Two days ago I was standing next to a Bridgeport shopping complex, waiting to meet Vinny-the-mechanic so he could fix my injured car window. To pass the time I decided to visit a sporting goods store. The glass door opened out and was manual.

As I opened it two middle-aged women of color were close and approaching, so I stepped back and gave them full leeway. The glass door had one of those cylindrical metal-washer devices so it was slowly closing (i.e., not slamming) in their direction.

Naturally one of the women got huffy about this — offended that I hadn’t quickly stepped to my right and held the door open like Sir Walter Raleigh in Elizabethan England. “You don’t hold doors?” she snorted. If I had said a single questioning word in response, it would have been a whole big thing. It could’ve been a TikTok or YouTube video. Lucretia McSnippy was ready to get down and have it out…I could feel it.

I thought I was doing the right thing by getting out of their way…not actually! What I should have done was disappear into thin air.