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the she loves ny guide to etiquette and the like
doors & doorways

1.0 Summary
The Urban Gentleman will make every effort to have the lady touch doors as infrequently as possible, when he is in her presence. Further, the gentleman will orchestrate this effort in such a way that the lady realizes only in her subconscious the diminished effort that she is exerting as she moves though rooms, areas, and buildings. Finally, the gentleman will pay close attention to the order in which the lady and gentleman, respectively, move through a doorway. In groups, the gentleman will be the last through a doorway, except in extreme situations in which, for whatever reason, this order is clumsiest of all.

2.0 Logistics
Heading himself through a doorway first does not a gentleman make. The gentleman knows, therefore, that the lady's positioning with respect to the door handle is crucial; he will make sure that she is on the handle side of all doors, regardless of whether they hinge in or out.

2.1 Logistics, Outwardly Hinged Doors
If a door hinges out, the gentleman knows that this positioning will allow him to bring the door towards him as he opens it for the lady, providing her with a pathway through the door that is not obstructed by the gentleman's arm. He will guide her through the door if need be by combining a proper open with a gentle touch of the lady's lower back.

2.2 Logistics, Inwardly Hinged Doors
If a door hinges in, especially if it's a heavy glass door with spring-controlled movement, the gentleman knows that in this door he’s met his arch nemesis. Nonetheless, he will maintain his composure. The gentleman will block the lady's path to the door and doorway with his extended arm. He will lean into the door, opening it as he moves into, by not beyond, the threshold of the door. With his arm and hand that are not on the handle of the door, he will gently touch the lady's lower back to indicate that it is clear for her to move through the doorway.

The gentleman will practice these choreographies until he can dance with grace and until these dances last no more than 1/2 a second.

3.0 Special Circumstances, Revolving Doors
The revolving door is a gift for the gentleman. Not only does it eliminate the need for him to anticipate his and her positioning, but it provides an opportunity for flirtation: once in her portion of the revolving door, the gentleman can hold her there by stopping the door behind her. If he keeps her there only long enough for her to realize that the door has stopped, she will be amused with the gentleman's stunt. The gentleman should be cautioned, however. Should he keep the lady in the door for even one tenth of a second more than is appropriate, she will become annoyed by both the time wasted as a result of and the immaturity inherent to the stunt.

3.1 Special Circumstances, Double Doors
The gentleman will first address the issue of the outside of two doors. Given ample time, he will be able to lead lady appropriately though both doors; without this time, however, it is acceptable for the lady to begin opening the second door on her own, only to have the gentleman finish the job when he arrives.

3.2 The European Gentleman Strikes Again
The European Gentleman will tell the American gentleman that when the lady and the gentleman enter an unknown space – the European might cite a bar as an example of one of these – it is the gentleman who leads the way through the doorway. The American gentleman will acknowledge that the European may be onto something and will at times employ this technique stateside.