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open door policy

Via Jim comes this Neil Cavuto article in which he's lambasted for holding a door open for a woman.
"Do I look paralyzed to you?" she asked. I was so taken aback that I didn't know what to say, or even what she was saying herself. She went on to explain how I had just earlier stepped out of her way on the elevator to let her off. I just assumed it was the gentlemanly thing to do. I guess I'm a bit old fashioned. But she was not and she clearly wasn't into "gentlemanly." [..] She went onto explain the door thing was part and parcel of a bigger thing: An attempt by men, she said, to make women feel like they're lesser.
Cavuto then asks: So let me ask you, ladies: Do you find it offensive when some big klutz like me opens a door that I'm patronizing you, or, in the case of this young woman, "offending" you? This woman needs to step down off her feminista soap box and look at gestures like door opening in the larger context of common courtesy. Would the woman be so offended if another female held the door open for her? Or would she accuse that female of being a traitor to her gender? I try, even when faced with the rudest of rude people, to keep my level of courtesy towards my fellow human beings on high. Maybe the idea was ingrained in my head back in the 70's when there were signs dotting every Long Island road that said "courtesy is contagious." Or maybe I was just brought up right. You hold doors open for people. You let people off the elevator before you get on. You allow cars to merge. You say please and thank you and after you because that's how civilized people behave. Yet there are women who feel coddled and like lesser beings when someone - in particular a male someone - extends a courtesy to them. I can't imagine the size of the stick that needs to be up one's ass in order to feel slighted by an act of politeness. It must be painful to walk around like that all day. And I wonder what the same woman would think if a man walked into a store in front of her and let the door just close behind him - she would probably tell him that he's insensitive to the needs of women and is therefore a misogynist. You can't win with people like that. You're either making them feel like puny humans or you're being condescending by trying to not make them feel like puny humans. If having a door held open for you makes you feel weak, then I suggest you have some deep-rooted problems in regards to male figures and your militant feminism is only going to exacerbate your already seething hatred towards the male species. Here's their core belief: Men are evil. Men who are nice are even more evil because they are only being nice in order to subjugate you. See, by being courteous to you, they are keeping you down. It is one of the things men talk about at their yearly Keep Women In The Kitchen conference, where they teach guys how to smile, extend a hand, carry packages, open doors, pull out chairs, buy flowers and say complimentary things to women in a concerted effort at undermining the self image of every single female on the planet by making them feel weak and helpless. Ah, but what about those of us who like when guys smile, open doors and pull out chairs? What about us women who don't view every compliment as a sexist put down? What about those of us who don't hate men? Women like the one Cavuto encountered believe they are doing all women a favor when they act like such boors. They're championing their own cause and furthering their own agenda and they think they're doing it for me. For you. For anyone who has a vagina. Don't do me any favors. I love common courtesy. Whether it's done by a man or a woman doesn't matter. The fact that there are polite people willing to show me some courtesy in a world full of assholes makes me smile. If these women want to present themselves as victims of oppression, then more power to them and their martyrdom. But I wish they would keep it to themselves. They're going to ruin it for the rest of us.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference open door policy:

» Your first link of the morning from scrawlville.com
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Does shit like this really happen? Neil Cavuto claims that he tried to open a door for a woman and the following ensued: Do I look paralyzed to you?" she asked. I was so taken aback that I didn't know [Read More]

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Does shit like this really happen? Neil Cavuto claims that he tried to open a door for a woman and the following ensued: Do I look paralyzed to you?" she asked. I was so taken aback that I didn't know [Read More]

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This is so wierd. I just had kind of a similar conversation two days ago about how I behave in public with "The Strangers."

I'm Mr. SuperPolite. Please, excuse me, can I get that for you, no, you go ahead, sure you can get in line, no, you merge in front, I'll slow down. Not a lot of eye contact, it makes people nervous. Be a gazelle and get out of the way rather than expect the other guy to move. I came to the comclusion that it all started when I got my gun permit. I have to be a nicer, more polite person because it's my responsibility to avoid conflict. I now have a much higher degree of responsibility than Joe Average to avoid getting into something with a fellow citizen. On top of that there is a legal liability to avoid starting or escalating any potential conflicts.

But that is not the reason I do it, as I truly don't fear the law at all. I do it because those who came before me taught me that being armed grants me the power to effortlessly end a human being's life. And with great power comes great responsiblity. It's not just a comic book slogan.

It's my job to never need this weapon. It's my job to go my entire life never having ever pulled this weapon out in offense or defense. It is not a solution, it is just a tool. The last tool when all the other tools have been used.

That lesson stuck with me, and although I hardly carry anymore, I never forgot the lessons. I don't need the gun to have the power to end a life. I can just be there. That power still resides in me...so I take my responsibility to be polite to strangers kind of seriously. And I have never once been accosted for being polite. So I will continue to hold doors and reach the higher shelves for old ladies. Fuck that crazy man-hater. :)

That woman is misguided. I work in a hospital that's probably 80% female workforce. In all my door-opening days I have never been reprised by a female for holding the door open. Matter of fact, it's almost a little joke between me and a few of the women I share an office with. Sometimes THEY'll hold the door for ME. It's just a simply act of courtesy and anyone who complains deserves to get a facefull of door.

The first movie Todd and I saw when we were dating was "Singles". I always loved this scene:

Steve: "Tell me, from a girl's point of view, what do you really want from a guy?"

Janet: "Well, when I first moved out here from Arizona, I wanted a guy with looks, security, who's caring, someone with their own place, someone who said 'bless you' or 'gesundheit' when I sneezed. You know... And someone who liked the same things as me but not exactly. Someone who loves me."

Steve: "That's a tall order."

Janet: "Yeah, I scaled it down a little."

Steve: "Well, what is it now?"

Janet: "Someone who says 'gesundheit' when I sneeze. Although I prefer 'bless you'. It's nicer."

I wouldn't have married Todd if he hadn't opened up my car door for that date, either. And I would hope he wouldn't have married me if I hadn't replied, "Thank you."

"Do I look paralyzed to you?" she asked.

Parlyzed? No. Rude and obnoxious? Yes!

"Do I look paralyzed to you?"

"No, but you certainly need to get laid."

Of course, I would never say that, but I would be absolutely certain of it.

I cannot wrap my head around the twisted mentality of these women who refuse to see common courtesy as common courtesy, and instead choose (yes, CHOOSE) to view it as some sort of Oppressive Gesture of the Patriarchy. I also do not understand how someone holding a door open for you means you're 'lesser.' I've always assumed it meant I was worthy of the gesture. Beats the hell out of the classless men who shove in front of me to get into an elevator or who hurry through a door and let it slam in my face, that's for sure. By comparison, am I supposed to view THAT as meaning I'm superior?

The mind boggles.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I do NOT self identify as a feminist. This may be why I don't 'get it' when my 'sisters' go on their rants about oppressive, patriarchal men opening doors for them. Whatevah.

Val -

hahahaha You took the words right out of my mouth.

Get laid, woman. And SOON.

Stuff like this makes me see red. Even though I have a vagina and everything. Women like this give all of us a bad name.

I was lectured at least once a year in my college days by a woman for holding the door open for her. Except in one case it was always a member of the faculty or staff. Since being in the real world, it's only happened once or maybe twice.

Common courtesy gets less and less common every day. I think I've seen every possible reaction to it (even had shrews and boors excoriate me for it), and it just sickens me that people can get angry about simple politeness.

Meh. I'd better not get started on this - I already don't like Wednesdays.

One of the advantages of being a bit older, I'm 52 and have silver hair. In situations like this, I tell women, "Ma'am this isn't about you, this is how my daddy taught me to treat women." Frankly I don't care what 'feminists' think about chivalry, I'm goning to practice it.

I once asked a man in a wheelchair, who looked to be having a problem, if he needed a hand. He said, "what are you going to do, clap?" He wasn't joking. What to say? Fine. Walk home then.

It's been a long time since I've been upbraided for holding the door for a woman, but I have a response ready for the next time it happens:

"Well ma'am, this may come as a shock to you, but I hold the door for men, too."

I'm surprised this still happens. Twenty years ago (Gawd!), I was a summer intern on break from school and held the door open for a woman walking in behind me from the parking lot. One of those close calls where she's not right behind you but not far enough away to pretend not to see her.

So I held it open and waited for her. She stops right beside me and chews into me with the same kind of snark Cavuto received.

Half-way through her rant, I just said, "Fine!" and walked in pulling the door behind me - leaving her outside to open her own d@mn door.

Hope she wasn't some VP or something, but hey, I was just some dumb college kid/summer intern more interested in getting laid than getting lectured from some hag.

Know what I mean?

Hey - where I work, most of the guys - young and old alike - will wait for women to get on the elevator first. I've never heard anybody complain about that. When it comes to door holding, the first person who gets to the door holds it open for the next person... and this is in midtown Manhattan.

And yesterday, someone asked me if I needed any help during a fire drill (I'm 9 months pregnant).. I just asked for some guys to go down in front of me so I had someone to fall on top of if I tripped. ;)

To be honest, I think Cavuto is making that story up because he was having a dry writing day. I consider myself a feminist and I've never said or thought anything like the situation Cavuto describes. And I've never heard of a woman in real life doing that, either. It's all part of a feminazi mythology, one part in a series of urban legends that get repeated over and over until people believe that it actually happened. Next he'll be writing about children being abducted in KMART, hair dyed black in the bathroom, and sold on the black market in Mexico.

I don't think opening a door for someone should have anything to do with gender. If you're at the door first, you hold it open. Duh.

I have something of a reputation at work for holding the door for people of both genders (although sometimes my fellow Y-chromosomers are a little confused by it) -- I suppose time spent in church youth groups and Boy Scouts will do that to a person over the long term. (Whenever I'm asked why I'm so polite, however, I usually revert to the Radar O'Reilly answer [probably not quoted exactly]: "I used to get beat up if I wasn't...")

Rox, I doubt he's making it up. I once got a very similar lecture for opening a door for a woman.

michele is right, this is a common courtesy thing.

I always get strange looks from ladies as I stand up when they approach the table I am sitting at...

My boyfriend is the ultimate gentleman. And I love him for it. Never have I felt so cared for by a simple gesture.

Though it has become sort of a game with us..."who can get to the door first to open it!"

Slightly OT whilst talking about manners. We have as part of protocol here in Nashville something called "The Nashville Wave". It goes something like this:

Two cars get to an intersection or area of a parking lot at the same time. Car A motions for car B to go first (the auto equivalent of "holding the door").

The driver of car B is then supposed to wave in thanks to to the driver of car A. This is orthodoxy.

I've been told that this behavior is pretty specific to Nashville, but I haven't driven in too many other cities to look for a comparison. Is a "Thank-you" wave expected where you're from?

Another example of a one issue, one track mind. Courtesy is courtesy, exclusive of any other issues you may have. My brothers were raised to hold doors and chairs for women. Most of their friends think this is "quaint". We were all, boys and girls, raised to respect any one older than we which included holding doors open, which I do to this day.

Does the so called womens movment mean that courtesy is unacceptable?

Going in and out of a huge office building every day I actually really appreciate the gestures of men who hold open doors and let you first into and out of the elevator. It's courtesy and also makes me day easier in some respects.

I actually find myself wondering how they remember to do that all the time and how nice it is that they put thought into manners and treating people well. I'm not so thoughtful all the time, and maybe I should take a lesson about that.

slartibarfast- i learned that behavior after living there for a year. I do it here and people just about have heart attacks (in small town oregon). And i learned to drive in LA, where the only thing you wave at people on the road is a gun. heh.

The best response I've ever seen to that situation:

"I'm not holding the door because you're a lady. I'm holding the door because I am a gentleman."



I think the story is real. I remember reading in a race, class & gender book in college an essay saying pretty much what Cavuto describes.

I wish I was joking or making this up, but it's true. And sadly, it seems this anthology is pretty popular among women's studies classes. So I assume this line of thought is pretty prevalent among some branches of feminism.

Thankfully the teacher knew the book was a load of shit and didn't care when I ripped her idiotic essay apart.

I don't mind holding the door for a lady, but geez, the 27 people right behind her that recognize a good thing....


That story is very believable. I've known lots of feminists like that. Fortunately, the frequency of such encounters can be greatly reduced by, for instance, avoiding certain segments of academia. Just not worth it.

I tell you what the feminists have done for us - you can now be 8 months pregnant, standing on a bus, holding two young children by the hand, and no man will get up and offer you their seat. We've come a long way, Baby!

Does he say how thick her mustache was?

Where, in the cosmos of courtesy and chivalry, would one place the offer to slap a woman's ass?

And why do some women seem offended by this?

"I consider myself a feminist and I've never said or thought anything like the situation Cavuto describes."

Well then, there's the proof. It must not ever happen, and he and anybody else who claims it's happened to them are lying. That's much more plausible.

I was taught as a child to hold doors open for other people, give my seat up for older people and to generally be polite. I taught my children, both boys and girls the same thing. Even though I'm an older woman now, I still hold doors for others and give up my seat to people who need it.
I wonder what she does when the limo driver or parking attendant opens the car door for her?
Also, wasn't she being a little insensitive with her "do I look paralyzed" question. I know people with disabilities who hold doors open for others. She sounds condensing towards disabled people.
Please, give me your seat, open my door, pull my chair out (but not from under me). I will graciously thank you. K.

No urban myth,I've heard similar many times over.

By age 5 both my son and daughter were opening doors for others. A person who I then called a "friend" actually ripped into me about it. My response? Just beacuse you choose to be an ass, that doesn't mean I'm going to raise my children to be asses.

For some reason we were no longer friends after that.

Of course, this same "friend" also wrote an essay for her womens studies class about "The myth of PMS" and how it was just a part of a larger plan to oppress women by convincing them that they were deranged by nature. (insert eyeroll here)

Faith: We remember because it was drilled into us. It's now second nature.

Isn't it amazing, though, that there are so many people, like this woman, going out of their way to make the world an uglier place?

Wonder how she would have reacted if she had seen me THANK Mr. Cavuto (or any other man) for opening the door for me.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I went out of my way being rude to someone who went on a rampage just because some big ol' male held a door open for her.

I'd teach her the meaning of feminism, I would


For the record, guys, I would NEVER berate you for being a gentleman!

I have seen this happen a few times, but I wouldn't chalk it up to "feminism," exactly. A lot of the girls I knew in college took women's studies courses and were devout feminists, but they never reacted this way when I held doors for them. Maybe EXTREME feminism, but I really believe that this particular woman was just a royal bitch. Some people have no manners, to the point where they can't even accept courtesy from others.

Put it this way. When a guy acts like an asshole, I blame him, not some male chauvinist conspiracy. So when a woman acts like an asshole, I blame HER, not feminism.

no fooling - I had friends in college who'd rip into a guy for holding the door for them. They were very cynical about the guy's behavior, like somehow if he held the door for them, that meant he expected they'd hop into bed with them. (These tended to also be the people who thought everything was about them).

Which made me sad - 999 times out of 1000, the guy is doing it to just be nice, or because his momma taught him to, or because where he came from that's how men act, and these shrewish women couldn't possibly see a GOOD motive for his behavior.

I did go through a little big of a cynic/radical/call-it-what-you-want phase in college, but I learned real fast that it's terribly exhausting to examine every single behavior of every person you meet and seek an ulterior motive. It's a hella lot easier to assume that people are doing things out of goodness or, at the very least, tradition or confusedness, than to try to figure out how they're trying to diss or repress you with everything they do.

These days, I smile and say "thanks" when someone shows me a little common courtesy. And you know, maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but I feel good when I do something nice for someone - you know, like waving someone into traffic instead of blocking the intersection, or helping someone carry heavy packages or something. Maybe all the guy wants is the feeling that he's done something to help a fellow human? Or is that too much to give him, because he's an "evil man"?

"Ah, but what about those of us who like when guys smile, open doors and pull out chairs? What about us women who don't view every compliment as a sexist put down?"

Bwahahahahahhaha ... all our manly efforts have WORKED you mere female!

I knew a couple of girls like this back when I was in high school. One day, I opened a door for one whose arms were overflowing with boxes. It seemed the proper thing to do, seeing as how she couldn't possibly have opened the door without setting everything down on the ground; I'd have done it for anyone,regardless of sex. This person, however, proceeded to lecture me on how offended her feminist sensibilities were by my action. After she finished her speech, I dutifully complied with her wishes and walked in the door ahead of her. And then pulled it shut tightly behind me.

Yes, I'm an asshole. Screw with me at your peril.

I got righteously indignant about women like that the first hundred times I heard this same old story.

And the first hundred times the airing of stories like these led to a bunch of guys immediately attacking the woman-in-question's (a) looks, (b) ability to "get laid," © femininity, and (d) miscellaneous other attributes that have nothing to do with the basic issue, which is that her behavior was rude, I blew it off because, well, what can a woman like that expect?

But now--call me cynical--it's to the point that I'm starting to wonder where all these angry, man-hating, don't-hold-the-door-open-for-ME-mister women are coming from. Because the only net effect I see from these stories is a damn pile-on about women with mustaches who can't get laid because they hate men.

And then there's the part where, in 35 years, I've never seen even one woman object to having the door held open for her.

But that's just me. And we all know I have a mustache and hate men.

Here's a true story. My husband was at Yale in the early 70's during our late and unlamented cultural revolution. He was walking across campus lost in thought as usual when he heard someone say, what time it is? Before he thought to assess whether he was qualified to speak to the question, he blurted out the time. For his trouble, he was informed by the female interlocker that she only wanted black time.

So charming. She no doubt has gone through life denouncing the lack of civility among those meets.

"And we all know I have a mustache and hate men."

Sounds like it's that time of the month! (Get it?)

Darth Monkeybone said:
>I always get strange looks from ladies as
>I stand up when they approach the table I
>am sitting at...

Oh my gosh -- we had some contractors visiting from Ireland a few months ago, and they stood up when one of my female co-workers was excusing herself to go to the restroom.

That is SO sexy.

One of them opened the car door for me and even closed it for me once I was in. swoon

Of course, I went to high school and college in Texas, where men you aren't dating still open the car door for you.

Michele, come on down south for a while, and especially go somewhere blue collar. You will get so sick of the courtesies men insist on offering women, you may very well snap at them yourself.

I have learned to smile and be gracious when they really are going intensely out of their way to hold a door open, even though they'd have been better off just going on in and letting me take care of it myself.

That said, I'm with Ilyka and Mike on this one. Funny how every time this topic comes up, man-hating dyke lezbos who can't get laid always seem to be the main character.

I'm a feminist. I've never insulted a man for opening a door for me. Not now, not when I was in college, not ever. Nor do I know anyone who has, but I wouldn't blame that on feminism. I'd blame it on that person being a rude asshole.

in Charles Grodin's first book,he sways that he has a standard that he uses when dealing with people,and that is assuming that everyone you meet just got out of rehab and may snap at any minute,si tread gently for your own self-preservation.

Get offended? Of course not. I always say "thank you" to them, too. I'll hold the door open for men or women, young or old. If in a hurry, I'll give it that little extra push to keep it open longer. My husband always opens the door for me and will tell me to wait so that he can.

My grandmother would wait in the car until my grandfather came around to open up the door for her. One time he didn't and was wondering what happened to her. She was still sitting in the car waiting for him. He never forgot again.

"Please," "thank you," and "may I" are little things that take so little effort, but they can have such a transforming effect on the demeanor of another person.

"For his trouble, he was informed by the female interlocker that she only wanted black time."

Proper response: "Oh, sorry about that! In BLACK time, it's bitch o'clock."

Uh -- Meryl and ilyka, I've only seen a couple of comments here about rude women needing to be laid and having moustaches. Most of the comments here have focused on the fact that this women was a) rude, and b) affected by the misguided feminist theories (or misguidedly affected by feminist theories) that they had been taught in college.

I can tell you right now that the "door opening" thing is no myth made up by men angry that the little female is asserting herself instead of staying demure and helpless. It was one of the the main motifs used to illustrate the theory of sex marking, written by a radical feminist whose name escapes me at the moment. (What can I say -- I sold the book as soon as I was out of the Feminist Theory class because I needed the money -- I want to say it was Marilyn French but that doesn't sound right.) The theory is, men do these things to women (yes, they do them to women) in order to bring attention both to the woman's femininity and the fact that he, the man, noticed it. This was considered by radical (that means "root cause," not "crazy nuts," by the way) feminists to be one of the male's ways of asserting dominance over the female and marking her out as territory. I swear by the bones of Simone Beavoir I am not making this up, this was as it was taught in the class I took a few years ago.

OMG Angus I should make that the theme of my blog... ROFL.

Sounds like it's that time of the month! (Get it?)

No. I'm an infant who was only born yesterday, so I've never heard that joke in my (brief) entire life. I guess I'll just take your word for it that it's chock full o'laughs for those who get it, and that it never really gets old.


Marilyn Frye wrote it! Looked in my race class & gender book. Scary woman, her. The essay in question is called "Oppression."

THAT'S who it was. Oh my god, yeah, that book - I couldn't stand the way she wrote either. Especially the way she used "oppression" and all its forms (oppressed, oppressor, oppressive) in one sentence. It was like being beaten over the head with an axe handle. "Oppress! Press! Press down! I press you and oppress because I am an oppressive oppressor! Get it! Now don't you hate men?" No, lady, I just hate you.

Obviously I am still traumatized. I managed to pass the class with a B, though.

Book, essay, thing -- words are so oppressive! Argh.

I love it when people hold the door for me. I, like JimK am obsessive about courtesy, and I'm always on the lookout for little ways I can help people, like letting people merge, and carrying heavy things for old people.

Needless to say, most of the time I feel like a freak. I think I actually make people nervous.

"I guess I'll just take your word for it that it's chock full o'laughs for those who get it, and that it never really gets old."


Sounds like it's that time of the month! (Get it?)

How did Treacher (despite an entire month of begging people to vote for him and recycling things he did years ago) not win Humor Blog Of the Year, with comedy gold like that? That's the funniest goddamn thing I've heard since 6th grade. And the "Get it?", in the parenthesis, no less (as in, don't go there motherfucker!) = pure unadulterated motherfucking genius!!!!! (it's worth five exclamation points!!!)

It's not ALL stuff I did years ago. Some of it is stuff I did months ago.

Meryl Yourish wrote:

"You will get so sick of the courtesies men insist on offering women, you may very well snap at them yourself."

Snap at someone who displayed good manners? Really?

"I have learned to smile and be gracious when they really are going intensely out of their way to hold a door open, even though they'd have been better off just going on in and letting me take care of it myself."

I don't think you meant that you learned this as an adult, after you moved to Dixie. Surely, politeness and good manners are part of any civilised person's upbringing, with no need to give such a second thought? Perhaps I am tone-deaf to your way of complimenting Southern manners. If so, please accept my apology.

Based on ten-odd years of serving papers (to include divorce summons and complaints and restraining orders) part time, I would suggest that it is most desirable to try and condition males to behave gallantly toward women, imperfectly as that process is accomplished in our time. I doubt anyone would like a society in which men regarded the other sex as having no more exalted status, or even a lower one, than other men. One of the things which separate us from animals, you know.

It's not ALL stuff I did years ago. Some of it is stuff I did months ago.

I stand corrected. Also, I never get tired of the comic book parodies.

It's happened to me, repeatedly, over the years. I settled on "... because my mother taught me good manners."

"Also, I never get tired of the comic book parodies."

I do.

Last night I thought of an old saying: if a man opens the car door for the woman, either the girlfriend is new, or the car is.

My mom and I are so used to being with gentlemanly...well, gentlemen, that when we are out just the two of us, we stand at doors blinking, not understanding why the doors aren't opening by themselves. It's kind of funny to see - we must look like idiots.

The point, though, is that I value men who are respectful towards women. Men who open doors, wait for a woman to enter/exit an elevator first, help a woman with her overhead luggage on a plane...this shows a depth of character and an awareness of something other than the end of his nose.

This cow that started this whole conversation makes men hesitate to be gentlemen. And for that, she should be shot.

Just my $0.02.

Holy Flashback Batman!

I got this lecture in 1977!! As a freshman in college, taking out a (yeah, she was drop dead gorgeous) soph who I found out later to my chagrin was "liberated".

I opened the door to my car (a screamin hot, 1965 Chrysler 300, 383 four barrel thank you very hello),

for her to get in. She flashed her wrist in front of me, and said

"see this"?? (twisting it back and forth) "works just like yours, ok??!?!"

I maintained. Dropped her off after the movie. Said goodnight. I wish that mom hadn't beaten those manners into me at that moment in my life but I couldn't overcome them.

"Does your thumb work too? 'Cause that's how you're gettin' home, cupcake."