Virtues: Chivalry

Continuing with virtues – today’s topic: Chivalry.

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Could it be that we, as modern-day women believe that chivalry is indeed dead? Or is it that we’ve become so jaded (or as we often prefer to label it ‘independent’), that we don’t notice that some gentlemen still exist? Or do you not associate the adage of Manners maketh the man to be chivalry? I’m going to use practical examples from my life, but I’m curious to hear your views, so please leave a comment, if you’d like.

Me? I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, and a giver. A believer of idealistic fairy tales, with their proverbial knights in shining armour.

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As a result, I’ve been burned, more times than I care to admit and honestly, cynicism and bitterness had crept into my heart, but I had two choices – allow it to poison me and become hateful or continue to hope and believe that not every man is a bad egg. So, when my friend, Frank replied to my Facebook poll that chivalry is an underrated virtue, it struck a chord the starry-eyed dreamer within me, because I actively started looking for chivalry in my day-to-day dealings with the men in my life – whether family members, colleagues or friends.

I’m ashamed to admit, that I experience chivalry every day but that I hadn’t noticed it because of my own unrealistic idea of what it should be. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not a hearts and flowers girl, because I am. I want those tokens of romance, but I’d much rather have a man walk on the outside of the sidewalk when I’m with him to ensure my safety (because if you know me, you’ll know that I trip over thin air and am likely to get hit by a real car!), or help me carry my parcels when I’ve been grocery shopping.

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Most of the senior management at the company I work for, is well, senior, and male. Whenever any of the female staff walk out of a room, one of the men will open the door and they will all wait until the ladies have exited the room, or if one of the ladies has been asked to make coffee for guests, and is carrying the tray, our management will stand up and one will take the tray from us. That’s a chivalrous gesture, not so? Also, in the seven years I’ve been here, I’ve not heard any of the men talk to the women in a disrespecting tone of voice.

For a short season in my life I had a friend, William – eleven years my junior, the eldest of three brothers, from good stock. Whenever he would come to visit, or we’d go out, he would make a point of pouring my alcoholic beverages for me, because, as he’s been raised, a woman doesn’t pour her own booze, and she doesn’t ever pour booze for a man – her husband or not.  Even his youngest brother, a high school junior abides by this rule. It was something tough for me to deal with, because I am after all, capable of unscrewing a bottle cap, finding ice in the fridge and pouring my own drink, but in their book of chivalry, that’s not the way it is supposed to be. One thing that he never fails to do (which some of my guy friends also do) is open the car door for a woman.  Even when I’d visit at his parents and everyone would walk out to the car to bid me goodnight, he would take my car key, unlock the driver’s door, and open the door for me. Again, a small gesture, but chivalrous nonetheless, and one that gets noticed when it no longer is done, as if often the case when the guy has got the girl, and feels there is no longer a need to impress her.

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One of the sweetest, most chivalrous gestures in my book is a man helping a lady into her jacket, or if she doesn’t have one at hand, offering her his when she is cold. I personally almost never have anything warm with me, because I don’t get cold, but when offered a jacket, I will graciously accept, because it shows that the man I’m out with is more than just well-mannered; it shows that he is willing to sacrifice his own comfort for mine.

Almost every year, a friend of mine from Cape Town, Jack, comes to visit for my birthday if he’s in the country.  He’ll pick me up, open the car door for me, take me out for a meal at a restaurant of my choice, where he’ll pull my chair out, and we’ll have a good catch-up.  At the end of the evening, he will walk me to my door and see to it that I’m safely inside. Again, no ostentatious gestures, but small things that are kind and gentlemanly.

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I will also concede to the gallant gents out there, that women (and I know I’m generalizing here, ladies – don’t get your panties in a twist) don’t always make it easy for you either. To give a practical example: Who pays the dinner bill when you’re out, whether as friends, or more? The reason I pose this question is because I have been in relationships where I’ve pretty much fit the bill every time, and as a result, I’m super-mindful of not wanting to be that kind of person. I’m also aware that some of the guy-friends I go out with, earn more than I do, and are happy to pay for a meal, or drinks, but on some level I want to reciprocate. Maybe it’s misguided pride from my side, I don’t know, but it is who I am.  I’ve had this discussion with my mate, Charlie and he gets it; he appreciates that I’m willing to put my hand in my pocket, but to some men, it may be perceived as an insult.

In closing, I think a great deal of the ‘problem’ with us as women, is that we often expect huge, grand gestures, instead of seeing the little things, which are the ones that in fact matter the most.

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A man offering you his jacket every time you’re out, and it’s cold, is worth way more than a bunch of flowers once in a blue moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every Now and Then…

…I read an article in a men’s mags, or an article about men in one of the female glossy ones.  Quite some time ago, I wrote this on my old blog in reply to an article entitled

41 Ways to Melt a Woman’s Heart

(Apologies for the tiny font, but I can’t figure out how to make it bigger and I have simply cut and pasted the original answers off my old blog.  Another related post will follow shortly.)

My comments to the original article are in blue.

I love reading articles from men’s mags, but with a woman’s brain…

Courtesy of Women24.com

There are many things that make a woman weak at the knees. Now find out how to truly melt her heart…

Article: Nicole Beland from Men’s Health

Ask her to dance.

(I can actually relate to this – even if I don’twant to dance with some random man, it is nice to know he wanted to dance with me)

On windy days, brush wayward strands of hair from her eyes and mouth.

(It doesn’t even have to be a windy day – just play with my hair anyway…)

When she’s coming down the street, across the room, or up the stairs to meet you, walk towards her as soon as you see her.

(Absolutely couldn’t agree with this more – a woman should have to walk up to a man to be greeted.  When he sees her, he should hug or kiss her hello – everything else can wait for a few seconds)

Kiss her between her shoulder blades when she turns her back to you to go to sleep.

(Hmmm, this may leadto other activities, dependent on hormone levels…)

Put your arm around her when you introduce her to your friends and family.

(This does make us as women feel special – that we are allowed into the man’s space and it gives us a sense of security – in a “don’t-worry-darling-I’m-not-going-to-feed-you-to-the-wolves kind of way.)

Grasp her hand when a scantily dressed, beautiful woman walks by.
(Again, possibly a security thing…I quite honestly would probably comment on how hot or not said chick looks.)

Call her when you’re feeling sad.

(I have a guy-friend who does this sometimes – and even though I can hardly offer advice, we bothput down the phone feeling a little better about life.)

Kiss her eyelids.

(I don’t know so much about this one…rather kiss my forehead.)

Ask to see a picture of her when she was a child.

(I don’t know so much about this one either – simply because my parents weren’t the sentimental type, so there aren’t really photo’s of me as a child…maybe on FB somewhere, like school ones, but those are eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkk!!)

Wash her from head to toe in the shower.

(See 4 above…)

If she’s crying on the phone, go over to her place. Immediately.

(The cynic in me is saying “first find out why she’s crying“, but yes…do.  She needs a shoulder and if she didn’t want yours, she would have phoned someone else.

Stand her naked on a sturdy chair and lick between her legs.

(This may do than just melt her heart…it may melt her resolve, and her insides…and…well, see 4 above)

Occasionally call her by her first and middle names.

(Middle name I can live with – first name usually means I’ve done something wrong – or that a man is losing interest in me.)

Buy her your favourite rock album of all time on vinyl.

(It is actually scary to think that I know what vinyl is.)

Order coffee for her, remembering exactly how she likes it

(or her favourite alcoholic beverage…and, if you’re involved with her – be able to make/pour it just the way she likes it.)

Undress her and put her to bed when she falls asleep in the car.

(and hang / fold her clothes up before turning in yourself)
Mention your upcoming anniversary before she does.
(It will show your commitment to the relationship – and will set you aside from the rest of the male homosapiens that cannot/do not want toremember dates)

Send her something in the mail. Anything.

(yyyeeeessssss!  We love to get parcels!)

When she’s feeling insecure, stare into her eyes and tell her there is no-one in the world who could be as right for you as she is.

(but, be sincere – otherwise she will resent you later if things don’t work out)

Call her just before you get on the plane.

(Yes, and preferably when you’ve arrived safely at your destination – you never know, Osama Bin Laden’s cronies may be on your flight)

Pick her clothes up off the floor.

(and do as for 16 above)

Try desperately to make her laugh when she’s feeling down.

(After all, it’s her smile you fell in love with, not her frown).

Take her to see your favourite sport live. Pay more attention to her than to the game.

(And shout for her team, even if your team is playing – and winning)

Touch her arm when you leave the table to go to the bathroom. Touch her again when you come back.

(Touch is sensual – and women thrive on that sensuality)

Shave just before you see her. She’ll notice.

(Women do notice this – the same way men notice whether or not we’ve shaved- or waxed our legs.)

Hug her when she gets jealous. Hug her hard.
(Again, be sincere.  You may also need to “hug her hard” to prevent her from scratching another woman’s eyes out!)

Worship her breasts.

(Preferably with offerings of whipped cream or chocolate body paint to be licked off hard…and, see 4 above).

Give her jewellery.

(We love things that sparkle…)

Hand her two towels when she gets out of the shower. (The second one is for her hair.)
(Learn this and you will score serious points – alternatively, dry her off yourself…)

Ask her specific questions about her work.

(I can attest to this – it is something special when a man asks me more than the superficial “so, what do you do for a living…”.)

Keep her favourite cereal on hand.

(If she is a cereal person – otherwise, make sure you have her favourite blend of coffee or tea on hand – and take it to her, in bed.)

In the middle of a conversation, tell her you love her.
(Yes, tell us – contrary to what you might think, women are not all clairvoyant.  We also like to hear you tell us you love us).

Send her very expensive flowers when you screw up.
(Really expensive constitutes more than a simple dozen roses.)

Take her to a cabin with a fireplace. Build her a fire.
(give her a glass of wine and make passionate love to her on a mat in front of that fire)

Moan her name when she goes down on you.

(yip, it does wonders for the sex goddess within us.)

Read her a story when it’s her turn to drive during a long road trip.

(or when she’s lying next to you in bed)

Offer to fix something at her place that you realise is broken.

(don’t wait until she asks…because if you do, she may actually just ask that really gorgeous single hunk that lives next door.)

Notice when she’s wearing something new.

(don’t just notice…say something about the new outfit – and note, the new outfit includes shoes)

  1. Make love to her standing up, against a wall.
    (Yes!  Or, stop the lift and make your own Fatal Attractionscene…)

Kiss her hand in front of your most die-hard bachelor buddies.

(A kiss on the hand may be quite continental…but diamonds are a girl’s best friend…)

If she’s too stressed to want sex…

a. Run a bath for her.
b. Give her a full-body massage.
c. Ask if she wants to wrestle.
(she doesn’t need to be too stressed to want sex for you to these things – a little thought can lead to great rewards).