To Hold or Not to Hold, That is My Question

One of my favorite things about CNU is our holding doors tradition. It’s pretty simple: if you’re entering a building or room on campus and someone is close behind you, you prop the door open for them before walking in yourself. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot to me. On days like today, especially, when the rain is pouring down and your hands are full with a to-go salad from the Chick-fil-A Express and a bulky wallet, it’s fantastic to have a fellow Captain hold the door open for you. It saves you the trouble of shifting everything you’re carrying into one precarious tower balanced on your non-dominant hand as you fumble for that magical student ID that has somehow found its way into the deepest recesses of your raincoat’s pocket. And, it’s one of those little reminders that there is goodwill left in humanity.

It’s always odd for me on breaks from school to go out somewhere public and not have a door held open. Or, on the flip side, to hold a door open for someone out of CNU habit and receive a bewildered look. Holding a door is probably one of the easiest ways to make someone’s day a little brighter, and it’s unfortunate that it’s not more common. However, it’s refreshing to get back to school and fall back into a rhythm of being courteous.

I know this sounds like a pretty amazing tradition (and, it is!), but it has brought about its share of awkwardness for me. For example, if you’re not careful about your hand placement on the door and your timing of letting the door fall into their hands, there’s a great possibility your hands will touch. Whenever this happens to me, I feel obligated to apologize and introduce myself; I mean, our hands touched – we should obviously become best friends. However, my potential best friend is always headed somewhere in a rush, and so there’s no time to smooth out the awkwardness. Another example of door-holding woes would have to be the appropriate door-holding distance. Of course, you’ll hold the door for the kid right behind you, but what about the kid a few paces back? Or, the one 15 feet away? Or, the one still crossing the road? Can someone inform me on when to wait and hold the door and when to walk on in?

Believe me, I have been that girl who holds the door for you while you’re still halfway across the Trible Plaza. You start to jog in slow-motion towards the door I’m propping open, and every second I wait I think, “Gee, that one really was too far away. But, I can’t close the door now because they’re already slow-motion jogging towards me.” It’s awkward for both of us, but please, just accept my door-holding faux pas with a smile.

I’m still figuring this out.

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