All good things must end. My friend and I parted company late in the evening. As I walked to the parking structure with chocolates for my wife in hand, I fell in behind three young Muslim women. I could tell they were Muslims by their stunningly beautiful Hijabs.
I arrived at the parking structure first. I pressed the button and waited for the elevator to arrive. When it did, I held the door open for the Muslim women just as I would for anybody else. They refused to enter. They were young women and small. I figured they were afraid of me as I am the opposite of young and small. I was wrong. One of the three women told me their religion does not permit women to be alone with men. I kept my thoughts to myself, and politely told them I would catch the next elevator - but it was too late. Two old men walked in and thanked me for holding the door. The door closed. I was still on the outside feeling stupid.
I pressed the button again, waited a few minutes, and then let the young women ride up without me. I pressed the button again, waited a few more minutes, and then rode up by myself. I was no longer feeling generous or polite. My apologies to the half dozen people I cut off in the 15 minutes it took me to exit the poorly designed parking structure.