CHIVALRY

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Chivalry. I've never been too sure how I feel about it. Whilst I am from a background where having a man open a door for me or offer to carry my bags is appreciated (although no longer expected), I have always felt a little bit... patronised? I'm never sure if the implication is "well, I'm a nice, old-fashioned kinda guy, so I'll take care of it," or if it's more "having ovaries must be exhausting for you, poor thing. Don't worry your little head about it."

I don't like men standing for me (I find it awkward). Paying for things? Don't even go there. Does that then mean that I owe them something? I just don't know. And I've always found that guys' seeming compulsion to "rescue" me really over the top and quite irritating. I may give off vibes of being a bit clumsy and awkward, which, when combined with the fact that I have large eyes and my hair smells like shampoo, seems to make boys go into overdrive "I WANT TO PROTECT YOU" mode, but, actually, I'm not totally inept. I'm perfectly capable of telling the creepy man at the bus stop to bugger off for myself, thanks. 

Basically, I've never been Emma Stone in Easy A (although golly, do I love that film).

*image source*
I have never wanted my life to be like an 80's movie.

That is, until I got the flu.

This is quite embarrassing to admit, but being ill makes me insanely needy. I want to weep. I want to be looked after. I want hugs from a big person (they have to be big so that they make me feel tiny). I know, I'm pathetic.

You may recall that back in December I was ill, and a lovely boy came round to look after me, and ended up burying a dead rabbit for me, instead of taking me on what was supposed to be our first date. Things never did work out romantically with him (they rarely do, when dead rabbits are involved). However, he has been round several times a day (he's a neighbour - in fact, let's call him N, for Neighbour) since I've been ill. He has brought me cupcakes, and muffins, and other things to tempt me to eat. He has introduced me to Studio Ghibli movies, and hung around to watch a few with me. He has made endless cups of tea, cracked jokes to cheer me up, and provided hugs. And at six foot two, he counts as a big person. 

I always knew that he was an old-fashioned boy who likes to look after girls. The problem was, I'm not an old fashioned girl who wants to be rescued. But he is very good at it, and it has been lovely while I've been ill.

Sadly, when I'm not totally useless and weak as a kitten, I'm just not that kind of girl. However, if you are the type who likes being looked after, and "protected", then I think your perfect man may be living upstairs from me. If you'd like an introduction, then leave a message in the comments box.

Where do you stand on chivalry? Dashing and romantic? Patronising? Or, like me, are you an "only when I'm sick" kind of girl?

Mona.

20 comments:

  1. I'm with you on this, girl.

    If a man is holding the door open, helping me carry something or letting me go first out of the lift, I want him to be doing those things because I am a fellow human being, not because I'm a woman.

    An ex-friend of mine would get offended if a man didn't offer her a seat on the bus. I was always just like "are you very old? Are you in possession of an obviously hurty leg? Are you heavily preggers? No, then stand up and stop being such a selfish throwback" As I say, ex-friend.

    Anyway, I long for the day when 'chivalry' is just manners, and everyone does it for everyone else, regardless of what they may or may not have in their pants.

    (Mind, I do wish John Cusack would come a'calling, because seriously, John Cusack.)

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    1. Oh dear, I just don't understand girls like that! It would be lovely if chivalry did just mean good manners once again, wouldn't it? But I think that any expectation of being treated differently, especially by strangers, because you're a woman is pretty out-dated!

      I think I'm actually more of a Patrick Dempsey man. He is McDreamy, and everything. Although I don't know if I could love a man who had better hair than me...

      Mona x

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  2. Aaaaw I guess I'm an old fashioned girl then, because all that just sounds perfect to me.... I hope you feel better soon! xxx

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    1. I'm sure you accept it all with much more grace than me! I'm much better now, thank you!

      Mona x

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  3. Haha I disagree I'm afraid, I find it dashing and romantic! But then again, I am really old-fashioned and love that sorta thing :)

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    1. Each to their own! I think a lot of boys really enjoy spoiling girls, and from what I've read your fella is no exception!

      Mona x

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  4. I'm on the fence with chivalry. Having the door held open is nice if it's not done in a patronising manner, but being offered their seat, or carrying my bags doesn't really work for me.

    Your upstairs neighbours sounds lovely though, what a sweet guy. Everyone likes to be looked after when they're ill, so totally understand why you'll let chivalry into your life when yo're feeling useless!

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    1. Totally agreed. I offer my seats to people who are (a) old (b) pregnant, or (c) injured. I am none of the above, and am perfectly happy to stand!

      N is a total sweetheart, I'm planning on baking him an enormous birthday cake as a thank you!

      Mona x

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  5. I appreciate it if a man opens a door for me, but he should only do it out of politeness, not because I'm a woman. It should be more "I'm a nice person, so I'll hold the door open for you. Plus, it's an unwritten rule so you HAVE to do it." and not "Oh, you're a lady. Don't worry, I'll be strong and manly and hold the door open for you, because you know, thinking about shopping and shoes must be exhausting."

    I do, however, find it awkward when a guy pays something for me. BEYOND awkward. Do I owe the guy back or...? Yikes. I'd rather split it.

    I hold the door open for guys and girls. I'm a girl and I do it out of politeness. I don't expect a man to stand up for me because: I'm not old, I'm not injured and I'm not preggo, so there's no reason as to why he should. I believe those are the only three options if someone should give up their seat for another person.

    AWWWHHH, "N" sounds like such a sweetheart!

    I feel as though I'm probably rambling a lot, so sorry for that!

    To sum up:
    - The way a man acts mentioned in the post is appreciated, but not expected. I'm not going to stand in front of a door for 5 minutes and be like "well, what are you waiting for? Open it for me." I have hands and I'll do it myself. Even if I'm carrying a lot of things, I'm fine with being an acrobat for 5 seconds because I watched plenty of cartoons as a kid to know how to balance things on my knees.

    - A guy can act like that and it's fine (as long as it's manners and not because of gender). However, a girl can act like a "strong independent woman" and that's fine too. I just don't agree with the whole "fairytale" thing - ie dolling yourself up and then looking from the sidelines, hoping the guy will get some sort of freakish vibe and come over to you. If a woman does that, she should at least go up to him because she's gone through the effort of dolling herself up. It'll just be useless if she doesn't.

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    1. Don't apologise, it's lovely to get long comments!

      I totally agree with you, the whole "fairytale" thing is just dangerous, too. I think any girl who lives their life expecting a man to make it whole or rescue her is setting herself up for what could be a potentially nasty fall, it should be a lovely surprise rather than an expectation!

      Mona x

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  6. I like it when guys are gentlemanly. Not overboard, but kind and considerate. And not just to women ... to old people and kids and everyone in between. That said, I do like the differences between guys and girls and how they play out in life. Its in a lot of guys' nature to be protective and caring and handle the 'tougher' things in life, and I think a lot of girls (thinking that the guy is implying they are unable to deal with anything 'tough') pretty much nip it in the bud.

    And I totally agree ... being sick is THE best time to have a big hearted person around! :D

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    1. That fits in with the old-fashioned definition of chivalry, which I agree is lovely. I wish that the world still meant just being kind and considerate to everyone that you come into contact with, rather than the "Prince Charming" definition it seems to have developed in recent years!

      And N was a life-saver. I would have starved to death, really lonely, had he not been around!

      Mona x

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  7. Aww I feel sorry for N, haha! But not as sorry as I do for you with the flu.
    I don't like too much chivalry, it makes me feel very self conscious. However, I don't mind the odd opening of a door and I wouldn't say no to someone bringing me cupcakes =)
    Get well soon!
    xx
    emsipop.blogspot.com

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    1. Don't feel sorry for him! We're good friends and I think he's figured out now that he dodged a serious bullet, as I am, in fact, a crazy person. Also he's quite the looker, so I'm pretty confident that he'd have girls banging down his door, if he wanted them!

      I think that door opening should be done for everyone, and cupcakes is ok, because, you know... They're cupcakes.

      Mona x

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  8. I love a bit of chivalry! I think because where I'm from, it's how the majority of the community act and I've grown up with it. I've never known a woman to buy her own drink in my local pub, but then the blokes buy rounds for each other too. I do consider myself to be a feminist, so I think I might look a bit hypocritical. But really, I don't think it's down to men thinking women are useless, but more to do with good old fashioned manners. And you can't blame the poor boys...films and books tell them that gals love to be looked after so they're only doing what they think we want!
    Hope you're feeling better soon Mona!

    xxx

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    1. Drink-buying is an odd one. I'm bought drinks quite a lot by friends, but I feel awful if I don't get a round in too! I think it's fine to be a feminist, and accept chivalry, as long as it's coming from a desire to be good to you as a person, and not as a woman...

      I do think it must be horribly confusing for boys, poor things. But I also find them horribly confusing, so I suppose it's only fair!

      Mona x

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  9. I think there's a time and a place for chivalry, I'm all too happy to have a guy take care of me if I'm ill or spoil me on special occassions :) xx

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    1. I think it's wonderful when you're ill, and on special occasions it's okay too, as long as you;re allowed to spoil them back!

      Mona x

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All love notes are gratefully received. If you have a burning question, though, it would be better to hit me up with an email.

Mona x

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