Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"I need a crash cart, Chivalry is dying!"
I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend last night, after which I announced, "This is great blog material." She agreed and since I've been running short on things that are blog acceptable or appropriate in my own life (believe me, I have my own "blog material" happenings right now, but I'm being censored. Well, I'm censoring myself...urgh. It's so frustrating. Anyway.), I thought I'd cast the net of our conversation out there to you all, my ever-opinionated, ever-encouraging favorite people.
This wonderful, beautiful and happily married friend of mine happened to be sitting at one of her favorite restaurants last night, minding her own business, enjoying dinner and a good book. Sidenote: that's one of the many good things about books. In public places, they are handy little devices for "minding your own business," when you want to avoid eye contact with potential creepers. Even if you're not actually reading it, you can do the "This book is so good, I can hardly pull my eyes away to greet you when you speak to me, so leave me alone" thing. However, this did not work for my friend. Back to the story. My friend was quickly approached by a young man, who took the liberty of sitting at her table, interrupted her, apologized for his interruption and commenced to tell her that he'd been looking at her from across the restaurant and wanted to just come over and tell her how pretty she is. This only moderately hints at inappropriate, borders more on just a little uncomfortable and is completely something any modern day woman can handle.
Unthrwarted by her obvious retreats, this man and his friend approached her again at the refill station, passed her a note with his name, phone number and facebook contact information (weird?) followed by the line "Just as friends" at the bottom. Go ahead...express your opinion. Because here comes mine.
We don't live in a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie, people. Stunts like this only end in "happily ever after" on the big screen. I don't buy for one second that this guy really wanted to be "friends." Anyone with the beach balls enough to pull something like plopping yourself at a complete stranger's table to admire their beauty isn't going around looking for a buddy to go see a movie with. Had this truly been the case, he would have started an actual, real conversation with her (although I'm beginning to forget what those are like), at which point, she could have conversed and politely informed him of her nuptial vows to someone else in passing. I also don't understand how some guys don't realize just how high their creepy factor can go. By constantly coming at someone like this, despite polite refusals, you spark within us every defense mechanism God and our mothers gave us. Even if you had a chance to begin with, the higher your creepy factor goes, the less likely you're getting anything out of this situation other than a view of us quickly jaunting to our car. But, back to my "chivalry: dead or alive?" concern above, why did this guy automatically assume that, even though my friend is married, she would want to carouse with him extracurricularly? Since when did it become acceptable to approach married people as dating potentials? Had this man politely apologized for his advances when he noticed her ring (you can't not notice it...my friend worked long and hard for that thing, and like most women our age, wears it like a first prize blue ribbon), continued his appreciation for her appearance and backed-off, I would have been referring to him as a "gentleman" throughout this post. And honestly, this post probably wouldn't have even existed. But, instead, my friend went home completely creeped out and feeling like she'd gotten slimed.
You know how I like to look at things from both angles. Maybe it's not about chivalry, but a dying breed of those of us who expect a little bit more. Could expectations have been so lowered that this behavior is just the norm? As I told Mr. Too Many Words, I'm looking for a gentleman, who still likes to have fun, but someone who doesn't cut to the chase within the first two minutes of knowing me. I don't think this is asking too much, so I'm holding out and holding onto hope.