Picture me in a black dress, high heels, gold accessories, weighed down like a pack mule: carrying a clutch*, laptop bag, gym bag, lunch bag, and a light sweater. My hair is in place, make-up is fresh, the bangles on my arm are gently clinking together as I walk from my car to the entrance of the office building. I feel very much like Audrey Hepburn, except that I never saw her loaded down like a pack mule, unless she was gracefully carrying shopping bags.
Most women, if not all women, have this natural ability to be able to strategically carry everything they own on their person while still looking professional or classy (whatever the goal is). The main point is to get everything from point A to point B in one trip, no matter how heavy the load or how many bags she ends up draping over her arms. It isn't just the ability to carry items to and from a location, it's the ability to also open doors once she's arrived. If someone happens to be nearby to hold a door open, that's a bonus, but it's impossible to rely on that.
Go back to picturing me, Audrey Hepburn-esque, walking through a dimly lit parking garage. Looking ahead, I notice several people entering the building. They are yelling distance away. I walk a few yards closer to the entrance and watch a man walk through the door. He suddenly stops and holds the door open but no one is directly behind him. He yells, "If you hurry. . ." and then motions that I can walk through the open door.
Now, I am not in a position to hurry. To even get to him in a decent amount of time I would have to literally jog to reach the door. I sweetly call out, "Oh, no thanks! Go on ahead, I can get it!" While it would be nice not to have to struggle to get the door open, I know I can get the door open myself because I am carrying everything strategically! It isn't worth this guy standing there for 5 more minutes and it isn't worth me breaking into a sweat or risking tripping on my high heels to jog over there.
I really thought he would shrug and walk on, but instead he yelled angrily, "Well excuuuuuse me! Try to hold a door open for a lady and you all end up being crazy feminists!!"
He let the door close and I watched him storm down the hallway, further into the building. I am not a crazy feminist. Sure I support the rights and equality of women but I also support the rights and equality of everyone! Trying to remain looking classy and walking at a lady-like pace makes me a crazy feminist? I guess I should have sprinted toward the door? Ugh.
The story gets better. Once in the lobby, I arrive just in time to squeeze into the elevator with a small group of professionals. As I approach the open doors, I hear the man's voice and stop- he can obviously see me but I can't see him- "Don't hold the elevator! She can do it all herself!" I see confused expressions on a few of the people in the elevator and then the doors shut.
I hope the next time I see that guy it's pouring down rain because I am going to expect him to carry me over every puddle while also holding an umbrella over my head. And then I'm going to punch him in the face.
*a clutch is a purse that has no strap, that is carried under the arm.