Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ladies First?

So, my parents raised me to be a polite please and thank you type of guy.  I was taught to stand when being introduced to someone, to hold doors open for women and the elderly and always let ladies go first unless there was a Nazi zombie or rabid tiger ahead in which case I was expected to go first. 

The whole ladies first thing is what got me riled up.  I ride a commuter train to work and back home just about every day.  The train stops pretty much at the same spot at the platform so like trained rats we passengers have learned to stand where the train will stop so we can spring on and rush to the not so available seating. I'm usually the first one in line where I get on in the afternoon.   So, about a year ago as I'm waiting to get on the train at the special spot where the door will be when the train arrives a lady walks up.  The train arrives, and as a man who was raised properly by his mother, I say to the nice lady, 'after you'.  She thanks me and gets on the train.  This is repeated for a couple months and then another lady shows up as the train arrives.  I say to both of them, 'after you'.  They say thank you and get on the train.  Soon there are three of them.   Then six!  And, there is no thank you, just a mob of women who feel very free to swarm the door like the opening of  a Walmart on black Friday.  This has turned into a real When You Give A Mouse A Cookie moment.  Not up on the classical reference?  Look it up.  Anyway, this lady gang feels free to jump the line and get on ahead of us male saps.  But that isn't the worst of it, oh not at all.  Once they are on the train they dither and hesitate.  which seats to take?  Should they go upstairs to the upper level?  Is the bottom level more fun?  They'd giggle and dart back and forth until they'd settle for some seats blocking the passage of us polite folks until the choice seats are gone.   This went on for a couple months until I had enough.  I decided that they needed a dose of The Look.   The next time they came swarming to the car door as the train pulled up, I positioned myself in the open door and gave them The Look.  They stopped in their tracks.  I then said to the nice lady who always thanked me 'after you' and nodded to her.  She smiled prettily at me and got on the train.  I only had to do this a couple more times until the lady gang moved to another car.   I still say 'after you' to the nice lady and any other lady who thanks me when I pass them in front of me.  They saw what happened to those who got The Look and they know that they don't want it directed at them because the other women still haven't recovered from being exposed to it twice.   For all they know I could be a basilisk in disguise.  Not familiar with it?  You're lucky.  Look it up.

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