Social Norms and Thirty Days
I spend a lot of my time observing people and things. Most recently I’ve had questions about some unspoken social rules. For instance, I like to cut across the grass when going to a house or business. I have nothing against sidewalks or anything like that. I just like to take the shortest distance, and the shortest distance is a straight line.
It always seems odd to me then when I watch others skirt grass and medians like there is an invisible wall guiding them along. Even when following the sidewalk or trail that takes them the long way around. Am I breaking an understood norm by treading on the grass rather than the concrete path provided? Do people watch me and wonder at my breach of etiquette? I don’t know, perhaps only I think about it.
Another thing I have witnessed is a curious action regarding open doors. I routinely hold doors open at my job, keeping one side of a set of double doors open to let people in or out. Interestingly about ninety-five percent of the time or higher, people will wait to use the door I hold open rather than open the door next to it. No matter how crowded it is or if they are entering or leaving they will wait for others to clear the one open door instead.
I have marveled at this for quite awhile, trying to puzzle out the reasoning. I think perhaps its the idea of a social obligation to me, the door holder. I have held the door open for them, so the next normal step is for them to enter it. It doesn’t matter that there is another door next to it, it would be rude for them to open it when I have done the job for them. This answer amuses me, as it is such a silly thing to feel randomly obligated like that.
On an unrelated note I’ve decided to bite the bullet and give myself an actual goal. Thirty days of posting in a row, writing on this blog. I figure if I can hit thirty days, then I can start working at things like stories, novels, or that mythical 10,000 hours. Of course, the other half of the challenge is to keep my writing relevant, rather than just scribbling on virtual walls. So, those of you who read this, keep me honest. Call me out, criticize me, or leave a comment, feedback is always much appreciated.