I was trying to explain what it was I liked the best about The Cowboy, who I had just met, to A the other morning. A knows The Cowboy, and we were comparing contexts. I said that what I loved was that he was polite. He opens doors. He waits. He listens. He notices small details. Not to mention he is rather a badass and I feel fairly confident that were anything dodgy to go down anytime, he could quickly and effectively handle the situation. These are qualities that I also really appreciate in Knux [aka: O.M.Y.S.F.Y.S.F.Y.B.M.M.] To be fair I must credit #5 with many of these same qualities (until it his personal choices prevented that from being a reality…)
No, chivalry is most certainly not dead, it is just that it often shows itself most gracefully, and authentically, in the more unlikely candidates. The Duncans, the Benders, the Jim Starks… those are the ones who know the kind of chivalry I like.
Here is a true story to punctuate my point:
We were at the Belly Up the other night to see a show but had sort of missed the part of the show that the most interested party wanted to see and so we were milling. Someone tapped me on my shoulder. I turned to see a nice looking fellow and his friend. The Tapper asked me a question about one of the people I was with. The Tapper then began to talk to my friend and the parties seemed to merge a bit, but in a fairly casual way. As the evening progressed The Tapper shifted his interests towards me. I had not really considered The Tapper, but he appeared quite vested in trying to extend the evening, which we are all ready to stick a fork in. He was full of platitudes and overly touchy. Frankly, his entreaties became fairly presumptuous in a rather adolescent way before he finally realized that he would not be enjoying any more of my company on this evening.
He called the next day… he would really like to see me before I went back to the City, would I like to have dinner? Sure, why not… but I really only had one night I could do this and that would be the next day, would that work? Yes, of course. Okay let’s go here. Alright, what time? I am flexible. I need to be on the later side. Hmmm. How about 7:30? Okay, fine. I will call you if I can I make it earlier. Okay. Okay. See you tomorrow.
I promptly Googled him. A bit older than I thought, a financial advisor for big dollar clients, a 619 number. Well. That would be different for me on a number of levels.
But, I would not find out the myriad ways in which we would likely be incompatible because an hour before we were supposed to meet (at a rescheduled time and place – on account of him) he called to cancel. He was sick – probably “was grinding too hard in his bodysurfing sesh” earlier that day. That is a verbatim quote. And without disclosing too much, I will tell you he is more than ten years older than me. And he said “sesh.” Still, he wanted to see me and so he would give me a call in the next day or so if he felt better. Whatevs.
I would not hear from The Tapper again.
Fast forward a couple of days to my introduction to The Cowboy. Lacking in all of the grown-up approved categories that The Tapper had to offer, The Cowboy has kind of eschewed the traditional notion of security, as such. But, I have no doubt that given any situation he would have the requisite savvy to handle himself with aplomb and escape with the most minor of casualties. He is smart, though in no hurry to demonstrate this to all and sundry. He is kind, and I have not heard him direct a single cruel word towards anyone. He is a physical specimen of some significant note; a surfer, biker, runner. And a roofer. Yep. A tradesman. And The Cowboy has no issue with this. Not because he is unaware that in a culture like ours people are undoubtedly judging him for this, but because he really just does not give a shit. He likes what he does. He works hard. And without fail, he speaks gently, holds hands, opens doors… and could drop you in a minute if you insulted the honor of someone he cared for.
No, chivalry is not dead. It is just found in those who have a true understanding for the word means. It is not something that is done for etiquette’s sake (or to try to get some late night action.) It exists because the truly chivalrous believe that their actions make the world a better place, some how, in some little way. And that is why they do it.
Or, at least, that is certainly how it seemed to me when I asked The Cowboy if he’d be around in the new year. He looked back and said, “As… you….. wish.”
Now that, Buttercup, is chivalry.