April 06, 2014

30 Days: Day 6 - Gentlemen and Ladies

(My favorite display at the National Botanic Gardens.  Every year, I hunt it down (it changes locations) and drink it in (the inside collection constantly changes on every visit .)

Getting on my soapbox for a moment....

What has happened to all the gentleman?
The men who hold doors for ladies and offer to help if they are carrying something heavy?
The men who are polite and kind to a lady and offer their seat?

I was again reminded of this realization when I was in Utah in January.  I'm not sure if it was so noticeable because I am normally surrounded by men who do these gentlemanly things so well?  Maybe.  But it was noticeable.  A guy visibly watching me struggle with my suitcase and not saying anything or offering help in the slightest way.  I was almost taken aback.

The guys I'm surrounded by (married or un-married) will hold the door open for me without even thinking about it.  They will grab my suitcase or bag or whatever heavy thing I'm holding out of my hand without even second thinking it (or at least ask if they can carry it).  They will be kind and generous, not in a creepy way (that some guys use as a ploy to talk to you as soon as they see you don't have a wedding ring.  really?!) but in a way that just pays tribute to you as a person.  They aren't saying I'm not able to do it on my own.  They're just being nice.

Seriously, guys, be gentleman.

There may be those one or two women who get all women's lib and get offended that you even suggested that she is weaker than you are.  But those aren't the norm.  We women would like to be treated with kindness and compassion.  We value your acknowledgement of us in that way.  We appreciate the fact that you are willing to carry our groceries just for the mere fact that you would like to help.

I will admit that sometimes I am guilty of being prideful for no other reason than "I can do it myself, thank you very much".  But that is my own fault.  And, as a guy friend of mine said to me as I was thanking him for being one of those kind gentleman, it is just as much my fault when I say no as when it isn't offered.  "We're just trying to be kind" he reminded me.  "Let us do this for you and don't take offense."  Aren't you glad for friends who talk to you honestly and let you see (in a kind way) when you are being a jerk?  I sure am.

So ladies, let's allow men to be gentleman, shall we?  And men, please, be gentleman and not for any other reason than just being a gentleman.  We notice.  We do.  And thank you on behalf of all those women that you kindly treat with respect.

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