About ladies first. Is it bad manners or condescending to let a woman go through a door first? Sometimes I add insult to injury by standing there like an idiot because I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing. Opening the door for her and letting her pass through? Or open the door and pass through myself before holding the door open? Or totally ignore the person behind me and rush through?
What is a gentleman to do?
–JT, Portsmouth, RI
- There’s a French theory about the origin of ladies first. The lady went first to give the gentleman protecting her from behind time to draw his dueling sword, if villains were waiting to ambush them in the street.
- The same holds true for etiquette and manners in the work place and public buildings.
- When it comes to dating, well there’s a whole other nuance there — even without the threat of being ambushed on the street.
Do boys still carry girls’ school books? Well, I doubt it because it would be near impossible for anyone to wear two knapsacks at once.
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Accepting A Compliment