Doors are extremely communicative objects. As with us, much about their personalities can be learned from just a minute or two of careful observation. Notice, is it painted? What color? Is it screened? Dead bolted? Dented? Weathered? Wide open? Decorated? All of these verbs say much about the door itself, and something else, too, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
If the door sticks when you try to open it, chances are it’s not used very often. If it bounces back at you, never quite closing all the way, incessant slamming might be to blame. Or perhaps a heedless eye has neglected to mind the holding capacity. And we can empathize with the door’s unwillingness, can’t we? Oh, how many zippers and buttons alike, have met their tragic demise at the hands of these three gritted words, “It . . . still . . . fits!”
Knobs and handles can also be telling. You need only a second’s glance at your refrigerator’s handle, and immediately it’s obvious whether or not children are present in the home. They speak in silent volumes, dictating a heavy traffic flow or signaling their decrepitly obsolete status.
It must be said, however, that whether we use them many times in a day or bi-annually, all doors are crucial and necessary. But . . . I would bet not a single one of us stops to think about how many doors we enter or exit in a single day. Nor do we ever take a moment to murmur an acknowledgement of thanks as it tucks us safely inside our vehicle, shields our naked form while we attend to personal matters, renders our clutter invisible, keeps in the cold, blocks out the heat – or vice-versa. Why? Why do we overlook such a valuable commodity, expedient and necessary to nearly every human on the planet? I know I’m guilty. Don’t think much of doors? I dare you to remove one and see how long it takes before you realize your misconception. Lindsay Lohan, Freaky Friday. Anyone?