Tag Archives: Chivalry

Damsel in distress….or not?


I have had multiple opportunities lately to practice my car-jumping skills. Each time that I pop the hood and bring out the cables, well meaning gentlemen miraculously appear. Now, I assure you that I am not wearing daisy dukes, a low-cut shirt and lounging on the hood of my car. More often, I’m standing there with my teenage son who’s car is too old to have the automatic headlight shut-off.

Jumping a car is not rocket science. The cables even come color coded. Red cable goes on red battery thingie, black cable goes on black battery thingie. Oh yeah, and don’t touch the opposite cables together once they are attached to the donor car or you could be in for “quite a shock,” I’ve been told more than once.

But something strange happens when these chivalrous young men appear. I like the idea that they want to help, but more than that…I start thinking maybe I need help. I second guess myself.

“Do you need some help?” asks the kind gentleman.

Long pause as I look at the cables….”I think I know what I’m doing, but maybe you could make sure.”

“So…this one goes here, right?” (I know the red goes on the red, not sure why I’m looking for validation)

“and the black one goes here? or do I need to clip it to the car somewhere?” (One male helper “grounded” the black one on the car frame.)

“No, that should work. Now just clip them to the other car…but don’t let them touch! Start your car and you should be good to go.”

“Thank you so much. They really need a class on this somewhere!” (Not sure why I threw that in…seems like it would be a pretty short class…but maybe I would learn the name of the battery “thingie”)

“No problem. Glad to help.”

At this point both cars are running and I proceed on my merry way all the while thinking, what is wrong with me that I can’t say, “Thanks anyway, I’ve got this.” I am a problem solver by nature, the IKEA furniture assembler at our house. If I don’t know what I’m doing, give me some time and I’ll figure it out.

The truth is, I like the traditional order of things. I admire men who are willing to go out of their way to help and protect women. Not because we necessarily need it, but because it is the noble thing to do. When a man puts my needs before his, I’m not going to turn him away. So please, chivalrous gentlemen, keep stopping to help. Keep opening doors for me and looking out for me. Because someday, when I’m stranded on the side of the road and really do need help, I’ll be waiting for you.

But IKEA furniture…that’s all me. Don’t even think about touching that weird Swedish screwdriver thingie!



Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Chivalry is Not Dead

Apparently neither is mind-reading.

While loading my van at Costco I was composing Facebook rants in my head such as, “The best rain dance I can think of is a trip to Costco” and “Why does the checker fill the box so damn full, I can’t lift it out of my cart” (I don’t usually swear out loud, but remember this was all in my head) and finally “If you are going to sit and wait 15 minutes for my parking spot, you might as well get out and help me!”

Well apparently the man waiting for my spot was a mind reader. It was either that or the aforementioned box spilling half its contents on the ground as I wrestled it out of my cart. He jumped out and offered to help. I gladly accepted and then said something that will make many of you cringe: “I don’t usually come to Costco without my husband’s help.”

It almost sounded politically incorrect to my own ears. Did I just admit that I really needed a man’s help? I used to go to Costco by myself….if I was lucky! Sometimes I had three little helpers with me. Now a couple of those helpers are teenagers who are too busy to shop with me and I could easily fill two carts at Costco. Between the shopping, loading the car at Costco, and unloading the car at home, I consider my trips to Costco my workout for the day. So do I need my husband’s help? No, not necessarily. I could be an independent woman and handle it on my own. Do I want my husband’s help? Most certainly. We enjoy each other’s company, it makes it much easier for me, and he gets to throw things in the cart that I don’t normally buy. 

But on the other hand, I do need my husband. There is nothing wrong with needing another human being. Americans have made independence an art form and a soapbox to stand on. If either gender needs the other than you are “whipped” if you are a man or “repressed and anti-feminist” if you are a woman. Why don’t we all just admit that on a basic human level we need each other. We were created for it. It says in Genesis that a “man will leave his father and mother… and the two will become one flesh.” One flesh. I don’t know about you, but I desperately need all of my flesh. 

My students are studying Medieval literature and chivalry. Chivalry is defined as: bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women. In other words being fierce and brave in battle and courteous and gentle in the parlor. This isn’t popular in today’s society because we mistakenly believe that for a man to be chivalrous a woman must be weak and in need of a knight in shining armor. But what in the definition of chivalry indicates weakness in women? Chivalry is holding one human being to a high standard in the way they treat another human being. Seems to me that we could all stand to be more chivalrous with each other male or female.

So thank you, man at Costco, for showing courtesy and honor and coming to my aid one human being to another.


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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


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