Mercyhurst men: Find your manners

Is chivalry really dead? The truth of the matter is yes – it was murdered.

As a female at Mercyhurst, I consider myself to be fairly independent and not reliant on men. Even so, you guys can hold the door open. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had doors shut right in my face as if it’s painful for a guy to wait the extra four seconds to keep it open for me. Is it really too much to ask? Most of the time, they look back to see if anyone is behind them, judge me because I just came from rowing practice and am wearing sweatpants, and then keep walking away.

These trends came blatantly to the surface this weekend. I decided to try a little “gardening.”

I wanted to plant a few flowers in my apartment, so I went to the Valu Home Center for supplies. The male employees are only all too happy to offer their help to a young woman alone in a hardware store, but they seemed to scatter once they direct her to the heavier items. The potting soil came in one size: too big. The paper bag used to hold my smaller items conveniently had no handle, so carrying 30 pounds of soil plus a handle-less bag proved to be a challenge, even in the parking lot. Then came the rain.

Thanks, Murphy’s Law. Off I went en route to my apartment on Lewis Avenue.

The first two “gentlemen” I saw were crossing the road in such a way that they would intersect with my path, and they were headed in the same direction. Once the saw me, they quickly darted into traffic at a diagonal to avoid me. Apparently, dodging traffic is preferable to assisting a clearly struggling young woman. I carried on.

The next pair of guys crossed to the other side of the street, passed me on the opposite sidewalk and then cut back over once they were far enough ahead of me.

Really? I see you showing off at the gym. I think you could lift 30 pounds.

Then, I passed by a group of three guys standing under an awning. I struggled to readjust my slipping grip while balancing my bag, all in front of the building they were using as rain cover. At that point, I realized there was a small hole in my bag of soil; of course, I was covered in dirt all down my jacket. By this time, I was drenched from a combination of rain and sweat, which apparently mixes nicely into a disgusting muddy mixture that covered my attire.

While crossing Briggs Avenue, due to a combination of rain and my inefficient carrying method, the paper bag tore open, and my purchases spilled into the middle of the street. As I repeatedly tried to gather my belongings and stand up, another guy passed by me. He was within three feet of me and couldn’t be bothered to stop and help me pick up my things. So I continued by taking about 15 steps, dropped everything, re-gathered it and then took 15 more steps.

Finally, I approached my door.

I was trying to figure out how to get my key out without dropping all my things again when I saw that a guy was heading for the same door just a few steps ahead of me. He opened it, looked behind him, and like all the others, let the door shut behind him.