One day my posts will be short…. One day… Anyway…
Snow falling on my glasses, ice forming on the tips of my gloves and the wind was beginning to permeate my multiple layers of clothing. This was a nice day during the winter months in central Illinois. As I thought of warm thoughts and continued my journey to the graduate library, I began to think about the term chivalry and how it seemed to have died. Then I began to think of the possible explanations of its demise. Was it just outdated? Did men have a secret national convention and decided that they would no longer practice the ways of the chivalrous man? Or could it possibly have been like the Celtic language, which just faded away due to the lack of generational transfer? Countless theories swam through my head… but then I found the answer. It shocked me so much that I had to stop and process what I just witnessed.
I finally made it to the library door and a nice young man held the door open for myself and a few young ladies that came after. I was the only one to say thank you. It was at that moment that I realized that it was not a matter of WHAT killed chivalry but more of a question of WHO killed it. I realized that we did and by “we”, I mean women. Now, we may have some accomplices in this murder but we played an integral role. In the aforementioned situation, I believe that each woman who walked through that open door could have AND should have given the young man a simple “thank you”. Yes, I understand that acts of kindness should not expect rewards. However, acts of common courtesy should be returned with the same respect. This led me to wonder about how many open doors I left un-thanked. Also, I began to wonder about how annoying it could be for a man to constantly open doors, pull chairs, carry bags, hold purses, take out the trash, pick up a check etc. and not receive a thank you. Sheeeesssssh. I know that if I were a guy and the same thing happened to me countless times, I would stop doing it as well.
Since the library door fiasco, it has been my own personal research experiment to pay close attention to how women respond to acts of chivalry or common courtesy by men. I honestly did not have a lot of good results. I have watched women neglect to say thank you or return gestures. On one occasion, I listened to a group of women of all ages talk about how to treat men. The conclusion of the conversation was that women must yell and demand things because men do not respond to kindness. Yes, I understand that this falls on the extreme side of the spectrum, but let’s examine it a little further. Isn’t it possible that such a negative mindset toward men could transform into ideology? Could that ideology become a trend that is passed from generation to generation? Now, isn’t it also possible that the dynamic between men and women have been altered and men have to find a way to cope or react to such alterations? Finally, how could this affect those of us looking for the “good ole days when chivalry was alive and well”? Are we left sifting through a new breed of men similar to finding a needle in a haystack?
Granted, I am writing this in a very idealistic tone. We all know that some guys don’t even know that it’s polite to open the door AND wait for the lady or ladies to walk through before they enter (regardless of if they know them or not). On the other hand, how many of us women know that it’s just as polite to open the second door for the man if he opened the first? Hhhhmmmm. Maybe the problem is that we all need a refresher course in the do’s and don’ts of common courtesy. Some women may not want a guy to open her door or pick up the check. Whatever floats your boat Miss Independent… However, if you are like me and enjoy the luxuries of being a lady, it is important that we stay abreast of the proper way to treat our male counterparts. Chivalry might not be dead after all. Maybe it’s like true hip hop; just underground for now. If we want to see more of something, we must become active participants in its revival. We cannot complain about the lack of “good men” if we are showing ourselves to lack the goodness we seek. That’s just my humble opinion.
Ladies, if a man…
– Opens a door for you: Say “thank you” and mean it!!!!! If you are walking through two sets of doors, allow him to open the first one, but do not hesitate to open that second door for him! Why not? Equality right? (From here on out, saying thank you is a given.)
– Says “thank you” – Say you’re welcome and mean it!!!!! I am actually shocked at how most of this sounds like common sense. Then again, common sense isn’t that common.
– Opens the car door for you: Get in and lean over to the driver’s side (or passenger’s side) and open their door while they are walking to the other side.
– Offers to take you on a date or accepts your invitation for a date: BE ON TIME! Dates are social interviews. Think about it…
– Picks up the check at dinner: Offer to leave the tip. Most of the time, he will say no. However, this will show that you are a team player. Oh and a tip is not $1. I will discuss that more in-depth in another post…
– Drops you off at your house after a date or a social gathering and still has to make their way home– Call him and make sure he made it home safely.
– Is nice to you– Never assume that they want anything more than to be nice. Not every man who opens the door for you wants your telephone number or wants to sleep with you.
– When dropping someone off at a location– make sure that she made it in safely! NEVER drive off until you are sure that she is inside her destination.
– If you are a passenger in the car of a woman– ALWAYS PUMP THE GAS FOR HER. This does not mean that you have to pay for the gas. Who decides to pay is between the two of you, but a woman should never pump her gas if a man is in her car.
– If a woman is nice to you– Never assume that they want anything more than to be nice. Not every woman who offers to pick up the check is trying to emasculate you.