Hold the door

Guys!  Hold the door for me.  Please!  I expect it.  I’m not sure if this is part of my southern upbringing or my age or just the fact that I am a girly girl, but if there is a man in the vicinity and I am approaching a door, I expect him to do everything in his power to have it open for me by the time I get there.  I also expect to be offered the last chair and if I drop the load I’m carrying, I want help picking it up.

English: A page from Brathwait's book that dis...I just want the male population to know that there are some of us who appreciate and expect your consideration.

I talked at length a while back with a male friend about this conundrum and he no longer knew what to do when faced with one of these possibly volatile situations.  He was raised to treat women with respect and open doors, pull out chairs and pay for dinner, but he never knows when his civilized gestures are going to make him the brunt of an attack.  He’s been subjected to cursing by the ones who don’t need or want his help, but he’s also experienced the thankfulness of those who do.  Ladies, men have a hard enough time trying to figure us out, don’t you think?  I pity them sometimes.

To all the guys out there, if you open a door for me or perform any other chivalrous act, you are going to get a great big thank you with a smile.

The day fingernails won me over

I was a jealous little girl and I couldn’t bear the idea of not getting the lion’s share of the attention from any adults I might spend time with.  This was such a problem with me that I would plot and plan evasive little schemes to get to have my granny all to myself.  If my brother and sister wanted to go stay with her I would remind them that granny didn’t have television and they would miss their favorite programs.  Or, I would pretend that I wasn’t going after all and tell them what fun we would have, only to sneak out and go to her house before they had time to realize I was going.  I was often a sneaky, deceitful child in my dealings with them.

I remember one time granny seriously considered adopting a young girl and I was absolutely devastated and I let her know it.  Looking back, I realize how incredibly selfish and self-centered I was, but at the time I guess I didn’t realize that granny had enough love to go around.  There is no justification for my feeling this way; I was surrounded by people who loved me and let me know it daily.  However, I strive to be transparent here, and this is just the way it was for a long time.

You can just imagine my dismay when I learned that my uncle, who at the time was away at college, was bringing his girlfriend home.  A girlfriend?!?  Are you kidding me?  This just couldn’t be.  I could not allow this to happen.  My uncle had been one of my babysitters when I was young and he held a special place in my heart.   There just wasn’t room for another woman in the picture.

Somehow, in spite of my objections to her very presence on earth, much less with MY uncle, I managed to ride to the airport to pick them up on her first trip home to meet the family.  My little heart was pounding, and my mind was whirling with ideas of how dreadful she would be.  I don’t remember the exact details but I do remember that I ended up sitting next to her in the car on the ride home.  She was tiny and had quite the southern accent.  She had beautiful bouncy brown hair, a tiny splash of freckles and the most beautiful naturally long fingernails I had ever seen.  She let me play with her nails all the way home and looking back, I wonder if that drove her crazy at the time, if she hated it that I sat there pulling, probing and picking at her nails.

Needless to say, before we even completed the hour drive home, she had won my heart and has been carving out her own private place in it ever since.  Not long after that (I don’t think they were married when we first met, but my memory may fail me on that point) she became my aunt.  She has always shown me unconditional love and taught me a lot about marriage and family and my life is richer because she has been a part of it.  I know everyone in my family would agree.

It’s funny because her son and his family were visiting me this past weekend and during church one of his girls sat in my lap and begin to play with my fingernails and it brought back such a flood of fond memories. And you know what?  I didn’t hate it at all; it was precious.

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