Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Chivalry Dead?

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a local place of business here in our small town, and I arrived a few minutes early. The sweet girl at the desk got out my card to check off my appointment, I signed my initials, and then I looked over at the small waiting area to find that there were no empty seats. Among those who were sitting were high school students (or recent grads), and three out of four were young men.

I'm not sure what I expected.

I stood near the entryway for some fresh air - because it was really warm in there - and for some reason this got me to thinking. Have young men not been taught to give up their seat for a lady? It's not that I wanted to sit. I actually would have turned them down if they offered because of how warm it was, and I loved to feel the gentle breeze as I stood by the opened door. But I was standing in clear sight of them, and none of them offered to let me sit.

Is it weird that I even thought of this?

I recall times when we have been at a restaurant - most often Applebee's - and if it's a really busy night, there are not many places to sit as we wait for a table. Josh has often given up his seat - or at least offered - if he sees a woman walk in, and ESPECIALLY if it's an elderly person or couple. I will even offer to give up my seat if I see an older couple walk in.

I just keep thinking about these young men I saw yesterday. Not customers mind you, just waiting around for their girlfriends or chatting with the girl behind the desk. They all knew me because evidently all of them had my husband in a math class. We made small talk. They said that they liked Josh, and one of them even joked with me about McDonald's (because I see him there a lot). I said he couldn't tell anyone that he sees me there! They seemed like nice boys.

But I still am amazed that they didn't offer to give up their seat.


Mrs. Haid said...

Maybe you didn't look old enough for them to feel compelled to give up a seat! Maybe its a compliment!

Ashley said...

ha ha Bethany, nice way to look at it!

I just felt my stomach drop when I started reading this, so I asked Hunter what he was supposed to do if he was sitting in a chair and a lady walked in and there was no seat for her. He immediately responded with "stand up and ask her if she wants my seat".


SonjaMichelle said...

Yeah...that is sad. That boys would not know to give up their set to a lady. Very sad!

Im sure you will teach Caleb and Gabriel to do that, though. : )

Nel said...

I agree... very sad.

Frugal Science Gal said...

I completely agree! I was always raised where boys are expected to do that and often times there are men on the bus that will insist that I sit. It's just a nice gesture that men should be taught. I went to visit family in Minnesota last summer and I was astonished at how many men let the door fall behind them instead of holding it open for me to at least grab it. There is still a little bit of chivalry left down here in Texas and this I am thankful for!!

This Daddy said...

Now that I think about it, I wonder if I am rude like that? Got me thinking now.

Maybe they wanted you to stand and walk around so they could look at you. Compliment? Could be.

I do open the door for people though. Maybe I am ok

Jessica said...

You are right, so many young people these days have no concept of respect for elders (not saying your old...) and it really is sad.

I'm also astounded at the rudeness of a lot of small children that think they have the right to sit on the furniture in a house full of people while the adults take the floor. I would have never even attempted to sit on a couch or chair in a house full of people when I was a child. I knew that my place was on the floor unless there was open furniture after all the adults were seated.

Things certainly are different these days.....very sad.

At least we all recognize it and are teaching are children differently.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

I taught my children manners and now I'm working on my grandchildren and their parents. :)

Sharon's New Life said...

I totally agree with you... manners have gone out the window these days!
I'm your latest follower on FF and I hope you'll stop by my blog ( and say hello some time soon.

Cassie said...

I have often wondered the same thing. I live in the south, which in general used to yield "southern gentlemen" but no long seems to. To me, it's a matter of manners as well. I intend to teach my children about chivalry and good manners. Hope it sticks!!

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