Sunday, March 28, 2010

Social Primer: Man walks on the outside


From my favorite guys over at Social Primer, this on men walking on the outside:

There are few things that get under my skin more than witnessing a man walking with a woman on the sidewalk and the man not knowing or caring where he belongs. A man, or should I say, a gentle man,  always walks on the street or curb side of the sidewalk in America (the Euro tradition states that a man walks on a woman’s left, which can be curb side or building side.) I wonder that some men are confused because they have read or heard the opposing opinion that a gentleman walks on the building side. This alternate opinion is based on the notion that in the case that a flower pot or soup can should fall from a ledge or an open window and plunk his lady friend on the head, the gentleman would be there to catch said pot or at least absorb the brunt of the collision with his own thicker skull. Then the argument for the curbside is that a woman is protected from a wet or muddy splash caused by a passing car. As for for the transgressions against this rule, I suspect the violators don’t know any better and saunter on in oblivious bliss.

Let us make this clear once and for all. A gentleman walks on the curb side of the sidewalk when walking with a woman. Basta. Of course, SP understands that this can be a bit awkward when walking in a city such as New York, Boston, Charleston or San Francisco when a couple may encounter many turns and street crossings in a relatively short jaunt. In fact, I once had a lady friend say to me, “I know you are well-mannered and your intentions are gallant, but you are annoying the hell out me with all this switching from side to side.” In this case I acknowledged (to myself) my mistake for making my action so ostentatious and vowed (to myself) to make my transitions smoother in the future. But the truth is, I can not enjoy the walk if I am not on the curb. It’s so ingrained that it’s damn near obsessive. Or is it compulsive? Whatever it is, I am content in my place and confident the majority of women appreciate the gesture.

Gentlemen make me swoon, what can I say.


  1. Adore this post! My husband is always walking on the outside, its very romantic and sweet, and the JA post below is adorable too!

  2. Love it! My dad always said that men walk on the curb side as well, to protect the lady from splashes and such.

  3. I think it's a real treat to have a guy that notices the difference!



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