Picture of Dr. Linda Algazi with seven-year-old grandson.


I couldn’t wait to share my city of origin with my seven-year-old grandson.

Aidan with his giant back-pack, rolled his suitcase into our hotel in New York City, to begin our wonderful adventure. It was just the two of us.

Which meant, of course, he needed to be in charge of some man stuff… at least that was my idea of how things should be. After we dropped our luggage, I explained the rules to him.

His job would be to open the doors for me and to let me walk through first. I was the woman, I explained. He was the man.

“I’m seven,” he said, with a terrified look on his face. “I’m not a man”.

How many big-boy teeth do you have?

“Eight,” he said.

That’s enough. You get to open the doors.

“I shouldn’t have to do that until I’m a junior man.”

A junior man?

“When I become fifteen,” he pleaded. “Ten… How about when I become ten?”

Nope, I said.

I reminded him that it was because he was already a “junior man,” that I had invited him to come with me on this trip and how we had so many exciting things to see and do together.

He started opening the doors… reluctantly.

Then I felt guilty. Should men really have to open doors for able-bodied women? Was I promoting sexism? Some might say that teaching a young boy to think a woman doesn’t know how to open a door is not a good message. Maybe offering that kind of assistance should be reserved for the frail and/or elderly.

I finally decided to skip the guilt when I remembered how I smile every time a man opens a door for me.

Acting like a gentleman does no to imply that whoever he is, he thinks I’m not capable. Quite the contrary, I think. A manly gesture always appeals to my womanliness.

Think about this:

A world without chivalry would not be much fun. It would be a world full of people who think only of themselves. Being chivalrous… opening doors, offering to help… are simply other ways to be nice.

Women need to be nice and helpful too, but… you’ve heard it from me before:

Men who go the extra distance to be nice have an easier time with most everything. Especially with the ladies.

Best to start with a Grandma who’s passing on the manners she learned in New York.

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