Teenage boy + long school day + driving lesson = London Broil, potatoes, au jus with mushrooms, and one giant glass of milk.
My 16-year old son waits politely until I sit down. I glance at my watch as he inhales. I sip my wine and cut into my meat.
Four minutes. Not a record, but pretty damn quick for eight slices of beef and a pile of potatoes.
He sighs, taking his time with the milk.…
The Chivalry question
I have a question, I say.
No response. One eyebrow, raised.
About manners, I say.
Other eyebrow, raised.
I ask: When you’re with a girl, do you open a door for her?
OMG. Are we going through this again? Twenty questions to get a simple answer?
Any girl, or woman, I say. As in opening the door to be polite.
Son, expressionless: Chivalry is sexist.
Is he kidding me? I look into his eyes, trying to read him. I have no idea if he’s playing me, or if he’s serious. Well, I think – at least he knows the word. Both the words.
He takes another swallow of milk, as I eat at a “normal” pace. I think about what he just said, running through the film in my head of his upbringing.
This is a kid who says please, thank you, helps with dishes, and even cooks. But come to think of it, I don’t recall ever specifically teaching him – or his brother – to open a door. I’ve seen them hold doors – for people passing through, but other than that?
I reply: It’s not sexist. It’s good manners. If a girl or woman gets to the door first and opens it, fine. But if you get there at the same time, you open the door.
He shrugs, and repeats: That’s sexist.
Now I’m annoyed. I lean forward and look straight at him.
I have a feminist core and I’m telling you it’s not sexist. This isn’t equal pay for equal work. This isn’t women in the military. It’s manners, like waiting for me to sit down before you eat. Besides, most women like it.
Son begins to smirk. I’m kidding, he says.
Well, that hot blonde with my baby (yes, my son) is one lucky girl… I’m guessing he opens the door for her, and then some. And tomorrow after school, when I take him driving, he’s not getting the keys until he opens the car door – for me.
© D A Wolf