The Chivalrous: A Dying Class

Is chivalry dead? I don’t like to think so. Oldefashionedgirl is pro-chivalry. It’s nice not having to open doors for myself.  Let the boys do it. I don’t mind.

Besides, that one door at the library is really, really heavy. It’s so embarrassing when I’m carrying a pile of books, and then I push it and nothing happens, and then I push it again, and then I turn around and put all my weight on it . . .

But anyway

After this week, however, I’m forced to face the possibility that chivalry might just be dead.

I went on a vacation for a week with Aunt Fran, Uncle Richard, and Brother Erik.

Oh, Brother.

Listen Erik: I know you’re not chivalrous. I’ve always known this. But–did you really have to abandon me in the middle of a strange and foreign city (okay, fine; it was a smallish town in Canada)? A city with a fair number of indigent transients (read: hobos), and marijuana smokers? Did the fact that there had been a lethal gang shooting earlier that week in front of our very hotel, the nicest hotel in town, not phase you at all? And, as if leaving me alone and unprotected in this foreign city was not enough,

you went and did it again.

And again.


The first time, after I realized he was gone, words I had heard just the previous week came to mind. I had been out with a couple of gal pals, and we were exploring a city park at sunset.

“Hey, why don’t we go to the beach?” I said.

“I don’t know about that; it’s kind of late and we don’t have any boys with us to protect us . . .” replied Elizabeth, the responsible one.

“Pff,” I thought, “Who needs boys to protect us? I have pepper spray. I can take care of myself.”

Ah, perhaps this is why I felt that way. Elizabeth’s brothers are chivalrous. They would have stuck around, even if they didn’t wanna. Come to think of it, they open doors for me, too. Mine, not so much so. He’s much more likely to run ahead, slip through the door, and then hold it closed so that I have to fight my way through like an aggressive door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.

To be completely somewhat fair, I’ll give you Erik’s version of events:

1st time: Sofia dragged me all over town and I was all hot and grumpy when I just wanted a nice walk, and then she went to look at a fountain, and I thought, “I don’t wanna look at a fountain!” so I left. Besides, I thought you wanted me to leave.

2nd time: Well, you were taking SO LONG, and I told you that I was going, and you didn’t move, so I figured you wanted to stay longer, so I left!

3rd time: That doesn’t even count! That was your fault entirely! I told you that if you jumped into the lake wearing a knee-length cream-coloured shirtdress with brown pinstripes (okay, so Erik wouldn’t talk like that) with all those Canadian holiday-makers watching, I was going to leave! And what did you do? You jumped in! Sir, I am appalled at you. Completely. Appalled.


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