This Curious Thing You Call Courtesy

The general lack of civility and courtesy in the world was apparent in the huge, surprised toothy grin of the woman that I held the door open for, before my own entry into Starbucks this morning. It got my mind, even in its only moderately caffeinated state, churning with speculation about what the future might hold for a southern gentleman like myself. I imagined a world where once common acts of selflessness, say something as simple as holding a door open, were so foreign to the populace that performing one was a strong first step in some twisted courtship ritual – a world in which my innate gallantry would be more curse than positive character attribute, and would lead to many a misunderstanding and the occasional escape-from-a-shotgun-wedding caper or two. If this morning’s recipient of my amiable nature was already living with one foot heavily planted in this new world, then perhaps her next move would be to follow me from Starbucks – just long enough to get a sense of where I spend my days. Only later would she return, with her father and cultish preacher character in tow, for a public ceremony few of us have yet to witness. That she currently still mostly resides in the world as we know it was evidenced by her decision to remain behind and wait for her own morning Joe. There will be no unintended impromptu unions before the barrel of a 12-gauge this afternoon my friends, at least not in Tribeca.

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