Chivalry and the Fact that I Still Mourn Its Loss

My daughter has never gone first at school simply because she is a girl.  No boy has ever carried her backpack to another classroom.  No boy has ever given her his seat just because he thought it was the right thing to do.  I have to remind my boys to get up out of chairs for even their grandmother when she comes to visit, which I find really odd and rude that it isn’t second nature.

I love the small gestures.  I love when a man takes my jacket.  I love even more when he helps me put it back on.

I am not expecting anyone to rise when I come into a room, or even pull out my chair.  I would not object to either, but I am not saying that has any importance to me, but I really find it nice when doors are opened or hats are tipped.

Maybe it is from growing up in a small Texas town.  I remember older men, who would sit outside the grocery store in metal folding chairs, jumping up when they saw a lady approaching the door just to hold it open.  This was back when grocery stores were small and local, and the doors were not automatic.  Everything was at such a slower pace.

I am not in any form against the advancements we, as women, have made.  I do not think, though, that it is a step back to have someone treat you in a respectful manner and treat you like you matter.  It is the small gestures like this that are so romantic.  I like a man to take the lead.

I am a little sad that the kids do not do this anymore.  I am sad that my daughter will not feel that little rush where her palms get sweaty and her hair on the back of her neck stands up on end when that cute boy she has been staring at, and looking away from, asks to carry her books to the next class or open her locker.  I am sad he may not open the doors to a restaurant or take her hand and lead her in.  What if he just hands her his jacket and says, “Here, wear this,” instead of putting it on her?  What if she misses this magical first kiss that you get when a man opens a car door and you get in and he gives that quick little peck before he closes the door?  All of these things are important, because they make you feel important.

It really is the little things that matter.  Although it is not a popular opinion, I am pretty old fashioned when it comes to the roll of men and women, anyway.  At the end of the day, though, the rest doesn’t matter.  What does is how you feel.  How you feel comes from how you are treated.

Nothing is sexier than a gentleman.  At least in my journey, that has proven to be true.  I remember every boy and man who was.

Thank you for the memories.

I hope my daughter has the opportunity to say the same.