What Matters

Two of our three kids and I went to the movies last night. Miss Middle was at a sleepover and my girlfriend was hosting this thing called Bunco, so we needed something to do for a couple of hours while the ladies, well, bunc-ed.

Anyway, we went to see Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and that ever handsome Keri Russell. I recommend it. It's not Gran Torino or anything, but it's a good story with some laughs and a few tears, reasons I go to the movies in the first place.

As we exited the theater to walk down the long hall toward the lobby, I noticed a couple in front of us; no, make that I noticed a man in front of us: hair nicely coiffed, long wool carcoat, polished Allen-Edmonds or some such nonsense. He was chatting with the lady who held his hand; she was holding his, not vice-versa - can you see it? I don't know how else to say it, other than the man gave off the air of importance. I immediately hoped some hyper kid would turn around and run into his groin or spill his Icee on his slippers.

As we walked through the lobby toward the front doors to the night air, he and his compadre were still directly in front of us. My youngest daughter was about a step ahead of me, walking and turning back to tell me her favorite parts of the movie. As Mr. Importance walked through the first set of doors, he didn't hold it open for the person behind him, in this case, my six-year old little girl. The Dad radar kicked in and I jumped ahead to catch the heavy glass door. The same thing happened as this man opened the final door. He didn't look back or hold the door open for those behind him.

Now, maybe this guy had just witnessed Defiance and was so engrossed in reflection that he was just, well, engrossed. Or maybe he'd just weathered Benjamin Button and was exhausted to the point of non-awareness of anything around him. And yes, dear reader, I am very aware of my own prejudices in this; namely, it's like a burr under my saddle when folks emit the vibe that they're Jesus H. Christ and their poop doesn't stink like the rest of ours. But to not hold the door open for the person behind you? Especially when the chances are good to great that the person just might be all of six years old and not yet adept at handling heavy glass doors? Heavens to mergatroyd.

The regulars here at The Dirty Shame uphold certain standards, like holding the door open for the person behind you. We even advocate men holding the door open for ladies. We say please and thank you; we also say dammit quite often, but it's never gratuitous. We drive slowly in neighborhoods because they're full of neighbors, whether we know 'em or not. We believe that at the end of the day, all that matters is how you treated folks, especially those smaller and less coiffed than yourself.

About halfway home, my youngest said thanks, Dad, for taking us to the movies. I loved it! And I said you are welcome, my dear.

This is a tough old world, full of heavy glass doors and all. Be sweet to folks.

You know, maybe nobody ever told that guy a bedtime story. That's no excuse, but it might be a reason.


  1. Perhaps it was "be mean to children day". A woman walked up to my daughter, who was waiting for her ski lesson yesterday, and told her, "I think you have my ski poles". Then grabbed them and left. I was 10 feet away and didn't see it. No, "Sweetie, I think you may have gotten my ski poles by mistake." or, "Where's your chaperone? I think you took my poles."

    No. None of that. J just had to take her ski lesson sans poles. Nice.

    Maybe this chick knows your Allen-Edmonds fella.

    Oh, we liked Bedtime Stories, too, and isn't it sweet that your dtr remembered to say thanks.

  2. Pious. Idiot. I don't understand people like that...and I don't handle that crap very well...ESPECIALLY when Mama Bear wants to show her claws...

    Bottom line: you had a great night with your kiddos and no doubt THAT is the memory they made and not the jerk with fancy schmancy shoes.

  3. That chaps my hide...

  4. I agree. No one ever read this guy a bedtime story or told him he was loved.

  5. Sadly, we see that kind of behavior daily around here near the Capital City of our Country...it is, by far, the most inconsiderate place we have ever lived...especially in traffic. They actually have to put up those digital, blinking sign where the HOV exits into normal traffic that blinks in bold print, "TAKE TURNS!" How sad...

    Now, get a good military man in front of you at a store or movie theater and he IS sure to hold the door...

    I think we all could use a few more bedtime stories. You don't happen to be writing up any kind of one do you?

  6. Wanted to share a recent experience that may give you a smile. Terry dropped me off at Target in Benton so I could run in and get a gift card. I made my purchase and exited the same time as a young mom with way to much in her buggy. As we stopped at the edge of the walkway to wait for traffic a box slid out from the bottom rack of her buggy. As I turned to offer help four teenaged girls stepped between us and immediately asked if they could help her. She assured them that her husband was driving up and she was fine. The next lady that walked out the door noticed her full basket and the box on the ground and offered her help also. Again, she said she was fine. We were both pretty amazed that so many offered help and especially the young girls. It made my heart smile.

    Don't know if there is any relation but.....there is a new reality show called "True Beauty" and on the show the contestants think they are being judged on outer beauty when they are actually being judged on how they react to tests of inner beauty....offering to open a door for a man with his hands full, offering to help a bike wreck victim, picking up trash left by a stranger, comforting an upset stranger...you get the idea. Anyway, much of the show is shallow and not worth watching, but I do wonder if it has young people thinking about being caring, compassionate, generous, honest etc. Just a thought!