Hey guys! Want to know the secret to winning the heart of any woman? Chivalry. It’s not dead. It just needs resuscitation. It’s an idea that needs a little dusting off.
After all, it’s old. In the Middle Ages, chivalry was all the ideal qualifications of a knight. 13th Century conventions dictated that men should honor, serve, and do nothing to displease ladies and maidens. Sure, only the wealthiest women could become educated, own property, or work outside the home without being nuns. But hey, haven’t we always wanted it all? Equal rights and to be picked up without honking. Is that too much to ask?
It’s become so foreign to us gals, that we often don’t know how to behave when actually treated like a lady. Many years ago, a man pulled out the chair for me in a restaurant and I quickly moved to the opposite chair because I thought he wanted mine.
I think I can safely speak for all women, disabled or not, when I say that a simple gesture like opening a door goes a long way. Coming up to doors in a wheelchair can feel like approaching an obstacle course for the Navy Seals.
My mother and I have conducted an unofficial study and realized a rather interesting trend. Usually, it’s a woman, not a man, who opens the door or offers to help in some way. This helpfulness also appears to be generational. We’ve had older, even elderly, people rush to our aid while younger, healthier individuals stood by and watched.
One time, we neared a door a young couple stood in front of and the woman nudged her partner to alert him to our presence. He then promptly got out of the way. As we began to struggle, a boy who couldn’t have been older than eight came from across the room to hold the door for us. We thanked him profusely and loudly, as much for his benefit as the clueless adult. This was a boy and he was young. He’d learned manners against all odds. I can only guess his was being raised by his grandma.
Nevertheless, I have hope. And if the current generation of men don’t get it, I’m counting on the women. There’s a whole lot of mommies out there raising boys. No one’s asking for jackets laid out over puddles. That would just be silly. And I don’t need to be served for heaven’s sake. Just a little common courtesy. Though I do like the bit about doing nothing to displease. That kind of leaves it wide open, doesn’t it?