Ask A Woman: I knight thee chivalrous!
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Chivalry. It’s a word—and practice—that people tend to have strong feelings about. I’ve heard rumor that there are women out there who feel uncomfortable with having the door held open for them; I’ve heard of men who detest having the expectation of door-holding thrust upon them. Gotta be honest—I’ve yet to meet a person who actually feels this way. The women I know love a display of chivalry, and the men I know are happy to oblige. If you fall into the category of chivalry-hater, well, this post isn’t for you. I speak today to those who like to indulge in a little old-fashioned courtesy. Here are some easy-to-accomplish acts of chivalry that will make you feel good about being a gentleman, and charm those you’re being chivalrous towards. Incidentally, these acts of chivalry don’t have to be gender-specific. If you’re a woman wanting to be chivalrous towards other women, by all means—same goes for any other combination of genders. Enjoy.
Hold open the door
Yes. Classic, but still. Maybe it’s just where I live—the polite Midwest—but I can’t get through a crowded door in public without some fine gentleman holding it open for me. Every time. And you know what? It thrills me every time. Here is someone I don’t know, glancing behind themselves, seeing a stranger, and stepping aside to hold open the door simply as an act of respect. I also swoon when my husband does it. He actually leaps forward if I’m walking ahead of him, in order to grab the door before I do. By the way, this was a learned act for him—when we first got together and even after we were first married, it wasn’t instinctual. One day he just started doing it and now it’s a habit. Easy brownie points, fellas.
Pay for a meal or a drink
Heyyyy remember when we had that conversation about how men shouldn’t have to pay for everything? That still stands. But, paying for a meal (not ALL the meals) or a couple drinks when you’re out with a woman is definitely a chivalrous act. And, this can be done during an evening spent with any woman—your mom, your sister, a good friend. Remember, chivalry is really just another way to take care of someone. Your mom took care of you for all those years. Treat her to dinner.
Sir Robin’s excellent example of knightly chivalry and bravery.
Fill up your woman’s tank of gas
Whoa, that sounded dirty. Hey now! Let’s move away from the possible metaphorical meanings of that statement and be literal. Literally, I’m talking about taking your lady’s car to the gas station and putting gas in it. This is especially sweet when done before she takes a road trip, or on Sunday evening before the beginning of a grueling work week. No one likes to be five minutes late on a Monday morning and realize they’ve gotta stop at the Shell station.
Start your other half’s car
Can you tell I’m writing this after suffering through months of subzero temperatures? If you know your wife leaves the house everyday at 7am (and you’re living in one of the states that has turned into an ice floe), why not trot out to the driveway and start that engine at 6:50? If the car’s been outside all night and has gathered frost, you can also scrape the windshield for her. She’ll be so grateful. Along these same lines, running to get the car (while she waits inside) if you’ve parked far away while at a restaurant or event away from home is another very chivalrous act.
Give up your seat
Like holding open the door, this one is as likely to benefit a stranger as it is someone you’re in a relationship with. When riding public transportation or in a crowded waiting room, if you’ve got a steady pair of legs, why not give up your seat to a person who is standing and seems to need the seat more than you do? Someone who is elderly, disabled, pregnant, or carrying something heavy, regardless of gender, will surely be thankful for the gesture.
Guys, got any more easy ways to practice chivalry?
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