I had a short term friend that insisted chivalry was dead and essentially nonexistent-- and that anyone that pretended to be at all chivalrous was a dou.....well, not really chivalrous at all. Just now I read an article about the most chivalrous cities in the States and whether or not chivalry really is dead or not.
Not surprisingly, this oh so scientific experiment found that larger cities are lacking chivalrous characters and that the colder it gets in any one place during the winter, the less apt people are to stop and help you.
Now, because I live in one of the very cities tested, I know all about the folks that rush by without lending a hand when you so obviously need it, all about the men who remain in their seats when a nine month pregnant mother with a toddler in tow walks onto the el train, and don't even believe for a second that you will get someone to help you with your car when you are stranded on the side of the road. In that last case, I am more concerned about protecting myself and my property than anybody helping me.
Still, I do believe that chivalrous men are out there, and yes, there are even a scarce few all the way up here in Chicago. Just yesterday a young man held the door to the library open for me, even though he only used his foot, when he was a good 10-15 steps in front of me and it was about 10 degrees out. But the sad thing is, that a guy holding the door open with his foot for me gets noticed in the first place.
I always joke with my best friends that after I returned to the city, after going to school in Dallas, that I had to mentally remind myself to reach out my hand and open the door for myself. I never thought about it after I had it done for me so often-- pretty much ALL the time. And the eye contact. Whoa, the eye contact was a big doozey for me. No one up here makes any eye contact, smiles, says hi-- who cares if you do not know the people around you.
It's almost as if folks feel that by avoiding any and all contact with the people around them, gives them the opening they need to be rude and ignore people. Anyway, there are some chivalrous men out there, and when I do happen to meet one I silently praise their mothers, but I have never and will never sit around and wait for one.