Posted: 12/08/2004 in None

R.I.P. Chivalry … ??? … What Is ‘Chivalry’ Anyway?!

Yesterday, when I picked up Renka at the airport, there was a gentlemen working there helping us with her bags. After I closed the tailgate to Phoebus, I opened the car door for Renka. When I closed the door and turned to walkabout, getting into the driver’s seat, the gentlemen remarked, “I’ve been working here for over 15 years. I haven’t seen a man open a car door for a woman in close to 10 years. Good on you, son!”

I just received a long distance phone call from a friend of mine. She was watching “Kate And Leopold” and found that Hugh Jackman‘s character reminded her of me. She called just to tell me that.

Okay, it’ll sound like I’m tooting my own horn here, but hear me out … Ever since I was a child, I’ve been deemed polite. This lasted throughout high school, during the college years and well into adulthood as well. Even people who didn’t like me – like my ex’s sister – gave me credit for having been polite.

In the matters of the opposite sex, I have been complimented by a fair number of ladies for being a gentleman. My reaction: Huh? I don’t get it. I’m doing no different what I’ve always done since I was a wee lad. Perhaps, it’s just that such ‘gestures’ were not noticed in high school.

Frankly, I don’t know the first thing about being a true gentleman. So I open doors for the ladies … So I pull out chairs for the ladies … So I always help the ladies with their jackets … So I always let the ladies order first … So I never assume I know what the ladies want … So I expect that the ladies should come first … So what?!

I know not what to say, nor when to say it … ever. I can never say what I want. My table manners are horrible. I’m seriously lacking culture. According to Baby-J, I know nothing of fashion. I have questionable tastes. I am not a gentleman.

Far too often, I get credit for being someone, something that I’m not. All that I am is due entirely to my upbringing. My parents raised me to be a good person. All of my tendencies and such are a result of their efforts to instill in me good manners and common courtesy. I was not raised a gentleman. I was raised a good person.

In conversations, people constantly speak of chivalry as if it’s dead. And yet, I’ve been referred to as being chivalrous. I’m a ‘dying breed’, as they say. I’m not even sure what chivalry is. Merriam-Webster OnLine defines ‘chivalry‘ as such:

Main Entry: chiv·al·ry

Pronunciation: ‘shi-v&l-rE

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural -ries

Etymology: Middle English chivalrie, from Middle French

chevalerie, from chevalier knight — more at CHEVALIER

1 : mounted men-at-arms

2 archaic a : martial valor b : knightly skill

3 : gallant or distinguished gentlemen

4 : the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood

5 : the qualities of the ideal knight : chivalrous conduct

I’m not a mounted man-at-arms.

I have no martial valor, nor knightly skill.

I’m no gallant or distinguished gentleman

I’m not of medieval times, so what of their system, spirit, customs or conduct would I know?

As you can see, I’m not anywhere near being worthy of such references. Nor should I be complimented with words of which reflect these qualities.

… & write back @ ya’!

Rugby Chick : Mics are cheap. Just get one with a boom and you’ll have a speakerphone computer! And you can use it to keep in touch with your sis!

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