Shuts That Door In A New York Minute

| Friendly | October 27, 2016

(I am thirteen years old, My mom takes me on a trip to New York for a few days. We do some shopping, see a Broadway show, etc. and are having a great time. I was born and raised in the South, but my accent isn’t particularly thick. As we’re leaving a department store, I see a middle-aged woman behind us with her arms full of shopping bags. So, I do what I was taught and hold the door for her while my mom waits for me on the sidewalk.)

Woman: *stops halfway through the door and stares at me and says in a thick NY accent* “What do you want?”

Me: *surprised, since I’ve never had an adult get mad at me for holding a door before* “I’m sorry?”

Woman: *squints at me, still not moving* “What’s your problem?”

Me: “Uh… I was just holding the door for you, ma’am.”

Woman: “Humph. You’re from the south aren’t you?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Woman: “Who told you that you could just hold doors for people?”

Me: *completely confused by this point* “My mother.” *points to where she’s standing*

Woman: “Well, don’t just assume you can hold the door, and don’t you call me ma’am!” *finally walks away*

(I paused for a minute, considering how everything I’d been taught about how I should address adults was just trampled on. I decided she must had been having a bad day and went back to find my mom. Now, I’m not one to generalize about a group of people based on one person’s actions, and the rest of the New Yorkers we met that week were great! But I’ll probably never forget that one lady who got upset with me for being polite.)

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