totally weak.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

16 responses to “Don’t Feel Rushed by My Random Act of Kindness

  • klrs09

    I just love your humour! You had me lauging all the way through ‘weak’ because I’ve done every single one of those things. The trifecta bit was especially giggle-worthy.

    Your little girl is lovely — enjoy all these new moments — they pass by quicker than you can imagine.

  • nmaha

    Those smiles are precious. Treasure them.

    Yes, yes and yes, I have been in the weird faux doorman position multiple times and it’s quite embarrassing. Fiddle with your BB or iPhone and move on.

  • Appetite 4 Life

    Oh yes-baby smiles! Nothing beats it…. Absolutely nothing!

    Chivalry-keep holding those doors…you are a dying breed and it is so lovely to get to feel like a lady sometimes!

    Great blog!

  • skippingstones

    I think a smile and a laugh solves so many awkward moments – just acknowledging the weird moment. Smiling and telling them not to rush should be enough, telling them you thought they were closer or making a joke. I find that a lot of negative feelings and hostility are caused simply because we don’t know what the other person is thinking. We assume the worst. A smile changes a face so much. Just being worried about if you held the door too soon can put a negative look on your face that you don’t even realize is there.

  • cindy

    Happy babies are the sweetest kind of sweet. Loved this!
    Just let the door go the other day wondering if it was too soon…
    Great everyday weakness. Every instance of this is slightly different from the next, but all fraught with the same feelings. What is a soul to do?

  • edrevets

    My strategy is to hide in the corner of the elevator and pretend I don’t hear anyone coming. That might make me an ass, but at least I avoid awkward holding the door open moments, unless they rush in at the last second and give me a good glare, which I pretend not to notice.

  • SzaboInSlowMo

    Sweet! – The baby’s smile is one of the best things in life and that picture is gorgeous. On the weak side of that is whenyou insist your baby smiled and everyone tries to tell you it’s just gas. Why spoil my moment? Couldn’t she have gas AND be smiling at the same time? My husband does!

    Weak! – I agree about the awkwardness of door holding. I held one for an older person just last week, and I think they felt the pressure to run to the door so I wouldn’t have to wait. Not a real run, but it seemed that way. A total backfire, haha.

  • Barefoot Baroness

    Adorable, adorable! I mean your sweet little angel~ (*&*) She is soooo sweeeet….. And so is your post.

    Weak? No way!
    You just keep taking those risks Simon. Bravo you! Because the real ladies of the world absolutely eat it up. My husband of almost 41 years (seems like a lifetime, oh yeah! It is.) opens the car door for me, any door, he also makes certain he walks on the street side of me. And if you continue to do so maybe other young men and your peers will pick up on these lovely gesture. And just maybe, just maybe the fine art will never be lost.

    I wonder how many gent’s will know where this polite gentlemanly custom came from. Any ideas?

    • Simon

      Thanks so much. No, I don’t know where the custom came from, do you?

    • Barefoot Baroness

      The custom comes from the days of chamber pots. The chamber maids would empty them onto the street from out the windows above the sidewalks. A gentlemen would keep a lady close to buildings, he’d walk where he may get hit.
      In more modern days it was still a custom because of automobiles (still a novelty) on the roads. In those days streets were not kept clean, often dusty with pebbles and debris, again the gentlemen would risk being hit a flying object to protect his lady.

      How is that for a bit of history regarding gentlemanly ways? : )


    Great post! There are several new babies in my life this year and what your saying is true for each of them. Those little smiles are so genuine I can’t help but hope they keep them forever.

  • Joe

    Love both parts Simon. When my 23 month old son smiles I get a rush of feelings anywhere from happiness and glee to my heart melting and the feeling of me wanting to scoop him up and hug and kiss his head off!

    As far as the weak portion is concerned, I run into this problem at least once every couple days! Because I’m nice and try to help people, I’m always stuck between holding the door open to long or being indecisive and feeling like an asshole because I practically let the door slam in their face…awkward.

  • iggycakes

    Great blog. I love to see the baby smile. I have a 1yr old nephew, who is smarter and advanced for a 1 yr old. He shrugs his shoulders at you, and tells you “woah” when you’ve stepped out of line. It makes my day everytime.

    But as far as your “Weak” section…..I say do it regardless if they don’t appreciate it. In the end you are a winner because YOU are doing a kind and good deed. If anyone is to look bad it’s them.

  • squirrel circus

    Great “weak” today! I feel that way when I yield to a pedestrian who’s just entering a crosswalk. Sometimes they totally huff like, “Ugh. Now I have to hustle my way across.” Do they NOT want you to stop?

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