Knock-knock

Mornings are my favorite time of day. But just to be clear, when I say “mornings,” I mean the hour I have to myself to lay in bed, drink coffee, eat eggs and unabashedly watch Broad City. Everything after that doesn’t count as “morning.” It’s just “day” to me. And throughout the day, there is one unavoidable social exchange that I despise more than parking garage elevator rides (for context, parking garage elevator rides usually consist of me accidentally forgetting to turn off my Pandora blasting Matt Bomer serenading the strangers around me with not-so-ambiguous questions like “How Does It Feel.” These are the longest 14 seconds of my day).

But alas, there is something worse to follow.

 

I know it seems like I overanalyze everything, and that’s almost definitely true. Most social interactions do not have to be nearly as awkward as I make them. However, there is one daily occurrence that I am sure is a universal struggle and that, my friends, is the unpredictable drudgery of door-holding. This epic assessment of human awkwardness is most prevalent at the end of long hallways…or parking garages…or literally anywhere with doors.
 
How long do you wait for the person behind you to catch up before letting the door close and walking off? If you wait too long, said person has to do that classy skip-sprint dance number to the door so you don’t have to uncomfortably stand there for what feels like hours. On the other hand, if you let the door fall without waiting at all, you’re just a criminal – especially if you subtly shoot an instinctive glance behind you to justify your decision. All of us walking behind you saw you briefly turn around; we know you saw us.

And if you’re the one behind, do you keep saying “thank you” as the person in front of you holds open four consecutive doors? Why does every building in Dallas have so many doors anyway? No one needs that much privacy or security. “Thank you. Thank you. Ha, thank you. Oh…thank you.” You sound like an indebted broken record. And what if they’re the kind of OCD person who has to verbally acknowledge your thankfulness:

Door #1: “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” Door #2: “Thanks.” “Welcome.” Door #3: “Oh, thank you.” “No problem.” Door #4: “Wow, so many damn doors, thank you.” “Finally, we’ve made it to the Promised Land. You’re welcome.”

It’s annoying to imagine either of these scenarios, but you also can’t just walk through without expressing gratitude. According to Emily Post, that would be discourteous. So you must decide: would you rather be awkward or rude? If you’re like me, it’s not a decision per se. It’s more of a way of life. Awkwardness is an art I’ve long perfected. So it may be in your best social interest to simply be rude and remain thankyou-less – unless I’m the one holding the door, in which case you’d better sincerely thank me and tip me for each door.

 

Also, as a woman, I’m not sure exactly what the protocol is anyway. I hate to think I would just expect a man to hold the door open for me every time I approach a doorway, but when I end up holding the door open for a man, I nonetheless silently curse him and his family as he apathetically slithers through the door I so graciously held for him. But, like… I’m a feminist. In conclusion, doorways really distort all my beliefs and I am once again left questioning my identity. I don’t lose much sleep over this, though. Door-holding is like Manhattan real estate – there are no rules.

There’s no getting around this phenomenon since most establishments have – in more or less patronizing tones – laughed off my suggestion to use a row of those really cool, floor-length beads instead of actual doors (you’ll be sorry one day when those come back in style. You’ll all be sorry). I guess we’re stuck holding doors open and accepting doors being held open for us. So the next time you proudly stride through an automatic doorway at Target, think of how lucky you are that you have me to remind you of these things.

Dallas According to Katie

I moved to Dallas for a summer internship. After one week in this city, I have a few thoughts.

On Day 1, I wore Nike shorts and wet hair to The HEB Platinum (this is how I refer to Tom Thumb and/or other Dallas grocery stores) and I have not made that mistake since. People do not leave their homes unless they actually look presentable. This is new for me. Sometimes I’ll see a woman in yoga pants, but I can tell by her hairsprayed curls and flawless makeup that she did not come from the gym nor is she on her way to the gym. Nonetheless [insert any Dallas female] still looks better in “workout” gear than I do with real clothes on.

Luckily, I moved just in time to avoid the bring-your-own-bag rule at stores. Perhaps that changed because shoplifters were the target audience. I’m a little annoyed that it’s no longer a thing – I just bought all these cute bags to carry around the grocery store. However, I had to first buy bags to bring with me upon purchasing the cute bags, so you can imagine how many extra bags I am now burdened with.

 

Driving in Dallas is more terrifying to me than a montage of Chucky films. Trains appear quite literally out of nowhere. Everyone I’ve asked about this has told me I will probably not be hit by a train as long as I hear the sound which precedes a train’s appearance. Therefore I no longer listen to music. If someone is riding in my passenger’s seat, they too are to be silent. No sounds in the car anymore ever again. I will not be hit by a train. If I am going to die in Dallas, it will be from overdosing on popsicles (why are they so delicious here?).

Here’s something fun though! I’ve finally gotten to use my car horn! I’ve never actually used it in a real-life situation, but Dallas Katie has serious road rage. That newfound rage – coupled with the fact that cars decide at a moment’s notice to just park randomly in the far right lane with no warning or indication – makes for some exciting, yet permanently silent, driving adventures.

I would like to think that I’ll have time to explore the stimulating cultural exhibitions Dallas has to offer me, but I’ve calculated that most of my day is spent navigating some parking garage or another. The remaining hours are spent in elevators or aimlessly roaming around Whole Foods in awe of how many gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian meals there actually are. A lot. There are a lot.

 

Hindering my effort to make friends, I keep getting all the hundreds of Dallas sports teams confused. The Rangers do not in fact play the Cowboys and I guess there’s a hockey team or something? Oddly enough, no one seems to want to discuss the Spurs so I’m sort of at a loss. If I ever do pick a sport and go to any games, I would certainly not drive there myself (i.e. trains).

Despite the many Mavericks fans, the immense pressure to wear actual clothes and driving in general, I actually really enjoy living in Dallas. Stuff here stays open past 8 pm! And boys constantly walk around in suits. There’s an Anthropologie at the mall, so it’s already a step ahead of Waco, and I haven’t yet gotten stuck behind a tractor, so it’s already 10 points ahead of Boerne! Not too shabby.