It’s amazing how much power a toe can hold! People always talk about the importance of getting your foot in the door. Recently, I’ve been lucky to benefit from this both figuratively and literally.
In the figurative sense, a much-anticipated first meeting with my boyfriend’s parents went shockingly well. We were anxious that it would be difficult because of our cultural and racial differences and so our main goal was simply for me to get my foot in the door, with the hope that this would open up future opportunities for conversation. Much to our surprise, his parents were nothing but receptive and gracious to me. While they had their concerns, it was clear they also wanted to find common ground. If I were to have made a list of best case scenarios, our experience would have topped anything I could have imagined.
Next, someone else literally put their foot in the door for me. I was running late for school and trying to catch the F train. I could hear it screeching its familiar high-pitched squeal as it came to a stop at Carroll Street. I ran to catch it, but the doors closed when I was just inches away. Then, as if by magic, the doors popped back open because a guy in the last car saw me running and stuck his foot in the door, activating the sensor. I don’t recommend people do this because it’s probably dangerous, but I was so thankful to have made it on the train and to my class on time.
Over the weekend, I tried to use this new found foot phenomenon to pay it forward and give something back to everyone who either allowed me to get my foot in the door or put their own foot in the door for me. As I was running on Sunday morning, a dog ran out of the front door of a brownstone with its leash dragging behind him. A man holding a baby stroller quickly followed. Despite my fear of dogs while I’m in running gear (a dog bite incident has lead me to believe they see me as a gigantic steak in technical clothing), I tried to stop the dog by stepping on its leash. The dog’s owner ended up being more successful in this tactic than I, but still I gave it my best shot.
As it turns out, getting your foot in the door can make a big difference. Just remember, a foot in the door is better than a foot in your mouth – the two can have quite dichotomous results.
Thank you, and be kind.