I got to the door of the Pickup Stix restaurant seconds before the young woman did. I thought about simply letting myself in and ignoring her altogether, but I didn't. I stopped, opened the door for the twenty-something year-old, and watched her walk in. She said, "thanks," and glanced my way briefly enough, not quite making eye contact. I followed her in, and instead of her letting me go ahead of her -because I had gotten there seconds before her- she ignored me, and approached the counter.
Now, it is at this next point that I became annoyed. She fumbled around, stared at the menu, asked the server a bunch of rookie questions, and then still took her time ordering. It was clear to me that she did not have the presence of mind to be courteous and allow me to go first, but she was not ready to order and had no clue what she wanted.
It's no secret to anyone in today's western world that chivalry is an antiquated term that the young people probably associate with medieval knights instead of common place courtesy. There is also an argument that modern feminism killed this chivalry. There is some merit in that too, but I would have expected that pendulum to swing back this way by now. After all, most men want to help a lady not because she needs it or because she is weaker, but because he is a gentleman. Who says a lady can't be a feminist anyways? I prefer a woman that is both, but I digress.
I am by no means an idiot as it turns out. Far be it from me to expect anyone to actually teach the younger generations to be kind and courteous. A young man behaving as a gentleman in America today is rare, as is a young woman dressing and behaving as a lady. Far be it from me to expect that in a society that worships the mighty dollar above integrity and honesty, physical appearance over virtue and character, and fame over modesty and knowledge, for there be the need to teach such a thing as chivalry and respect.
That is not where it ends for me though. I had known this prior to my walking up to the Pickup Stix in the first place. I knew this before I decided to open the door for the young woman. I knew I'd be lucky to get a "thank you" for it, which to my surprise, I did. I still did it anyways, because I refuse to be that guy. I refuse play a part in letting chivalry die. I refuse to not be a gentleman. And most of all, what can I say? I'm just a nice guy.
I'm laughing now, as I wrote that last sentence. There is plenty more I have to say on the subject, but I will get into that at another time. Before I end this puff piece, I'll leave you with this. There was a time, at a place, when I opened the door for a lady. She smiled and and thanked me, and when we both got in, she allowed me to go first. I smiled back as the gesture was appreciated, and in that we were actually in the perfect world.