5 New Acts of Chivalry
I once had an ex-girlfriend who insisted I do not hold doors open for her. Rather, she preferred I went through a door before her and led the way. Her logic was a man should lead and a woman should follow closely behind, also, theoretically, by being the first to walk inside or outside , I would be the first to notice something wrong.
Made sense to me, but sometimes, it didn’t make sense to people who were on the outside looking in. As a matter of fact, even after the two of us broke up, I developed a habit of going through doors first, and when the next girl called me out for it, I explained to her I would change but why I was doing it in the first place.
Chivalry isn’t dead, not even close. But it does need to be updated, remixed if we will. Not only should a man never ever have to lay down his coat in a puddle for a woman to step on, he should also pay more attention to a situation where chivalry is called for. Below, five new ways to be chivalrous.
NEVER LET A WOMAN DRINK ALONE AND NEVER GET MORE DRUNK THAN HER
A few months back, I wrote a blog entitled, “No Drinking With Women.” In this post, I talked about why I don’t like to drink with women. Since then, I’ve changed my position. Now, I not only drink if a woman chooses to drink, I feel like it’s rude if I don’t. Unless a man has battled with alcoholism, men should drink in public spaces if their woman desires. And for someone like me, who still isn’t a complete fan of drinking on a date, I only drink if she chooses. I never push the idea.
The other thing is I never get more inebriated than her. As her protector, it’s important for me to be in control of the situation at all times. Besides, I have worked in plenty of restaurants where a man gets more wet than his date, and ends up slumped over her should and it’s never a good look. As a matter of fact, it’s how his more sober woman gets talked up by the bartender.
I don’t care if the car is hers, or her father’s, if we’re driving to an event, I’m driving the car. Something about seeing a woman in the driver’s seat looks off, which is not to say I don’t think women are bad drivers (although most of them are). It’s just to say there are risks involved with driving, more risks than riding, so, as a man, it’s my responsibility to take those risks, not hers.
When I worked in the restaurant business, there was an unwritten rule waiters subscribed to when it came time to clear plates: Never clear the man’s plate while the woman is still eating. To this day, I always try to avoid leaving my woman at the table with a plate full of food, even though people who know me know I scarf down food like my name was Takeru Kobayashi. The bottom line is, no woman should ever be made to look like she’s the eater in the relationship. Even if she is.
Old school rules tell us a man should walk on the outside of the sidewalk with a woman at all times because apparently, men can absorb the impact of a 4,000 pound vehicle way better than women can. But of all the chivalrous acts we have, this one is in the most desperate need of an update.
If my woman and I are walking down the side of an open road (don’t know why that would ever happen, but just follow me here) I am definitely walking on the outside, closest to the road. But if the two of us are walking down a sidewalk full of people, or in the hood where men pray on women from their corners or stoops, I’ll take the inside. When a man walks side by side with a woman, he should always be standing on the side closest to the danger.
SAY HER NAME
When I meet a woman and I ask for her name, it’s a little deeper than a formality. I’m asking for her name because I plan on using it at least twice in our conversation. Even if her name is the most complicated sounding name in the world, I take the time to learn how to say it correctly. My name isn’t common, so whenever I introduce myself, a set of questions from the person I’m meeting usually follows, and that’s fine. What rubs me the wrong way is the person who doesn’t take the time to get it right and runs off pronouncing it any old way. Whenever a person takes their time to learn my name and say it correctly, it goes along way. Thus, I extend the same courtesy to the women I meet. Ditto for nicknames. When I meet a woman who gives me a nickname, I always ask for her real name, but then I ask her which she prefers, and if she says the nickname, well then Peaches it is!