Of all the qualities that women find attractive in men, there’s one that immediately vaults them ahead of all competitors for our affections: The ability to close a fucking door.
I speak in both the literal and figurative sense.
Let’s examine the literal first.
Close. The. Fucking. Door.
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said this to a man, I wouldn’t have to say it any more because I’d be so rich that I’d employ a woman, who I’d pay handsomely and provide health, dental, 401(k) and profit-sharing, to follow you around and close all the fucking doors you leave open.
There are, however, no nickels. Just the doors. Open. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes just a little. But always open. The space between the door knob and the door jamb stands like a vertically mouth-breathing reminder of your latch-blindness. Each slightly opened cabinet door begs to be given that final tap that will help it complete its highest purpose. The car chimes its soft entreaty: “Yes, sir. It’s your door. The driver’s side door. Either that or it’s the trunk that you were responsible for closing when you put the luggage or groceries in there, or the rear passenger door after you placed your tiny child into its car seat. Don’t look accusingly at the woman in the passenger seat. Rest assured that her door is closed.”
See the dim light falling softly across the floor of the darkened kitchen in the wee hours of the night? It’s the freezer, offering its silent warning that the items within — the ice cream, the prime rib roast, the chicken breasts, the frozen enchiladas, everything (except the Stoli) — is slowly melting into a congealed watery, meat-blood-covered scene from a Peckinpah film because you didn’t close the fucking door.
You have somehow even figured out how to not-close the self-retracting drawers in the bathroom and kitchen. We enter, and the drawer is magically one-half inch open. We marvel. We ponder. We pull the drawer out. We close it until it is half an inch from being closed, and then we let go, attempting to recreate your drawer-not-closing sleight of hand. But the drawer closes of its own volition, retracting automatically with a satisfying thump. No matter how often we try, we cannot get it to stay open.
Truly, this is some black magic!
Your not-closing superpowers are so vast that you can defy — at will — the physics built into this modern technology, a device clearly designed by a woman who had grown so very sick and so very tired of finding the drawers in the bathroom and kitchen left open every single goddamn day of her life.
But the ultimate expression of your door not-closing super-power is when you leave the front door to the house wide open before turning off all the lights, striding upstairs and hopping into bed.
“It’s just a door. If you want it closed so bad, close it yourself,” you say. “What’s the big deal?”
Here’s the big deal, figuratively speaking.
Doors are there for a reason. They’re a temporary wall that keeps us safe from whatever is on the other side. Doors are safety from the unpleasantness that lurks outside. Whether it’s the weather, the day, the night, intruders, in-laws, dust, noise, warm, cold — whatever. Doors are a barrier.
To women, barriers are what allow us to close our eyes and relax into the delusion that we are not, for the moment, vulnerable. We may not think about this consciously every day, but it’s the constant truth of our existence, a truth that men rarely confront unless they’re involved in active, wartime combat or are a member of a gang or organized crime family.
To men, doors are obstacles. Something to fling open and get through and never think about again. The field of vision for most men is directly ahead — I’m guessing approximately 8 to 15 feet from the end of the nose — and extending approximately 10 feet to either side of the center line. This is the space into which you will stride and do things and conquer and rule and change the world, unafraid, unaware of anything other than your own forward momentum.
There is no behind. There is no next to. All that exists is forward. Doors, once opened, cease to exist. Why would you close something that doesn’t exist?
Women’s field of vision, on the other hand, is everywhere all the time. That’s because we live with the assumption that we — or our offspring — are being predated. We never know where the onslaught is going to come from. If we don’t see one coming, if we fail to prepare, if we leave one flank open, it’s universally acknowledged (though less frequently spoken aloud) that the assault is somehow our fault.
For women, doors are the things that keep the bad from getting in and the tiny, footy pajama-wearing, two-year-old good from wandering out into the street and getting run over by a truck.
No, it is not men’s responsibility to “protect their women” by closing the door. Women are perfectly happy closing doors. We do it automatically. It’s our prime directive. Protect yourself. Watch your flank. Close and lock the doors. Lock the windows. Don’t go out at night alone. Don’t wear those shorts. Don’t be too sexy. Don’t, don’t, don’t…
And if anything happens to you if you fail to follow even one of these rules — well, you own that, you stupid girl.
What we fucking hate is RECLOSING doors we thought were already closed. When you don’t close a door, it undoes all our planning and thought that goes into not getting killed, raped, kidnapped, or otherwise violated. That is why we spend our lives walking around making sure you haven’t mindlessly, cluelessly left our left flank wide open.
Look, I don’t love that I need that door closed. I don’t want to live this way. I never wanted to. None of us did. One day maybe we won’t. But we do now.
So, gentlemen, please. Close the door. But more importantly, try to understand what it’s like living in a world where that’s important. They say that when one door closes, another one opens — all we ask is that you try to make sure it’s not the same fucking door.