Monday, June 05, 2006

Chivalry

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

My niece called from the road last night to let us know she and her boyfriend were on their way home from Washington, D.C. and their general ETA. She wouldn't be home until the wee hours of the morning, and it made me start thinking about the last time she was dropped off so late by her boyfriend. He took off out of the driveway before she even had the key in the door.

The next time I saw him, I suggested that, if he wasn't going to walk her to the door, he should at least make sure she got in safely. His response was pretty much, "I'm too tired, and I just want to get home."

When they left for D.C., she asked him to grab her bag (the biggest one) and she'd get her purse and little tote. He said "no".

Now, I'm making him out to be a jerk, and he isn't, but I do think he's a product of his raising and the current culture.

I expect respect. Especially from men. And, typically, I get that response.

My SIL, who is single and very capable, doesn't understand why the guys at Home Depot (or other like places) let her struggle with her big purchases when I've told her that I've even had guys walking by in the parking lot ask if I need help loading the bags of gravel into my truck. Keep in mind, I'm not a tiny, helpless looking person. I'm 5'9" and not frail.

I am not helpless, and if there were no guys around, I'd do it myself. I have done it myself for a long time. But it's nice to be taken care of.

I read a book, and I can't remember which one (maybe a Jenny Crusie?) where the guy keeps helping the heroine: opening her doors, helping her on with her coat... she comments "I don't know how I ever got that on without a man to help", and he just smiles and keeps doing it.

Good for him.

I looked for quotes on chivalry this morning, and found instead dozens of messages from guys who want to do things for the women in their lives: walk them to the door, open the car doors, etc., but are afraid of offending them. How sad is that?

While I'm all for things like equal pay for equal work, I'm still a woman. And I like men to remember that.

Last night, I was so tired I didn't wake up when my niece got home, so I don't know if her boyfriend waited this time, but I'm going to ask. Someone needs to teach the children how to behave.

Am I that different from everyone else?

3 comments:

Judy said...

Mornin', M. I don't know about everyone else, but you're not that different from me (other than the fact you're taller...I'm just 5'2"). My husband still opens all the doors for me and carries the heavier bags when we bring in groceries. Our son, who is in the Marines, does the same thing (or did when he left home, anyway...lol).

I don't think it's a matter of equality, it's a matter of manners. I guess I'm old-fashioned, but I like it when a man takes off his hat inside (and, yes, that includes caps). That's something else that has fallen by the wayside, apparently... but I digress.

I know I had "GS" snarling at Mark for wanting to drive, but that's one of the many characteristics she and I don't share (I can't turn into a superhero by spinning either... if I could I MIGHT have a chance at keeping up with all the things I have to do around here.)

Kelley said...

I love to see men open doors, or carry bags, ect. for women. My hubby doesnt always do it, but I get all mushy inside when he does. I think it is the product of the times. We are in our early to mid 20's and just werent taught that growing up. I'd like to see it start to happen again.
I can say, my hubby would wait until I was safely in the house!

Tori Lennox said...

Oh, honey, you are SO not alone. Good manners seem to be out of fashion which really stinks.