Chivalry

It is not dead, ladies, only dormant or no longer taught. And even the most chivalrous husbands forget from time to time but mine at least always puts down the toilet seat so I don’t fall in.

This week he placed weather stripping on our front door. We don’t open the windows in summer because there are no screens and bugs get in and take my blood. The buffer also helps with light, air and noise for which I’m also thankful.

I was going to tell you how to meet these guys, not in a bar, but that’s exactly where we met at TGI Fridays over lunch. It was three weeks after 9/11 and everyone was talking about that tragic event. There were about five single individuals sitting at the bar (the tables were full) eating lunch and we all started talking. Hours later it was only the two of us. We shook hands in the parking lot and he said maybe we’d see a movie as friends someday.

The next night he called, picked me up, opened his car door and took my hand and he’s still around 13 years later. It was a restaurant, but now he tells anyone who asks that I picked him up in a bar. Great story for a Bible-belt teetotaler.

Whether it’s a gorgeous spring day or on an icy sidewalk, he knows when to take my hand or arm. We both know and reach out at the same time without even looking at each other. Sick, I know. You see those bridal magazines with couples on a sofa lying together and reading. Marriage isn’t like that.

My prime categories are someone I like and likes me, someone smart so we can have discussions about politics or news, someone who is caring who might still leave his socks on the floor.

I didn’t look. He came to me. I actually think he was sent to me but that’s another story. He’s a nerd, wicked smart, enough that MIT sent him a letter at age 15, unsolicited. He grew up on a dairy farm so has values for family, hard work and a methodical nature (the last drives me nuts from time to time).

Think older (I married younger). For the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking the father of a new Swedish neighbor around to see art and botanical gardens. It’s a treat for me because my husband would rather see airplane engines. The other day our visitor showed up with a bouquet of flowers to thank me for showing him around town.

That is what a true gentleman does for a gal. I told my husband “I have a date this morning” and he knew exactly who it was and appreciated that he didn’t have to go see a Monet, Giacometti or Gaston Lachaise or even a pomelo tree at the tropical exhibit.

In college I lived with a girl who spent well over two hours getting ready to go to a two-bit bar by the railroad tracks near campus where they had $.25 “ponys.” I spent five minutes. My rationale is that if I had a good conversation for that amount of time my effort to get there was worthwhile. 2.5 hours means she’ll always leave disappointed in the evening.

What ever happened to her? She must have six kids and grandkids by now and I waited until 40 to marry. Maturity is another must-have, on your and your spouse’s part. If you have kids make sure they get at least a college degree. That will give them a chance for a brighter future.

Someone is waiting for you to appear. Work, volunteer, go to social events, walk a dog (that’s probably the best, ask a neighbor if you can walk their dog). Geeks. Remember the kid you joked about in high school? He’s now heading a company. Chivalry is not dead. I can take the leash and give my husband a bag and he’ll pick up the poop. That’s a marriage made in heaven. Above all, be yourself. Cheers! Dee

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4 responses to “Chivalry

  1. thenarcissistwrites

    I suppose that’s true :)

  2. DH brings me coffee in bed in the morning. He’s well trained!

  3. J’s back is out, old childhood injury. He moans and asks for tea and hot compresses. When I’m sick I send him to the movies!

  4. There’s a gent who cares for us all downstairs. He is older and takes a hard chair instead of an office swivel chair to help his back. He hears the door or sees a resident and is already on his feet to meet and greet and take care of any issue that arises. He’s older than even me and works third shift (midnight to 8:00) and stands every time he sees me walk Zoe. Chivalry is not dead. His dear wife hit the jackpot with him. I bet he brings her flowers every week.

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