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It’s Alive!

You know, I could have sworn I’d seen a headstone on the grave of gallantry among California men, but it appears I donned my widow’s weeds somewhat prematurely.

I was enjoying a conversation with a friend a couple of  nights ago as we crossed the parking lot on our way to dinner. A very intelligent man, he was in his proper place a couple of paces behind me.  As we approached the door of my favorite restaurant, there was a slight “whoosh” as he breezed past me, grabbed the door and held it as I entered.

I smiled as I contrasted this with my last Valentine’s Day dinner with my ex (to whom my mother refers only as “The Jackass”).  Another couple approached the door of an upscale French cafe at the same time we did.  The man held the door as his companion entered, then smiled and gestured that I should follow.  Suddenly, TJ shoved me aside and rushed ahead through the open door.  Later — at the end of the evening when the waiter handed him the check — TJ very unashamedly pushed it across the table to me with a “we discussed business, dear; you can pay for this.”

Shortly after I hit Mr. You-First-After-Me’s eject button — catapulting him out of my life and back home to his mother — I re-entered the dating pool. Disappointingly, what I discovered was that there are far too many men out there very much like him. It appeared Prince Charming only existed in fairy tales and Sir Walter Raleigh’s famed cloak over Queen Elizabeth’s puddle never happened (in fact, she had him imprisoned and later beheaded when his little divining rod discovered the puddle of one of her maids of honor).  In this twenty-first century, chivalry was dead;  and as a woman who cherished gentlemen, I was in mourning.

But then a few weeks ago one of my friends visited my office.  The moment he’d parked, her boyfriend jumped from the driver’s seat, ran to her door and opened it; then he extended his hand as she stepped out. When I mentioned the incident in a Facebook post, dozens of friends responded with compliments and words of appreciation for the gentlemen in their lives. One of my dear friends —  mother of the absolutely adorable (my completely unbiased opinion, of course) seven year-old I’ve adopted as my grandson — reminded me of an occasion on which he ran ahead of us, held the door open and very politely announced “ladies first.”

Hooray! They’re not extinct after all! Unfortunately, reporters and paparazzi don’t stalk them and create headlines about their gallant acts.  We don’t hear a lot about them and we sometimes take them for granted. But they deserve to be celebrated!

So, ladies, break out the champagne and toast the gentlemen in your lives!  Like diamonds they are rare, beautiful and so very valuable!

And the rest of you lumps of coal diamonds in the rough, stop scratching your crotches long enough to google Emily Post or Miss Manners and become the treasures we know you can be. 

Some of us are still waiting …


About PD Williams

Writer - primarily humorous women's fiction. My secret agenda is to help men become in actuality the visions they think they already are. I point out their many flaws in the kindest, gentlest, most supportive way I know -- gotta protect those fragile male egos -- so we can stop wasting our energy trying to change them. After all, as women, we have more important things to do.

6 responses »

  1. I am so lucky that my man opens the car door and restaurant doors for me. Sometimes I just tell him that i can get this one, but he insists. He is a diamond and thank you for your post Paula- good to know chivalry still exists!

  2. Why does it bother me?

    I married a door opener!
    I can not stand bad manners.
    I wonder if they will die out? I hope not!

    If there is someone elderly, a woman with children, or someone regardless of gender laden with bags / parcels / whatever it is the decent thing to open the door, let them through first or attempt to help them.
    I have no idea why this simple thing is a foreign concept to so many!

    • First of all, CONGRATS!! I am SO happy for you and wish the two of you much happiness is your life together!

      You’re right. It really is confusing why decency is foreign to so many people. If I approach the door at the same time as an elderly man, my instinct is to open the door for him. My mother would be so ashamed of me if I didn’t; it’s simply a matter of showing respect.

      Good to hear from you! Thanks and take care!

  3. You think the gentlemen are listening? I think that gives women respect and it shows their love the person.
    I always laugh when you mention that about the J.A. But he was raised in a barn. He has no respect for anyone.



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