Rule # 33: Chivalry is not dead
This week contains a couple of important dates for me, the anniversary of my mother’s death in 2000 and Mother’s Day, both have caused me to reflect on the most important lessons and rules my mother has taught me.
My Mother was a special woman whom loved me very much, and I feel fortunate that I am 53 and its 13 years since her passing and I know that I still carry her love with me. I can feel it every day in the actions of my children that remind me of her, and her own rules of life that I am reminded of everyday.
One of these rules was the way a man treats his mother and women around him will define his character
I find myself telling my children, both the boys and girls this more often because chivalry has been lost in society. It has been lost because the acts of respect are regarded as anti-feminist or submissive- they have been given up in the pursuit of equal rights or just lazyness.
But I can feel my Mom giving us all a collective slap in the head for this type of thinking.
She explained to me acts like holding a car door open or guiding a woman through a crowd are acts which tell the woman, and everyone else around, that you are with someone whom is special.
And this is very important…
That by being with someone special, you – yourself are special. It defines not only the woman you are with, it defines the you.
As I was thinking about my Mom and Chivalry and I realized that beyond the old “opening the door” example these actions are not as clear cut as they were in the 60’s and 70’s.
But Chivalry opportunity exists all around us, we have but only to look:
Protect her from the weather– If the weather is cold, or it is raining- she should be given your coat or umbrella. Nothing expresses respect for a woman more than her being a little warmer and you being a little colder on a walk home.
Don’t get drunker than her or too drunk to drive– Staying sober on a date sends a message that you will make sure she gets home safely.
Bobbi will be the first to tell you of our first date, doing tequila shots around a hibachi bar and me discretely pouring mine on the floor. I wasn’t there to get drunk- I was there to be with a beautiful woman. Getting drunk tells the woman that you are either stupid or don’t care about them.
I have also found that women find me more attractive if they drink more than me …go figure.
Get out of your car and walk her to the door- I don’t care if she says you don’t have to, or if you get a $100 ticket for double parking- get out of the car and always walk her to the door- ALWAYS. If that was a diamond necklace you were dropping off rather than a date you’d never throw it at the door and drive away. If you want to be valued, she has to feel valued.
This thought process on Chivalry goes for my daughters too, whom, despite my efforts to keep them in protective custody their whole lives will be dating men. My daughters should look at these acts of Chivalry as opportunities to glimpse at the true character of the men they are dating.
Daughters, I want you to hear my words in your head if you are with a man whom fails to open the door for you…”kick the bum to the curb and move on…”
I want to add one extreme warning to my daughters that they should pay attention to above all other aspects of dating…how does the man treat his Mother and/or Step Mother?
Yes with blended families, like ours, the matriarch can change from Mother to Step-Mother to Grandmother- but there will always be as a strong woman figure in that man’s life- watch everything about how he interacts with her…
Does he speak with a respectful tone?
Does he take the garbage out when asked without complaint?
Does he show affection by hugs or kisses to this woman?
No other sign will be a better definition for you as to the character of the man you are with than how he treats his Mother or Step-Mother. It is the lynch pin in the assessment of if you have a man of character or a man who is unworthy of respect.
I think if my children find partners that understand and embrace the concept of Chivalry our family would have done the memory of my mother proud- it is something we can do to keep her spirit in our lives.