March Madness Comes Early

In my first post, I casually referenced a debate regarding the most consequential of topics: Who is more annoying, people who don’t hold a door for you or people who don’t say “Thank you” when you hold the door for them?”

Since that post hit the blogosphere two days ago, the mailbag in the Dining Room Office (trademark pending) has been inundated with hundreds, nay thousands, of requests that I resolve this issue once and for all.* And how would it look if, so early in my blogging career, I just ignored reader feedback and went on my merry way, talking about something infinitely more inane, like why living in a cul de sac is bad news when it snows? (More on that down the road. Probably.)

You asked for it, you got it. And even if you didn’t, you still did. Right.

The Tale of the Tape

If these two were to square off in an NCAA tournament of annoyance, I think it would be a 5/12 matchup in the Jersey Shore region, with the non-thankers drawing the better seed due to the more tangible, and thus more overtly annoying, way they’re dissing you. And on the surface, it looks like they might run away it.

Consider that it’s always annoying to stand there and hold the door while the next person approaches and shoots you a look that says “Why wouldn’t you do this? I’m awesome” before taking it from you in silence. In basketball terms, that’s your consistent low post presence. Then factor in the people who never take the door and just walk right by, apparently assuming you’re some sort of butler; this is the equivalent of the game-changing wing player who can take over and win the whole thing by himself.

Now, we’ve come to expect the 5/12 upset, but as I said, the non-door-holders appear overmatched. Yeah, their trait is bothersome, but how much do the people five to ten feet in front of you really owe you? Maybe you’re a slow walker. Maybe they’re horrendously near-sighted and can’t tell how far away you really are. Maybe they want to avoid making you do that sheepish “Oh, wow, we are doing this” catch-up trot.

In short, the non-door-holders are a nice story—a mid-major that finishes third in their league during the regular season but finds their way into the big dance by winning the conference tournament—even though you don’t expect them to do much.

And then it happens: The dude walking toward you lets the door slam shut behind him as you pass each other. This is the completely unexpected, a.k.a the 5’10” point guard who averages eight points a game catching fire and dropping 35. There’s no explanation for it, other than that this man (or woman) despises the very idea of doing something nice for you and wants you to know about it. He or she probably also kicks puppies. And old people.

That kind of performance will keep the non-door-holders in the game, and it’s a lot closer than we thought it would be, maybe even a tie going into the final 10 minutes. But like that great post game, the non-thankers and their earbuds are just too reliable of a threat and keep coming in waves, eventually pulling away down the stretch.

Final Score: (5) Non-Thankers 85, (12) Non-Door-Holders 74

No, I can’t tell you what those point totals actually mean. Or where the last five minutes of your life just went.

*This sentence is unequivocally false. But good news for all of those familiar with my book: This format hasn’t stopped me from including a dumb footnote.


  1. Anonymous

    I paused my episode of Dr. Oz to read this. (Just so you know what a huge fan I am.) Unfortunately, you lost me with all the sports talk. Maybe you could frame it in terms of what Oprah would say? Just something to consider … ;)-Molly

  2. Chris

    What I have found to be even more annoying are those who, while you are holding a door open, let's say at a mall entrance, completely bypass you AND the door you are holding open for them by choosing the door furthest away from you while throwing you the evil eye as if you had just cussed them out (although if you cussed them out in English, chances are they didn't understand becuase they are cussing you out in Spanish, indicating the are from Juarez and are pretending that they don't understand when they really do).I'm not sure where this pecial type of person falls into this 5/12 example, but if I had to guess, they would probably be the team that wins the NIT and are siply jealous that they didn't even get invited.

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