But here’s the good news: Chivalry is not dead. Oh, I didn’t think it was, mind you. But now I know that it isn’t. I have proof. At least, I have one very recent example.
The dénouement to yesterday’s tale – or perhaps the next chapter?
You know. That Bite Me sort of day. Yesterday – end of the week, a hundred things to accomplish, and a flat tire. Or, as it turns out, more than one – but all salvageable.
Thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
I admit, I was feeling pitiful – and at loose ends. I knew I could call a tow truck (big bucks), make it to a garage (then wait hours), and likely – get ripped off. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I don’t know much about cars or tires, and my older son usually helps out with that sort of thing. But he wasn’t here. And dollars and hours are precious resources. I needed to ask for help. I didn’t know who to ask for help.
The measure of a man
Enter one polite man I don’t know very well, to whom I mentioned my predicament, online. He suggested meeting at the closest station so he could look (and I would feel safe). I drove slowly. We met. He came with tools, checked my tires, dealt with the issue, explained what he was doing, and then we talked – for an hour.
It was lovely.
But more than anything – what he did was kind.
Is this chivalry? Technically, not exactly. Chivalry implies knight-like behavior. Then again, while I have no “rescue fantasies,” this particular knight (in a pickup) was precisely what I needed, when I needed it. He was most gracious about his time and trouble, and I appreciated it.
Do women still care about this sort of behavior?
Some of us do.
What do men REALLY think of women?
The “real world” can certainly leave us jaded when it comes to relations between the sexes. The online world? It magnifies our challenges in meeting, greeting, and even routine communication. I find myself wondering what men think of women – really think of women – especially when I read online profiles, see the underlying hurt and skepticism, and realize that my primary means of meeting men is in those dangerous dating waters that are awash with deception and doubt.
These are treacherous shoals to navigate. Language that offers only the smallest inkling of who someone may be. The interpretation of that language that surely involves gender-based perceptions. Men read Word X and believe it to imply one thing, while women read the same word and picture something else entirely.
What yesterday’s gentleman thought of me?
I’m not certain. Perhaps that I was in a bit of a tizzy, tired, and needed help. More than that? As I said – I’m not certain.
But while I may not believe in knights in shining armor, I do believe in serendipity. And acts of kindness. And men and women both, helping, with no agenda.
© D A Wolf