What An Ill-Designed Door Taught Me About The People Who Walk Out Of Our Lives


As I was sitting patiently in the lobby of my doctor’s office today trying very hard not to deeply inhale the scent of hand sanitizer and rubber gloves, I noticed a bunch of patients having a tough time leaving the building. No–this wasn’t because they were paralyzed from the terrifying prick of the nurse’s needle when they got their blood taken, nor from the inability to move their arms after a routine squeezing performed by the sphygmomanometer (yes, this is what the blood pressure squeezy-air-thingy is called.) Rather, they were unable to open an automatic door from the inside. After giggling to myself for a bit, I came to the realization that this exit was designed for failure.

You see, the door opened when someone would walk up to it from the outside but not the inside. This way, it prevented unnecessary openings when people would walk by it, not intending to make an exit. To overcome this obstacle, the patients have to press a blue handicap button that is hidden behind a strange faux plant to open the door. Sounds insane? It is. The following is what this door has taught me about the 4 types of people that walk out of our lives:

1. The guy who can’t find the button.

This guy is told by the receptionist the exact location of the button about 15 times. “Behind the plant- beneath its second branch- it’s at about your hip level!” For the sake of him, this guy cannot find the button. For a second I gave him the benefit of the doubt- he could be far-sighted for all I know right? What feels like a millennia later, he finds the button with an awkward “OH- here it is!” and trots out.

We all have had that one negative individual in our lives who we laid a path to the exit for. We practically paved this path, maybe even added some traffic behind him/her to speed up the process, and politely let them drive off our road into their own territory. They never did anything to hurt you but you know that the prime years you shared together are long gone. They have shaped you into the person you are today and thank them for it.

2. The guy who finds the button too swiftly

As another victim walked toward the door, I turned my head to watch the scene that was about to be laid out before me. But suddenly he presses the button and he’s out in the blink of an eye. I had an intuition, no, I knew this guy has been here many times before.

The people who walk (more like dead sprint) out of our lives most likely have done it a few times before. They are used to leaving quickly and immediately and are usually running from themselves. The thing that scared them the most was who they were becoming when they were around you. This isn’t your problem, please know you are not at fault. They just need to discover themselves first.

3. The guy who walks right into the glass

*BANG.* HAHA. Oh my goodness, did I just laugh at someone in public? This guy firmly believed the door was automatic from indoors and didn’t even hesitate when he stepped towards it. I hope he’s okay- oh dear that is going to leave a mark.

Oftentimes, we open a door for someone to enter into our lives too swiftly. We tell them everything in a matter of weeks. They know our secrets, our fears, and even our mother’s middle name. The huge problem with this is now this person thinks they can leave with as much ease as they walked in with. *BANG* you shut the door on them and tell them they can’t go. Feelings are hurt, bonds are broken.

4. The guy who waits for someone else to leave

Another guy walked up to the door clearly hesitant. He jerked his body ever so slightly towards the door but it would not open. He checked his watch like he’s missing an appointment he was just at and slowly sinks into a musty chair adjacent to the door. Thirty awkward seconds later, someone else takes the lead and finds the button. This guy follows.

This person is often easily influenced by others and follows without rhyme or reason. They won’t ask for advice, and will try to be nonchalant about their exit. They will only leave if someone else tells them to, are indecisive, and aren’t true to your relationship. But as soon as they see someone else lead by example, they will head out the door too.

And with that I’d like to thank you, ill-designed door, for all the laughs and life-lessons. You will be missed (yes, this is my exit statement.)