Guys: Do You Follow ‘The Rule’ While Walking on the Sidewalk?
Some men just have to walk on a specific side of their partner, but do they really know why?
Growing up it was important to my mother that I learned how to act like a "gentleman." That meant not wearing a hat indoors, opening the car door for a woman and always walking with my shoulder to the street on the sidewalk.
We now live in a world where some of these archaic practices of treating women like shrinking violets can actually be seen as offensive. but I can't seem to shake some of these rules that have been ingrained in my mind. The one that always gets me jammed up, though, is the sidewalk rule.
When walking down the street with a female, it's considered bad manners to have her walk next to the road. Every time I'm with my wife I make a point to have her on the inside of the sidewalk. If she is somehow walking between me and the road my OCD kicks in and I just have to swap places.
Growing up I always assumed the rule was in place to make sure I was the one to get killed if a car swerved off the street. It makes sense, but in fact, the rule has a very different, and more disgusting origin.
Back in the days when men were expected to always act chivalrous, there wasn't indoor plumbing like there is today. People who lived in apartment buildings would have to use bedpans to relieve themselves. Those pans were usually emptied out of windows onto the street below. It sounds gross, but the world was a much more disgusting and unsanitary place than it is today. The gentleman walking next to the street would most likely get sprayed by the falling urine, shielding his woman who was safely walking next to the building.
It's been a long time since people were pouring pee out their windows, but that hasn't stopped men from following the "sidewalk rule." I didn't even know the true origin of this rule, but that didn't keep me from feeling like a heel if I let my wife walk next to the road.
It seems silly, but there are many unspoken rules like this that people can't seem to shake. Is there something that you feel like you have to do, even though it seems ridiculous if you think about it?