Friday, March 24, 2006

Chivalry is Almost Dead

The parking garage where I leave my car on a daily basis has gotten busier and busier. I think it's one of the cheapest places to park in this area of downtown and the rest of the world has just discoverd that. I'm very focused when I park my car and head to the office. I jump on the elevator go out the door to the corner and wait to cross at the appropriate, law-abiding time. For more reasons than obeying the law, you don't want to cross too soon because the drivers of Louisville aren't the most pedestrian-friendly.

Most of the folks who park in this garage are in the age range of 25 - 50. There are very few older folks - most of the parkers are in the 20s and 30s range. This age demographic was noticed one day when a lovely older gentleman joined me on the elevator in the garage. My assumption is that he was over 65, retired, and probably consulting in the area - we have folks in this region of downtown that do just that sort of thing. He was a spritely man, complete with his briefcase (not backpack like us younger folks) and donning a chapeau that reminded me of the tam-like hat my granddaddy used to wear. As we waited for the elevator, he said, "Good morning, how are you?" Wow, communication with a fellow parker?! When the elevator arrived, a quite odd thing occured. He took a step back to allow me to get on the elevator first. Man, that's great - how soon we forget those little things. The same thing occured when we reached the bottom floor and he waited for me to exit the elevator. As he held the door open for me to walk to the corner he bidded me adieu with a "Have a nice day!" Gee, I was so impressed I wondered if this man was single!

It made me realize how little regard younger men have for women. Now, this is a generalization and I am friends with guys who do show courtesy and respect to us women, but on the whole it's not that way. Obviously since my experience interacting with younger men in the garage day in and day out and then experiencing Mr. Chivalry caused me to perk up. I think it's time we teach younger men to be gentlemanly, chivalrous, and give women the courtesy and respect they are due. For the record, I never voted for women's liberation - forget "I am woman, hear me roar" - I prefer "I am woman, get my door."


SarahLynn said...

i agree with you! I love it when men hold doors, chairs open for me! I swoon! :) I attempt to teach my son this mannerism and he is always blushing when ladies, even younger ones gush at him when he holds open a door. hehe.

I blame electronic doors for our lost chivalry! I pointed out to my husband once that he should hold open the door for me, and he said, "why? it's electronic."

Katrina said...

Absolutely! I miss the sense of courtesy and respect that has somehow gone missing from much of our culture (on this front and many others!) I think, on the whole, we have stopped touching each other, speaking to each other, reaching out to each other. I'm not sure why this is--probably a host of factors.

Great post!

RosieBoo said...


I'm glad you are teaching your son! Knowing his blushing-ness when he dotes on a woman shows that it is not only a service to women, but a stroke of a male ego. All they really want to do is take care of us. :)

I think part of the reason it is missing is we have so little face to face contact. We go to the ATM, pay for our gas at the pump, zoom through the drive thru...we have no need to develop a relationship. Gee...that's fodder for another day....

Laura said...

"I am woman, hold the door." That's perfect! I grew out of what I refer to as the feminist witch (only change a letter) attitude, but I still love it when men hold the door for me, when my students refer to me as Mrs., and when my daughter says, "Yes, ma'am."

Manners as a whole are falling by the wayside, and I am working to teach my daughter to be mindful of others too. Lucky me: My mom, who is caring for my daughter while I work, purchased an American Girl book on manners so she can teach her even more common courtesies. Yay to chivalry and courtesy!