Tales from the Single Relationship Expert: Chivalry Dead or Still Alive!
Chivalry dead or still alive?
Opening the door, pulling out a chair, walking on the correct side of the street, and my favorite the kind gesture of ladies first. The acts of a gentleman who knows proper etiquette are still appreciated in my eyes. Is this a forgotten art that is no longer being taught in the household when growing up or have some women deemed this as corny and extra leaving men to think this isn’t required anymore?
I have been on many dates and I have to say I’m always surprised when a guy knows to walk on the outside of the sidewalk. This very act shows protection. It says she is with me and I care for her safety. I always notice when a guy doesn’t know this unspoken rule. They just walk slightly in front with their chest out and arms swinging talking about whatever. I honestly can’t tell you everything they are talking about. I always miss a bit of the conversation because my mind starts to wonder a little like does he see the other guys checking me out while he’s running his mouth or what would he do if someone snatched me into a van. How long would it take him to notice? If I like them enough I’ll teach them myself very early on. Sometimes you don’t really know what they've dated before you so they may not know what you require or perhaps that women before you didn’t care for those things but, let me tell you, with me…you’re gonna learn today sir.
As a single lady in New York City I’m already tough… more than I’d like to be. It’s the pace of the city. You have to be sharp, quick and smart. The city is not filled with gentlemen willing to give up their seat when they see you run into a subway car with your stilettos. Many don’t care if your pinky toe is dying for the sake of fashion. Why on earth should I think I guy would give up his sit to me when who knows how long the pregnant lady has been standing in front of him or the elderly person who is holding on to the pole and their walker at the same time for that matter? Shout out to the men who offer their seat. Most times I will decline but, the thoughtfulness of the gesture makes me believe in humanity just a little more ya know?
I’ll never forget the time I was in Florida visiting my grandfather and we were going out to dinner. I was starving. So, we get to the restaurant and pull open the door and basically charge in there like a bear coming out of hibernation. While we were waiting to be seated my grandfather says to me you have to learn to slow down. At first I thought maybe his Florida living has him in this mellow retired life but, he said let a man open the door for you. He’s supposed to. That sentence alone hit me like a ton of waves. That simple sentence made me re-evaluate how I was moving in my life. Rushing, taking care of everything myself, barely relaxing and enjoying the journey and worst not considering that I was entitled to kind acts.
It’s so funny how you get yourself into these routines not thinking much of your actions until you expect something from someone and when they don’t deliver you’re disappointed. Lead with your actions and speak up. People don’t have to live up to your expectations, but they do have to respect you. So respect yourself and teach people how to treat you.
To the fellas out there who still believe in being total gentlemen please don’t stop being you. There are women out there who appreciate thoughtfulness and those kind gestures. Don’t let the ignorant deter you. Some of them didn’t grow up learning that. Don’t take away a teachable moment though. You know who is worth it. Just don’t let the bad behavior of one generalize the group. In turn we will do the same!