Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reality Check: Chivalry is dying and common courtesy isn't common

Reality Check Week, also known as Sometimes Life Ain't Fair Week, also known as Wake Up and Smell What's Cooking week. Today: Chivalry. Read and learn...

Blogger and galpal @SingLikeSassy recently shared a story about walking into a lounge and having no where to sit. Despite the fact that several unaccompanied men were seated, none offered her their seats at the bar. Finally, a gentleman of the Caucasian persuasion offered his seat. She thanked him and offered to buy him a drink but he said no thanks were necessary. Someone replied on her blog with the following:
The thing about this post is that the white guy gave up his seat to a black woman while a bunch of brothers stood by and let him. I mean, c'mon. Brothers should be wondering what this white guy sees in this black lady. I think one of them should have fallen off his chair to compete with the white guy. Do white guys see a woman, any woman, and feel compelled to be a gentlemen while a room full of black men do not? if so, that's sad and it speaks to why so many black women are considering their options.
Le Big Damn Sigh. So many things wrong with that comment, I can't even begin to address them all. Causing me to reflect on the fact that if chivalry is truly dead, we buried it and tap danced on the grave.

Let me chat at the ladies and the men on this topic. Starting with the ladies...

If a man wants to open a door for you, let him. If he greets you, greet him back. Let him pull your chair out, check the road before you cross, lift heavy things and kill spiders - what is wrong with that? None of those actions denigrate you or threaten your feminism. You are woman, you can roar while a gentleman offers some basic common courtesy.

When it comes to things like who picks up the tab and who orders the meals - there's a way to handle these without beating a brother upside the head. If we're early in the relationship, I tend to smile real pretty and say (as we peruse the menu), "Is this on you or on me?" Of course I expect him to say, "I got this." But if he doesn't, I know what I'm working with. As for who orders, I generally prefer to order for myself if the guy doesn't know me that well because I'm allergic to all sorts of random things. But my ex-fi would always ask me what I would like and relay it to the waiter, "The lady is having..." I had no problems with that.

I remember walking down the street with an ex and he automatically moved me to the inside, away from the traffic side and took my hand to help me across the street. I paused for a minute (stunned) and then smiled and kept it moving. 

These are just the chivalry basics, don't get me started about respect, communication style, balance of power and heading the household. Suffice it to say I'm traditional. All I'm asking ladies is that you give the man a chance to be a true gentleMAN. If he fails, you know what you got. But give a brother a chance... please? And can you kindly say "THANK YOU" to the man for making it effort. A little appreciation goes a long, long way.

Gents... you're going to have to step your game up and if your courtesy game is tight, tell a friend. It's almost to the point where a man with "traditional values and courtesy" is considered a unicorn. Seriously, if a lady is waiting by herself for a seat - get  yo' hindparts up. Some of y'all just bitter about some old shiggity your ex-girlfriend/wife/whatever did to you so you're mad at all of us. I didn't sleep with the gardener in the bed that you bought, can you open my door please? 

If you try to pull back a chair for a woman and she sends you "the look" just tell her, "This is how I was raised, deal with it." Guess what? She will. Again, these are just chivalry basics. Please don't make me run a tutorial on how (and when) to approach a female. Let me give you an example.

The other night near 11:00pm, I'm in the Wal-Mart. I'm in sweatshirt and yoga pants, hair in a ponytail that would have made Pebbles (a la Flintstones) proud. I am clutching Extra-Strength Midol, a bottle of wine, caramel corn and a gigantic box of Always Overnight Pantyliners with wings. My face has "Jesus be a Percocet" written all over it. I see bruh-man easing up in my peripheral vision and I send him the laser-beam "don't you even think about" side-eye from Hades. He sidewinds up any damn way. Looks at what I have in my hands and says, "Hey Ms. Lady, how you doing tonight?" I start shaking my head slowly from side to side. The older woman in the aisle with me shouted, "How does she look like she's doing? Move it along, son." He stood there for a minute, looked back at my products again and almost ran the other direction. <~~What NOT to do.

All I'm asking gentlemen is that you make a genuine effort to treat a lady like a lady. Please and thank you.

I could go on but I shan't - what can we do to bring chivalry back, ladies and gents? What "old school" male/female traditional roles do you adhere to (or not)? Ladies, do you fix your man's plate? Gentleman, do you offer a coat to your shivering girlfriend? Ladies, if you are asked out - who pays for the meal? Gents, do you like it when a woman takes the lead/initiates things? To the married folks - who handles the finances? Who has the last word? I'm curious. What customs are still alive and well? Which ones need to come back? Let's talk chivalry, common courtesy and respect today. The floor is yours.

207 comments:

1 – 200 of 207   Newer›   Newest»
Brownmindbeauty said...

interesting post, I just wrote about this on my blog on Tuesday as a "food for thought" http://brownskinmind.blogspot.com/2010/11/food-for-thought-chivalry-better-still.html

I am fed up with rude men in general (regardless of their race). I say something, when men are racing to push ahead of myself and my daughter, I let them know. "Do you see a woman and a child". I immediately get an apologize, but I shouldn't have to say anything. In situations that can be controlled, specifically dating, women shouldn't allow it. Great post!

Penny said...

I am not sure what can be done to bring back chivalry-there is no replacement for good home training (applicable to both genders.) There is also no replacement for common courtesy; you either have it or not. I am originally from a major metropolitan area of the northeast, took public transportation to work for years. It always amazed me when a man would not give up a seat on the bus or a train to a visibly pregnant woman or an apparently elderly man or woman.
As a recent transplant to the south, I have to say, southern men do seem to have better manners than their northern counterparts.

I do have an appreciation for "old school" traditional male/female roles, but I don't want to be made to feel as if my gender locks me in to doing certain things. I have no problem cooking meals (I like it and I am good at it) and want nothing to do with mowing the lawn or shoveling snow. Don't want to change the oil, etc-the car dealer is for that. However, I do like it if he takes the car to dealer for repairs. No problem with fixing a plate for my guy, but I don't want him to think that is my sole function. As an example, if there is a big game on, and he does not want to miss any of the action, then IMO, it is just common courtesy to fix him a plate of food (of stuff that I know he likes) and bring it to him. He can concentrate on doing something he enjoys-watching the game and spending time with his friends. By the same token, if I am on the couch laid out with a major headache, it is nice if he brings me a cup of tea and my herbal head wrap all warmed up from the microwave. Common courtesy goes a long way-no matter the type of relationship.

Jubilance said...

I think a lot of the problem is that a lot of men & women grew up not ever seeing chivalry, because they grew up in single-parent homes. A lot of folks just never saw chilvary in practice, so you have a lot of women who have no clue how to accept chilvarious behavior & will literally fight a man, and then you have men who never had anyone taught them how to do it & saw Mama do it all herself so he figures other women can too. In my house, Daddy always opened doors, pulled out chairs, etc - not just because that was what he was taught, but he was also teaching a lesson to both his sons & daughters. I jokingly tell men that have a problem with being chilvarous to blame my Daddy for teaching me what to expect from a man, especially in a dating situation.

Even though I'm a feminst, I still follow the rules of common courtesy. I make plates for everyone when I cook. I sit in the car & wait for the man to walk around & open my door. I choose the seat with the back to the door so the man can sit facing the door (amazing how many men will sit with their back to the door!). With dates, my rule has always been "whoever asks the person out is who pays". And even then, I've been the asker & still had the man pay.

A friend of mine asked on Twitteryesterday what women thought about being asked to go Dutch on a first date. My immediate thought was "if we're going Dutch, then its not a date".

tiffanyinhouston said...

I will never forget the time a brother opened the door to an office building I was going into for his white girlfriend, walked ahead of me and let the door SLAM in my face. Now granted I was living in Minnesota at the time, which is a mecca for interracial dating, but it still stung really badly. I wondered at the time if I had been a white woman would the same have happened or was he just a rude motherf*cker. The world will never know, I suppose.

In my totally anecdoctal experience, younger men (of any race) tend to be less well mannered. Surprisingly to me, older white men tend to be the most polite and often very chatty with me (I tend to always be the only black women in my environment a lot of the time). I just hope they are being nice....unless they secretly want to taste the brown sugar. LOL!!!!

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

"Jesus be a Percocet"???!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

I admit, I had to learn to let my soft edges show. Not that I was ever opposed to men being men, but I was not used to men doing small things like opening doors, getting heavy things, etc (I have the memory of my able bodied step father sitting on the couch watching as I, my younger sisters, and my mom moved furniture from downstairs to upstairs). I never had a problem letting a man pay for a meal in the early stages of dating. Once in a relationship, I had to learn not to be so giving and to have more balance.

Moving south helped me to be more able to accept chivalry. And that is my method for bringing it back. I expect it and accept it. And if I don't get it, I keep it moving (and drop that kneegrow like he's a scalding rock. I'm not a certified master in kneegrow-reformation-ology).

I will note that while not ALL brothers lack chivalry, I've found that among men my age (and younger), I'm more likely to receive chivalrous treatment from non-black men. It pretty much evens out among older (35+) men. However, I've found that I'm slightly more likely to receive chivalrous treatment from black men if they try to "holla."

As far as gender roles go, I'm more or less egalitarian. I like some traditional roles, but I'm not sold on all of them. I'll cook, but homeboy better have some kitchen skills because I'm not going to work a full day, and then come home and work another full day while he sits on the couch watching football. I want to watch the game too, and lord knows I could use a margarita and a sammich. Can't a brother slap together some Boarshead and give a sista a break?

Anywho, I'm rambling, so I'll say this. I am willing to give, to be more traditional, for the right one. And while I'm more modern than not, I am modern enough to know that i can be a high achieving woman who is totally feminine and totally able to give to her man.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

"if we're going Dutch, then its not a date" <~~~~ PREACH. If you aren't paying, we aren't dating, and you are very likely starting the seat warmer for your very own spot in the Friend Zone.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

My experience matches yours on all counts. I've had some many horror stories that at this point all I can do is laugh.

tiffanyinhouston said...

Upon re-reading I didn't really answer the question so I will do so: I fix my husband's plate, but he also fixs mine. I always fix his lunch for him, because I am blessed to have a man who does the majority of the cooking. I also tend to be his backscratcher, wallet and keys holder and make sure the bills get payer. He gets the trash together and washes the car and cleans his bathroom. I think the most chilvarous relationships are the ones where there is reciprocity and the realization that chilvary is fluid and that 2 people that love each other take great pains to take care of each other and make each other comfortable.

Cherelle D. Mattox said...

I agree with you that common chivarly is dying. I grew up with a father that opened up doors, walked on the outside of me, and grabbed my hand walking the street for his 3 daugthers. Heck he STILL does that to this day everytime I see him. So, I expect the men no less from the mean I am dating. I agree that it is hard to come by with men that are my age or younger because they have never been taught these things. When I do come across, however, I do thank them for putting forth the effort. In return, I do the "traditional" female role of cooking, cleaning, fixing plates, etc. However, I don't do that for every man I meet. He will need to do some professing and claiming that I am his (aka his girlfriend) before he gets access to the "traditional" activities.

As for who picks up the check while dating, I go by the rule, "who does the asking?" If he asks, he should pick up the tab. If I ask, I should pick up the tab. When I have stuck to this rule, I have found that the men end up picking up the tab anyway. I think they appreciated the fact that I made the effort to pay that they picked it up anyways.

SingLikeSassy said...

Just to be clear, I got a seat about 5 mins after I got there, but what struck me about the whole thing is that there were several women standing and hoping for seats when I arrived and as I sat there sipping my drink and waiting for my friend they continued to stand while the dudes sat at the bar. It was odd to me. And honestly, I did wonder why the ONE white guy (and only white person) in the spot offered his seat while the brothers just sat like lumps and let all these ladies stand.

People who responded to my post told me I was wrong and that a seat isn't owed to a woman or man and blahblahblah. OK. It still seemed out of order to me for all those women to be standing and the dudes to be sitting.

But, as I said to TiffanyInHouston via email, I might have an overblown idea of how precious I am due to the way my father, uncles, brother, husband and male coworkers handle me.

I'm always put into the car, relieved of packages, walking on the inside of the sidewalk and so on. So that's the baseline for me. I guess my expectations in this area are higher than some others. ::kanye shrugs::

Shondriette D Kelley said...

I'm going to use this topic to brag a bit :) My SO opens every door for me, helps me get my coat on/off, carries everything but my purse, takes out my garbage, always does the driving and walks curbside. He's a gem! Do I need him to do these things? No, I'm grown and I've been taking care of myself for a while. Do I appreciate it ? Yes! There isn't enough kindness and courtesy in this world so when I'm on the receiving end -even from strangers- I make sure to say thank you.

rochee said...

This a fairly foreign topic to me as a gay woman...our relationships are typically more egalitarian. But I will say that nothing earns my ire more than seeing men allow older women and/or pregnant women to stand for anything. I ride public transportation and men will just sit there and watch these women struggle to find a seat. So it is either some other woman or me that stands up. I think if I were to have a son, I would be very strict about inculcating him with a sense of manners and common decency. This goes beyond gender roles or prescriptions. It is all about being polite. If I get to the door first, I hold it open for whoever is behind me. That doesn't have anything to do with being a man or a woman, that's demonstrating that I have home training.

On the other hand, I think the feminist movement has created some blurring of these roles because if we are deemed as being equal, then why do we need someone to open our doors or pay for our dates? Idk, some of it seems a bit archaic. But what I do know is that because gay relationships are more egalitarian there is tendency for their to be more reciprocity. No one has an advantage. No one can say, "Hey I paid for dinner so you owe me (insert sexual favor)", or "I handle the finances so I run things around here". Not to say that doesn't happen, but it is less likely to happen.

YardieChicie said...

Your Period Pick Up story gives me memories of my own. What about a girl (at the time, in my first college) doubled over in a chair with her eyes rolling in the back of her head screams, "She seems approachable!"? *sigh*

To be honest, I am very surprised when I see acts of chivalry among my peers. I was often the one to get up, in a bus full of young men, to give a heavily pregnant woman or an elderly person a seat. When a guy 3 years older than me opened the door for me, I actually stopped and starred...then explained to him why I was shocked to the bone by his actions. ^^; To be honest, I shouldn't have been stunned and that's the saddest thing about the whole mess.

Orangestar616 said...

I love a brotha who knows how to treat me like a lady and I in turn allow him to be a gentleman. Its makes both feel more feminine and masculine respectively.

SingLikeSassy said...

All this just reminded me of something.

Before I met Mr. SLS I was in a long-term relationship with another guy. On our first date he took me to a Wizards game. It was January and cold and I was new to town and not really used to a real winter with heavy coats and gloves and scarves and the like.

When we were leaving the game it was brisk outside, but my (not heavy enough) coat was open. My ex stopped me, buttoned my coat, took off his scarf and wrapped it around my neck and ears, gave me a glove and then put my ungloved hand in his coat pocket before walking me to the car.

I fell for him right.at.that.moment. We dated for four years.

sunt97 said...

Yeah I do miss it. Luckily I have had the opportunity to date some extreme gentlemen. The ones that stand u when you leave the table, open all doors for and get the chair for you. I remember being pregnant and waiting at a restaurant and there was no place for me to sit. There were plenty of men sitting and no one would get up. A woman ended up getting up after seeing me slowly rock back and forth. I think she was astonished that no man would budge for a pregnant lady. I am slowly trying to bring it back by teaching my children what it's like to be a gentlemen. Table manners, as well as the way they treat people. So women in the next few years will appreciate my boys.
I think that men have gotten use to women wanting to do everything themselves that they have said take care yourself. And these young women growing up no nothing about it so they are shocked when someone does and think dude is a pushover. I guess it's a catch 22.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

CaliGirlED said...

Ok Chele you are really really not playing this week! I'm gonna go serious first and laugh later, cause you are a hoot!

One question I want to answer first, and I actually mentioned this earlier this week or last week. I will fix my man's plate, have no problem with it. Check this out: I was once talking to one of my ex's boys (in between one of our break ups to make ups) and we were talking about a few things my ex had "complained about" to him regarding our relationship. Somewhere in the conversation I asked the following, "Did he tell you that I always fix his plate and bring it to him, with utensils, a napkin and a drink? Did he tell you that while he's out playing basketball, I make sure the girls eat, I may eat without him, I may not, but I wait for him to get home before I fry his chicken so that it's fresh?" His boy looked at me and said, "Well I'll be damned! Hell naw he didn't tell me that! That n**ga's crazy!" And that pretty much ended the convo regarding his complaints.

I will say coming from L.A. to Houston I have had to realize that chivalry is definitely still alive in the south. So if you southern girls are feeling a little cheated, don't go out west (or up north). No shade to my Cali boys but the truth is the truth. Not saying that west coast guys don't open doors and pull out chairs, cause some of them do. But out here, I've encountered men who won't get on or off an elevator before a lady. In L.A., not so much. And I absolutely love when a man moves me to the inside when we're crossing the street, or puts his arm across me in the car when he has to break hard. Yeah they do that in L.A. too.

I am a bit traditional and I do feel that if you ask me out on a date, you should pay. If I ask you out, I should pay, but won't put up a fight if you insist on paying anyway. I still believe in gender roles in household chores and raising a family. Yes I've had to do it all, but when Mr. Right comes along, he better be ready to get busy. But at the end of the day, his plate will be coming his way (whether I cook or go get it)!

CaliGirlED said...

After I made my comment I thought this very same thing, "...a lot of men & women grew up not ever seeing chivalry, because they grew up in single-parent homes."

I have a high school friend here in Houston who's married and has 4 boys and 1 girl (the baby = I feel sorry for the guys she dates). If my friend has to open her own door, somebody is going to get a beat down from Dad! One eveing we were going to out to eat and were in two separate cars. The youngest boy, about 7 and has a major crush on me, was looking sad faced when I got out of the car. I asked what was wrong and my friend told me that he jumped out of the car he was in to rush over to open my door but I had already gotten out of the car (on my own). All I could do was hug him, tell him that I was sorry and that next time I would wait...Train up a child in the way that he shall go, and he will not depart from it.

Gods_Man said...

I choose the seat with the back to the door so the man can sit facing the door (amazing how many men will sit with their back to the door!). <---- THIS right here. My bride did not understand this when we first started dating.

blackprofessor said...

Dead at "Jesus be a Percocet!" You are killing me this week!

I grew up in the Midwest with Southern parents so I took a lot of chivalrous acts for granted! My older brothers and father treat me with chivalry and grace so imagine my surprise to meet men who have no clue!

I remember the first date I went on with a dude that I thought I would marry but didn't. When I called my girlfriend to tell her about the date I said "He was nice but he let me walk on the outside of the sidewalk!" She told me I was making a big deal out of nothing and I continued to date him but I never forgot that my first inkling would end up being correct about him in other ways.

I follow the "whoever asks, pays" rule but a lot of guys won't let me pay and I am okay with that. I think two people should decide that whatever works for them, works! As someone who has dated across the race spectrum, I have found that white guys tend to be far more polite, courteous and gracious! It could be a generation thing as they tended to be my age or older (mid to late 30s or 40s) but the ones I have encounterd have put the c in chivalry!

CaliGirlED said...

I agree that the young men these days are not very well mannered. I think it goes back to the single-parent home, usually the mother, who was also raised in a single-parent home. She never witnessed it and doesn't know how to teach it. A lot of young men these days barely have grandfathers and uncles who were raised by respectable men. But there's hope, I truly believe that our brothas are stepping up and being more involved and trying to do right by their kids, and their babymamas. But we also need the babymamas to allow these men to be real fathers. It's a two way street!

CaliGirlED said...

"When we were leaving the game it was brisk outside, but my (not heavy enough) coat was open. My ex stopped me, buttoned my coat, took off his scarf and wrapped it around my neck and ears, gave me a glove and then put my ungloved hand in his coat pocket before walking me to the car."...Now that's chivalry at its finest!

CaliGirlED said...

"It still seemed out of order to me for all those women to be standing and the dudes to be sitting."... It was more than out of order, it was a damned shame!

Gods_Man said...

Chivalry/Common Courtesy is not dead but it needs some serious nourishment. Another Great Post @OneChele

My thoughts...
[W]hat can we do to bring chivalry back, ladies and gents?

Reach One Teach One. I think that it is incumbent upon us, as men, to train up other men. I think that we have to be more purposeful and intentional about it now since our culture does not value these things anymore. I rarely see images (TV, Movies, Music) of guys being servant leaders or even practicing common courtesy. So we need to lead by example. From the ladies perspective what you wrote above is important. "If a man wants to open a door for you, let him. If he greets you, greet him back. Let him pull your chair out, check the road before you cross, lift heavy things and kill spiders..." An example is opening doors. My bride almost never opens a door anymore. When we are together she waits for me to open it and I appreciate her for it. As a result our daughters will also wait for Daddy to open the door. I am probably making things difficult for any guys in the future, but I am ok with that. ;)

What "old school" male/female traditional roles do you adhere to (or not)? Ladies, do you fix your man's plate?
We are not that traditional in how we handle chores in our house. We do things based on who is better at it. We fix plates for each other. Who ever has the time will take cars to get oil changes/washes. We both hate yard work so we let someone else handle that.

Gentleman, do you offer a coat to your shivering girlfriend?
Any man who doesn't needs his Man Card pulled.

Gents, do you like it when a woman takes the lead/initiates things?
It is nice as I like the surprises. I would not be comfortable if she was always doing that though.

To the married folks - who handles the finances? Who has the last word?
We handle finances together but my bride has better apptitude for those things (MBA and Finance degree) so she does the first pass on budgets and the like. We are working on a 10 year plan right now and my role is to provide the vision and high level plan while she handles the detail work. Then it comes back to me to execute. As far as the last word we try have a consensus before making major decisions but if we hit an impasse, we decided, that the final call should be mine. That also means that the accountabilty is on me as well.

Sorry for the long post. Tried to stay on topic.

taut_7 said...

i don't think that chivalry is dead. i'm a very respectful individual. it was the way i was raised. i'm nice to strangers, i say hello and ask how people are when i make eye contact, i hold doors for people (man or woman). when it comes to relationships i open car doors, i walk on the outside, i pull out chairs every now and then, i pump her gas, etc. i'm this way because it's the way i was raised.

when i was younger if i would let my mom carry grocery bags my dad would have probably slapped me upside the head. i was taught early on that women are the fairer sex and should be treated as such. like you i'm also a traditionalist when it comes to many things and i really don't see anything wrong with it either.

as far as a woman fixing my plate i wouldn't mind if she did. especially if i was over her house. now if she was over my house i'd make her plate in a second. *shrug*

as far as common courtesy is concerned i believe that it's a learned behavior that is supposed to be taught to a person early in life. i can still hear my mom telling me "you're not going to embarrass me and have people thinking that you don't have any home training." best believe that my children will be taught early on the right way to treat people.

CaliGirlED said...

Let me take a moment to say something good about my baby daddy, cause thus far I don't think I have.

About a year into dating, one day he came to pick me up and as we were walking to his car he said he didn't feel like driving. So I handed him the keys to my car. He looked at me and said, "No I don't need your keys, I don't feel like driving, that means your car too!" See all this time he drove everywhere we went, and we did a lot of going. He drove my car, his car, whatever car! He finally decided that he wanted to just relax and ride. I will admit that I did pout for a minute, but I got over it quickly. And he always paid, unless I was treating him for a special reason. And he always filled my gas tank. And he always made sure my car was running ok. And he always fixed things around my house. Wait a minute why did I leave him? Oh yeah I wasn't the only one he was being "chivalrous" to!

Jason P said...

Reading through the comments, I have to say this one thing - don't blame the single mamas. Men know better. They are getting away with subpar behavior because women are allowing them to do so. Call them out ladies. That ish is not the business.

I was raised in a single parent household and mama didn't take no mess. When she walked in carrying something, if I didn't hop up immediately it was a smack upside my head and, "Boy! Do you not SEE ME carting in things your two arms can take?" She would stand by a closed door and wait for me to open it. She would hand me the keys so I could unlock doors. She took her coat out of the closet handed it to me so I could help her into it. She. Did. Not. Play. As she said, "There just certain ways a gentleman treats a lady, no matter what."

To this day I cannot raise my voice to a female though I'm surely sorely tempted from time to time. I do not interrupt. Yes, I stand outside shivering and getting soaked escorting women without umbrellas to their cars. To the point where my boys are like - you doing the most that. Whatever. Like you said Chele. It's how I was raised.

CaliGirlED said...

I say again if you keep telling a man I don't need you to do this or I don't need you to do that, when you do want him to do something he's going to say, "Do it your damn-self!"

CaliGirlED said...

*raises hand* Is there a Gods_Man brother? *goes back into time-out*

BB Waite said...

I remember Chele telling me a story about her and her younger brother singing a table manners song, I can't remember what it was now but it occurred to me that we need to get that "dinner table learning" back into homes.

As for me and Mr. Waite.... he's a gentleman and I like it that way. As far as who does what - he likes to say that he drives the car but I do the navigating. In the early days of our marriage, I was very concerned with not wanting to appear weak and holding up my end. Then I got concerned with not taking over and just running roughshod past his thoughts and feelings. Finally around year four he sat me down and said - Woman, you are wearing me out. I got this. You step in if and when you don't what I'm doing. I make the laws, you have the power of veto. Got it?

Nary a major problem since then.

CaliGirlED said...

"you're not going to embarrass me and have people thinking that you don't have any home training."... I think anyone born before the 80's, and to a black woman, was told this! LOL

CaliGirlED said...

I agree Jason, not all the blame goes to the single mamas. But I think it's generational as well. Your single mother was raised at a time where all these things were important and so of course she poured that into your manhood cup. However, these young men today, born in the 80's and after, with single mothers are not getting that same teaching. Of course I'm speaking in general and there are still some young folks who are putting it down the right way.

OneChele said...

My father would do this all the time. So it actually got to the point that we would walk in, wait for him to point at the chair he was going to take and then let him seat us. He was a police officer in Guyana before he came to the USA and became a doctor so I thought it was a cop thing. Nope, it's a grown ass man taking care of his people thing. Love it.

SingLikeSassy said...

Thank you Mama P.

OneChele said...

Definitely have to call them out!

OneChele said...

Well you said it all in the first sentence - There is NO replacement for home training.

OneChele said...

I can't be mad at older white dudes trying to get their Hershey fantasy on. Bless their hearts and yes, thank you - I would love to go ahead of you in line, sir. How kind of you. ;-)

OneChele said...

Can't a brother slap together some Boarshead and give a sista a break? LOL! I'm usually the cook but I do appreciate a man hooking up a little something on the stove. My favorite ex had a knack for knowing when I did not feel like firing up the stove and would come home with takeout in hand. Amen.

BlackButterfly said...

I am all about a chivalrous gentleman! Love, love, love a man that is respectful, knows his own mind and has a plan. I will prepare the meal and a man's plate without a problem.

OneChele said...

Reach One Teach One. And that's it right there. Excellent comment.

BlackButterfly said...

"As far as who does what - he likes to say that he drives the car but I do the navigating."

Love it!

OneChele said...

I go by the "who does the asking?" rule too but have been unpleasantly surprised to find that not all men go by this rule.

And I agree, I don't fire up the stove and toss your clothes in the washer with mine after date one. No sir. Earn it and appreciate it.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

I too am usually the cook, but I cannot date a man that doesn't have at least five decent dishes in his repetoire. Heck, the effort counts for something. My current beau is not Jacques Pepin, but he knows how to broil some fish, steam veggies, and make a nice salad. And he makes a mean sammich lol!

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Not necessarily directed only at you, but here's my $0.001 on the 'who asks = who pays': been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. Some men appreciate the gesture, some don't. At this point, I don't pay until a few dates in. Because of my background, personality, and whatnot, it is easier for me to let the man demonstrate his 'manliness' by paying because sure as the sun rising in the east, there will be more times when I'll have to step back and allow him to be a man than not. So I just choose to set the tone early in this one.

David Chase said...

Well, this story will tell you all you need to know. I was raised in Georgia, went to school in North Carolina and now live in Denver. A few years back, I went home for Christmas and ran into an ex-girlfriend of mine. We went out for drinks and out of nowhere some drama popped off. To the point where I tossed cash on the bar and rolled out no backward glance.

Two weeks later I'm at my home in Denver, the door bell rings and it is Mama Chase with her purse on her arm and a frown on her face. No notice just dropped in from Georgia. Before I could get the "Hey Mama" out of my mouth she took the purse and whacked me with it. "Pay the taxi driver and then let's talk about how you treat a lady. I'm prepared to stay as long as it takes for you to remember how you were raised."

Old girl called MY MOTHER and told her I stuck her with a tab and left her stranded in a restaurant. I had to explain (with the swiftness) that that never happened. She still stayed a week and watched me like a hawk. Mama don't play.

OneChele said...

I had a guy that I was dating who found out through someone else that I was sick and showed up at my door with chicken soup, fuzzy socks and Nyquil. That did it. I was a goner. How do you not fall for a guy who brings you purple fuzzy socks?!

OneChele said...

He's a keeper.

OneChele said...

Never thought about it from that aspect. Thank you!

OneChele said...

Sad but true.

OneChele said...

Amen and amen.

Penny said...

Good I have an office with a door, because "Period Pick Up Story" had me screaming!!

OneChele said...

I love it when they stand up as you leave the table. Don't know what that makes me so happy.

OneChele said...

Yes there is nothing quite like a Southern Gentleman. I may be a little biased.

OneChele said...

I'll have to take an informal poll one day and see where the lines are drawn racially and agewise. Would be interesting to see.

Donell Creech said...

me - im old school for sure. i pay. always. doors open, seats out, gassing up cars, never sit with my back to the door, all of that. i cherish my role as protector and provider. my general rule of thumb, anything having to do with outside the house - im on it. anything inside of the house - i'ma let mama run point on that.

but i can be new school flexible when needed. - if the smell of pennzoil 10w 40 makes my woman moist and she insists on changing her own oil - i'ma let her have that.

ive said on here before - couples can start with the traditionally defined male-female roles and then from there, figure out the specific roles and responsibilities that work best for their situation.

there is nothing better in a relationship than mutual acts of pampering offered from a place of love, versus a sense of obligation or expectation.

OneChele said...

The other day it was pouring torrential Noah-start-the-ark rain outside and I was at the gas station. I was about to suck it up and get out of the car when a guy walked over and said "If you go ahead and pay, I'll pump it for you ma'am." I smiled and said thank you. As the car was filling up I looked over at a woman who was getting completely soaked pumping gas while a man sat in the drivers seat talking on the cell phone. She and I exchanged "Ain't this some shiggity" glances. Bless her heart, me and dude would've sat in that car all day waiting for gas to magically appear in the tank before I got out while he stayed dry.

All of this to say... hat tip to you sir.

Penny said...

Clearly you were born before embarrassment became a thing of the past. I can remember when there were few things you could do worse than embarrassing your parents in public.

CaliGirlED said...

Thank you, I meant to comment on this! I will definitely make a mental note to a guy who does not demand the seat facing the door. Protect me, I am a damsel in distress! But don't worry if some shiggity jumps off, I will be looking for something to knock a fool out with!

OneChele said...

Get it! And tell your boys they need to get like you. More flies with honey...

CaliGirlED said...

Ha ha!

OneChele said...

The song was
Elbows off the table,
Napkins in your lap,
Don't talk with food in your mouth,
or else you might get slapped.

Ah childhood.

CaliGirlED said...

My ex made some bad spaghetti and I banned him from his own kitchen!

OneChele said...

I'm a plate fixer myself for the most part. If I'm exhausted or trying to get back to the game I generally call out "Food's ready" and it's every man for himself.

OneChele said...

LOL! Mama Chase hopped a flight from Atlanta to Denver to get her baby in check! LOVE IT!!!

OneChele said...

Well alright then.

CaliGirlED said...

How do you not fall for a guy who pays attention to what you like? You did say the fuzzy socks were purple right?

taut_7 said...

yes because when i was a child my mom wouldn't hesitate to slap the taste out my mouth in public and dared a bystander to say a word.

MelaninEnriched said...

This has been my experience too Tiffanyinhouston. The ONLY difference with my experience and yours in the first paragraph is that either he was alone OR she wasn't white and he definitely saw me. This has happened on more than one occasion. It really hurt my feelings.

Then another time I was struggling to carry a box in FedEx or UPS or something and they didn't have automatic doors. So this BM just stood there looking DEAD in my face INSIDE while I'm outside struggling and this WM came from somewhere else and held the door open. WTH??

Also, to be fair, BM have opened doors for me and whatnot, so I'm not saying they don't, but I've had some sad experiences with them at times.
Anyway, I'm not going to relay any more incidences, but I make sure to say thank you audibly ANYTIME a man holds the door open for me.

taut_7 said...

i remember this summer i was pumping gas and at the pump next to me this woman was pumping gas while her boyfriend (i'm assuming) had his door open and feet out talking on his cell phone. i seriously contemplated walking up to the woman and asking her if she needed her gas pumped. he probably would have been pissed. i would have done it too but i didn't feel like having a confrontation. he seemed like the type.

Michele said...

Great topic. I think if men and women would just learn to respect each other and practice common decency ALL THE TIME our relationships would be so much more successful. I dated someone for a while who always opened doors, always paid for dates, always checked on me to make sure things were okay. I cooked many a meal for him and fixed his plate and was always there to listen when he needed me to be. What happened? He thought his public decency gave him a pass to act like an azz in private. Um no. Bye-bye.

taut_7 said...

lol i was actually born in 81 but i have african parents and they'd probably still say it to this day if i still lived anywhere near home. lol

CaliGirlED said...

Bless her heart indeed! "...me and dude would've sat in that car all day waiting for gas to magically appear in the tank before I got out while he stayed dry." *cyber high five to Chele*

Gods_Man said...

I used to tell folks all the time that my mom would fall out of the sky to drop kick me if I stepped out of line.

LikeLena said...

Had this happen just yesterday and I was stunned. There was a group of women coming back from lunch walking in the office door. Black dude stands there smiling and helping the other women (all white) in and holding the door. He sees me and the smile leaves his face and he let the glass door shut an inch from my nose. I was so stunned I just stood there for a minute like WTF dude? A white man came up behind me, reached around and opened the door. "Here you go, Lena." He said and gave the black guy a look. It was obvious to everyone that it was deliberate. One of the women said, "What did you do to him?" I said loudly, "I guess just being black and female was enough of a crime."

CaliGirlED said...

Damn she flew from Georgia to Colorado to check her "falsely accused" disrespectful son! Mama ain't ever played!

"...she took the purse and whacked me with it. "Pay the taxi driver and then let's talk about how you treat a lady." *D.E.A.D.*

OneChele said...

It's my belief that EVERYbody man and woman should be able to cook five meals. If that includes frozen Eggos, do you. But in this day and time of instant this and deli that? Everybody should be able to pour a bag of salad in a bowl and slap a rotisserie chicken next to it. Dinner is served.

CaliGirlED said...

"...if the smell of pennzoil 10w 40 makes my woman moist and she insists on changing her own oil - i'ma let her have that." You have no sense at all!!! LOL

LikeLena said...

Yes, this says it all. You are a grown man and she STILL isn't having it!

LikeLena said...

Good point. Don't play Mr. Guy for the world to see and act any old kinda way at home. Bump dat.

SingLikeSassy said...

::writes this down for future reference::

snowlynx said...

Yes! Thank you. I think that as long as the expectations are removed, there is nothing wrong with being a gentleman or a lady, but I admit, I am suspicious because I don't want that kind of "old school" to come into play. Too, if someone offers to hold my groceries, unless I know them, I will usually politely decline, because I don't want them having access to me in my home.

I expect everyone to be polite because I was raised that polite is the only acceptable way to behave; I expect people to hold a door for me, but that is because I am the first to hold a door for someone else. Give your bus seat to the elderly, the disabled, and the pregnant, don't brag about it, and be gracious if the person refuses or worse, displays ill manners toward your kindness.

I never ask anyone to dinner or ask to go out unless I'm ready to pay, even my hubby. This is because I have once too often thought that since I and the other party/ies involved were friends/not serious/whatever, dutch was the presumption--and got the "Oh! I didn't bring my wallet!" surprise when the bill came. In point of fact, I haven't been out with one of my g/fs since she pulled that ish on my and my then-boyfriend almost 2 years ago.

I like having my seat pulled out, although being a bigger girl, it sometimes draws more attention to me than I would like when my companion tries to push it in to the table.

We are really big on partnership; I am good with numbers, so I will work on a budget, but no number is final unless hubby and I have both have reviewed it and feel ok with it. We both work 40 hours a week, so we share housework. I work later, so he cooks dinner, and I make sure his lunch is packed for the morning.

Long comment, but there it is.

thinklikeRiley said...

True playaz know, this is dat ish get the panties dropping. Lemme get the door, hold back chair, open wine, fix you a plate, did ya want seconds? Boom.

Ninjas I'm just sayin' - speak softly. Carry da big stick. Stir cocoa.

Riley out.

blackprofessor said...

I feel you and usually they pay because they ask more often than not. Sometimes I might suggest catching a specific play or movie and even then, they will pay even though I technically did the asking. Trust me, I am with you with the demonstration of "manliness."

blackprofessor said...

Your mama made you pay the taxi driver and then cussed you out, love it!

Sarah said...

Yeah to Mama Chase! I like this story.

Evansaw said...

It is a learned behavior, and a lot of us girls don't realize that these are situations where you have to let a man be a man. A lot of women don't expect the men in their lives to open doors, pay for meals on dates, walk on the outside, and all the other nice things guys do for women. They see it has being weak. B.S., I say! My mother (and father) turned out two of the most polite and gentlemanly men I know. My husband is known on the block as the "go to guy" if you need a window fixed, or help with groceries...and he is teaching the boys on the block who don't have a male figure in their life to do so as well. I teach all my nieces (and nephews) that good manners never go out of style, and if a brother can't treat a lady like a lady, he is not worth your time. For the men who are still chivalirous, this is a wonderful thing, don't stop. Teach the young ones...they should know the right thing to do, even if they are not learning it at home.

Andrea M said...

I miss those guys that just made you feel like they had you. No matter what, they were in your corner and would keep you well. These high-fallutin' what's in it for me brothers make me tired. How about the pleasure of my damn company? How about that? All you gotta do is be a man around here and I'll treat you accordingly.
Um, I may have a few issues to work through. My bad. Good post.

Jasmin said...

When I first came to school everyone said, "Oh the guys here are so nice; they'll hold your doors, etc." 3.5 years later, I call bullshiggity. (I've been waiting for an opportunity to use that word for a week! :-P) I'm not trying to betray my fellow young'ins, but the unofficial rule is "Hold the door only if the girl is hot." I've had guys rush to open the door for me and then let it slam in the fact of the next girl walking. Or worse, they'll give you the up and down look and then decide you're worth the trouble.

Most of the people who do this are White guys, but I don't go to school with enough Black guys to make a comparison. I will say that my closest male friend at school, who is Black, always gets the door for me, walks me back to the dorm at night, etc., and he was raised by a (basically) single mom and a trifling-ass daddy (we're talking "cheat with the old White lady down the street while mom is pregnant" trifling). Momma didn't raise no fool ,I guess.

Evansaw said...

Say it, you ain't never lied...today it is called child abuse. They never met my mother- 5 feet of "I will slap the taste out of your mouth!"

Deb B said...

Exactly!

Deb B said...

Too cute!

Deb B said...

Church.

Evansaw said...

I have to agree, a lot of guy use the feminist movement excuse to get out of doing what they know their mothers taught them. And a lot of ladies accept it.

CaliGirlED said...

And that there is black AND bougie! I love it!

Evansaw said...

I don't care what any of those people say, we deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy. Those guys at that bar should all be ashamed. Women, you need to think better of yourselves. Equal rights are fine, but what about the niceities of life? If it is not worth working for, why bother. Those are the things that make us civilized.

Deb B said...

Yes ma'am. This is the crux right here.

Deb B said...

"Noah-start-the-ark" rain? You just can't help yourself, can you?

Evansaw said...

Now... that's HOT! The kids don't understand.

Deb B said...

Because can you not just visualize her in the aisle clutching the jumbo cracker Jacks and Always with a death grip on the wine?! LMAO!

Deb B said...

Aw, I just got a little melty reading that.

Janelle Wade said...

Amen to training a child. I teach my daughter that a man should open the door, hold the elevator, etc. I point out to her when guys are not doing it for women. Especially in the area we live, it is always busy and people are always rushing. We notice ladies getting stepped on everyday. If you teach a little girl how to be respected as a child, she won't have that problem when she is older. Though I am a single mom, I teach her what is acceptable and what's not. She is 7 and we have been having this talk for the past 2 years, and I will continue to reinforce it. Males are supposed to treat females with respect and holding the door for them is something so simple, point blank. Great reply CaliGirlED!

Deb B said...

TSHIRT: Earn it and appreciate it.

CaliGirlED said...

We can always count on Riley to come with some real ish! You're more dependable than the Maytag man!

Deb B said...

Yass! They have those already done rotisserie chickens at Sam's for $4.00 now. No excuses.

Deb B said...

OMG! That was SOOO unnecessary.

OneChele said...

Some of these kids have ZERO fear. I mean I used to boo-hoo at the THOUGHT that I had done something worthy of BougieMom taking out the kite stick (she didn't play) or BougieDad getting the belt. Shoot, there were times I apologized and hadn't done a damn thing wrong. Truthfully, I'm a grown-assed woman and my mom can still send me a look and I just say "Yes ma'am" and leave the room.

brownstocking said...

cuz I must admit, when I do anything on my car, I roar for weeks! I just put a battery in, and you couldn't tell me nothing for DAYS! LOL

I have to agree with Donell as far as working out the roles, but believe we're both responsible for outside and inside the house. And child-rearing. Partnership.

Penny said...

Seems to me, she should have put him out and left him at the gas station!

baileyqc said...

First of all, you are killing the game with the graphics and the posts this week. KILLING IT.
Next, I agree with the premise of starting from a point of mutual respect and courtesy until someone proves themselves not worthy of even the most basic degree of human kindness.

baileyqc said...

This is how I know Riley is probably a triple-degreed millionaire making this stuff up in his office somewhere - no street ninjas know about speaking softly and carrying the big stick! LOL! Love it

baileyqc said...

OKAY?!!

William Martin said...

Chivalry is not dead. Ladies, please allow us the pleasure of treating you well without taking advantage. I went out with a girl last week who literally slapped my hand when I reached to open the car door. What part of the game is that?!
I'm happy to treat you like a queen, but can I be the king? Please? I'm asking nicely.

brownstocking said...

This is brownie's opinion, YMMV.

I guess I'm going to be the lone dissenter, but what you all are describing as "chivalry" isn't. The old code had seven or eight points for medieval knights to emulate, but the code was always changing with the times. Chivalry was attached to love of a "good" woman, a chaste woman, etc., so this became entangled with protectionist policies all geared towards the nobility/royalty. Chivalry was about protecting the weaker class, women. There was always an agenda with chivalry.

Courtesy, however, is welcome from and to all parties. Courtesy is thinking of others, being considerate, regardless of gender, class, or social construct. So, do I need you to open the door or give up the seat? No. Would I appreciate the courtesy, and repay it myself? Yes.

Penny said...

Just came back from lunch-felt like doing a Mama Chase. I work at a university, so I am surrounded by the younger generation all day, every day. Two young black guys (biologically, I could have been their mother) were in walking in front of me. They went through the door, sort of held it, but he clearly did not mean to hold it for me. (I was not that far behind them.) Roll tape to last week, when I was approaching a door, talking on my cell phone and a bag in my other hand. A young white guy, who had already come outside, turned around walked back to the door and held it open for me, with a big smile.

I had work hard (since I had read David's post about 3o minutes ago) to hold my tongue not to "educate" the two young men on how to treat a lady-even one you don't know.

APond said...

I'm probably much less of a traditionalist than some posters here. I don't know how much I believe in chivalry (man respecting woman) v. just common respect/decency. I don't care about going dutch (though I'm a student so I'm definitely not going to protest someone else paying). Opening doors, standing up for a pregnant/old woman, all of this stuff are just plain being polite and respectful.

In terms of running a home and stuff, I feel like it should be an equal partnership. Some things I'm good at, some things he's good at. I think decisions should always be a compromise so I don't really see myself buying into the man as the head of the household thing.

Good post.

Traci said...

I once criticized my high school daughter about her boyfriend's poor manners.
Specifically, he never opened the car door when I would pick her up from his home. (Don't worry, they were being supervised the entire time by his mother and sister ;-). She obviously told him what I said because after that conversation he would RUN ACROSS THE FRONT LAWN if if saw her headed for the car to open the door. I then realized that he wasn't rude; he was ignorant. Being raised by a young single mom, he never saw that behavior modeled.

I now wonder if so many young people are 'out of pocket' because that is the only behavior they see everyday.So bougie family, I am open to all books, tapes, etc. to give these young men a leg up.

brownstocking said...

THIS. This is what I'm looking for. Politeness from everybody.

And your hubby sounds nice.

Hope there are some more out there, preferably living wherever I end up in grad school.

C Nelson said...

Can I *please* add a caveat to this? If you expect me to greet strange men when they greet me out in public, *I'm* going to have to demand that the next words out of *any* man's mouth will never ever be a further demand for my time or my sexual attention. And I'm afraid that's going to have to happen *first* before I change, mm'kay? I'll take the risk when they stop catcalling without any pleasant greeting, but MEN are why I don't greet men while I'm out in public just trying to get through my day. The most innocent-sounding "Good morning" has been followed by the most foul demands, so I don't answer to any of them anymore, because that keeps me safe.

Now, I say thank you when men open doors, and I appreciate the he** out of my old-fashioned fiance even when his idea of what conditions are okay for me are higher than what I'm proposing to tolerate for myself so I can do what I know needs done. For example, he almost always insists I take a cab where I'm going after finding out what some men act like on the buses around here. I could find other uses for cabfare, but I know it's genuine concern on his part, so -- I smile and say thank you.

Furthermore, and I think men and women both forget this part -- what makes it chivalry and not just part of your pickup routine? You have to do it when you're not expecting a chance at cocoa. If you run to open a door or get a chair for the sultry vixen but you let it slam on the plain-faced nine-year-old girl-child behind her, you're not a gentleman. If you do it for me when I'm your girl but you ignore the dowdy matron next to us, you'd better believe I notice. Call it an extension of the waiter rule -- if you're nice to me but not to the people you think are beneath you, you're not nice.

CaliGirlED said...

You should've slapped her ass back! Since she didn't want you to be a gentleman....

I.am.just.kidding.

C Nelson said...

I grew up in the West Indies. If I ever acted out in public, my behind would have gotten warmed twice. Once by whichever adult saw me at the time, and the *really* bad one from my parents, for embarrassing them. Luckily, I was always inclined to be the quiet type and that didn't happen to me, but I knew perfectly well it was in store!

SingLikeSassy said...

Once again...I GOT ME AN INNERNETS THUG CRUSH ON RILEY. That is all. LOL!

CaliGirlED said...

Books and tapes some hell! You gotta lay down the law, to them and to her. LOL

Once had a boy (sitting on a structure in the mall with his homies) try to holla at my daughter, while she was walking with me and my uncle. I asked him, "Don't you see her walking with your mother, what do you mean Ay?!!" He said, "I'm sorry ma'am." And his boys laughed. But you know what, from his response, I knew he knew better. So when we passed back by, I went over and let him properly say hi to my daughter. He shook mine and my uncle's hands. I told him that he was good kid, he just wasn't running into enough mama's like me. He and his friends laughed and agreed. My daughter was embarrassed, but at least she knows to warn them before they come-a-callin!

CaliGirlED said...

Yes Janelle we have to teach our daughters as well! See my comment above about the mall incident. And even though my daughter is not a the dating age, when we see things or certain types of boys out and about, I tell her, "Don't bring anything like that home to me!" LOL...Keep teaching your little one those princess qualities, I love it!

CaliGirlED said...

I once told a guy that I wasn't out there waving my bra, so don't go there.

Mykeia said...

"Ladies, do you fix your man's plate?" <~~ UGH. My number one pet peeve. I don't at home, because well hey he lives there too and knows where everything is.
We were at a gathering a few years ago food out for everyone and I fixed my plate, my spouse is able bodied, I felt that if he was hungry he would eat, uh wrong. The older women there had a fit...my best friend (my age) was all up in my face: Girl if you're at home you don't have to but when you're in public you have to. What!?
Manners and home training are dying and it's too bad.
This is a touchy subject and I'm late...already 122 comments!

CaliGirlED said...

Oooh the things I have wanted to say to my mother but wouldn't dare. And we live in two different states now and I still wouldn't dare!

ASmith said...

I'll fix a plate. But not because it's expected and maybe not all the time.

Kinda like how I expect a man to be. Open the door, walk on the outside. But not because I expect it, and maybe (emphasis on maybe) not all the time.

I'm all about the person who suggested the date paying. I'm not hung up on the man paying, BUT I take note of a situation where the man is never trying to pay (and may even be waiting on me to pay, consistently).

On the whole, I'm not into gender roles. I'm into people doing things for their significant other that shows they care. Don't hold the door open for me because you're a man and I'm a woman; hold it open for me because you want to do that; it's a nice thing to do.

Can I briefly mention the unfortunate cycle that's occurring with regards to chivalry, though? Women give the side eye to a man pulling out a chair because few men do that and few men do it because women give the ill side eye.

Like I said, I won't expect it, but I will be oh so appreciative if I see it.

Oh and a man who opens my car door? DONE!

ASmith said...

My BFF is the same way with me. Holds doors, carries the trash out (if he's visiting and it needs to go out), etc... he was raised by his mom aunt and grandmother. They didn't play.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Yes yes YES! Amen and a handclap. *drops change in offering plate*

I particularly agree on the whole speaking to strange men thing. It is just better to not engage than to risk verbal harrassment.

ASmith said...

Sir. Your story is everything.

Reminds me of when my ex got into a bad car accident after a huge fight we had. He called me ALL kinds of names.

I had no idea he'd been in a wreck, but I sure did call his mom the next day. I found out about the accident when she told me she had flown out to Denver (where he was, ironically) to see about him.

He called me a day or so later apologizing like there was no tomorrow. He said he didn't even remember the conversation, but he told me when he came to in the hospital, his mom began WAILING on him for what he'd said to me. The man had broken bones and all types of stuff but she was going to make SURE he knew he'd messed up.

CaliGirlED said...

Now that is black AND bougie! Too cute!

OneChele said...

Here you go. Here's the basis of a class a friend of mine teaches to young guys. It's called
How to Be a Gentleman: A Timely Guide to Timeless Manners.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401603351?ie=UTF8&tag=blanbou-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1401603351

OneChele said...

And so as not to be sexist, there is a couterpart for ladies:
How To Be A Lady A Contemporary Guide To Common Courtesy

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558539395?ie=UTF8&tag=blanbou-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1558539395

FreeBlackMan said...

There's still an agenda today.

FreeBlackMan said...

You are doing the very utmost in this comments.

FreeBlackMan said...

See now. You I like. Don't expect it (cuz sometimes I forget) but appreciate it when I do it. Points. Scored.

FreeBlackMan said...

I see you, playa.

FreeBlackMan said...

DAY-UM! Mama don't take no mess!

C Nelson said...

The best help I ever got with this was a pointer to all the Judith Martin books. I still might not have learned how to set a table for a banquet until I worked in food service in college, but when I set up housekeeping on my own and occasionally entertaining friends, Miss Manners and Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House were my salvation.

MidWestDominicana said...

I thought it was just me! I almost got a whippin once for not getting my husband's plate. Talk about stank eye!!! Worst part was that they did it in front of him, so now he gets this smug grin when he loudly asks me to get him a plate. -_-

Now that we've been married for five years and have attended many family functions, it's not such a big deal because I do it automatically, but he also reciprocates and takes care of me, too.

It feels good to help make someone's day by showing good manners and holding a door open or being polite, looking them in the eye and giving them a genuine smile. I strongly believe (because I was taught) that good manners will take you far in life.

brownstocking said...

Whoa, deep. More thinking for me.

Traci said...

I understand what your saying, but to that I reply : Do you speak fluent Farsi? Most likely not, because you never needed to use that language. There are populations of young men being raised in single parent communities that have never see another way of being. Don't believe me? Ask any public school teacher. I bet you would not believe the horror stories they can tell.

CaliGirlED said...

I know I'm sorry, at work bored today!

CaliGirlED said...

I was joking, or shall I say being sarcastic, because I feel both are necessary.

Shondriette D Kelley said...

He is!

MidWestDominicana said...

Yo! This right here for real. My mother took me school shopping once and while I was selecting my outfits and heading to the dressing room, my little sister decided to act out and throw a fit. My mother gave her "the look" but she kept on actin. Mom was done. Little sis got the business and the store went dead silent. No joke. Afterwards, my mother announced to the entire store "If anyone has anything to say about it, come and see me and I'll whip you, too." That was one of her So Not Bougie moments.

Needless to say, I never even though about attempting to consider embarassing my mother in any way shape or form in public ever.

Leon X said...

New York City has a vast subway system. To get to most stations you had to either go up or down some stairs. A number of mothers with carriages would have to carry those carriages up or down these steps. When I would see those women I would always help them with the carriages (A lot of times I did it just so I could make funny faces at the kids, but I digress). I did it not to score brownie points with anyone. I did it because it was the right thing to do.

rozb said...

I walk to a door at the same time as a man, and I step to the side so he can open it for me. He gets a pleasant smile and a sincere "Thank you!" But I will also open the door for a man holding bags. Even I stand up on a bus to give the elderly a seat. I then proceed to give lava-hot side eye to the lazy mofos still slouched in their seats.

I make my man a plate at gatherings, but he refreshes my drink if I need it. Common courtesy is common sense. He does not allow me to open car doors, or lift and pull on heavy stuff, even though I am able-bodied and can do it. It doesn't make me any less of an independent woman to allow this, nor does it make him any less of a real man showing gentlemanly concern.

Civility, gentility, and chivalry are not just old, outmoded ideas only alive down south. A little bit of it belongs everywhere.

*I would curtsy, but my knees and back - I just can't.

rozb said...

"...if the smell of pennzoil 10w 40 makes my woman moist and she insists on changing her own oil - i'ma let her have that. "

Hercules, Hercules, Hercules!

rozb said...

I bet old girl got plenty of "wisdom" from mama when she got back home! Woo!

Brneyed1 said...

*rockin' and fannin' myself with my MLK church fan* Amen! Say that!!! Mmmhmmm.

Brneyed1 said...

I've had a similar experience in Chicago, though dude looked back at me like "sorry, I can't let her see me be nice to you..."

Brneyed1 said...

I'm with you. I give my biggest, sweetest smile and a huge, hearty THANK YOU to men who hold doors. I want them to know that I recognize the effort!

Brneyed1 said...

I want to watch the game too, and lord knows I could use a margarita and a sammich. Can't a brother slap together some Boarshead and give a sista a break?" <<< THIS! (as I search for the right channel on this fratchin' hotel tv to watch the Bears game...)

Brneyed1 said...

I'm buying the first one...

Brneyed1 said...

I know, right! Instant Brownie points!!!

Brneyed1 said...

My 5'2 momma took a fly swatter from the grocery store shelf to my behind because I sassed her. Another mother in the store stood guard and then gave me the "don't sass your momma girl!" look! I left all of my sass in the store that day...

Child abuse my behind. So many kids today need a fly swatter lesson...

Brneyed1 said...

Mama Chase is the BUSINESS!! I love her!! She should teach classes!! I especially loved the part about her making you pay for her cab after she whacked you with her purse! Classic!

Brneyed1 said...

You ain't kidding.... *smile!*

Brneyed1 said...

I have to admit, I had to struggle to get past this one with my guy. This is something he expects, all the time. Now I do it without thinking...it's almost automatic.

I remind him of this when it is time to take out the garbage and he is looking at me sideways... Sorry, the Brneyed1 does NOT do garbage.

YardieChicie said...

I am adding both books to my wish list right this minute. Oh, by the way: if Chele or anyone in Bougieland would be kind enough to recommend a good personal development/international (since I'm non-American) etiquette and grooming book, I'd be very grateful. Let's just say I paid for a class and got screwed royally. *still seething*

Mykeia said...

Girl I am still getting past it, however the spouse mops and this is something that I hate to do...
He fixes plates for me sometimes but the portions! I'm like bruh, I can't eat all of that!

datdudeincali said...

I'm late and the daughter wants uninterrupted Daddy time so allow me to say - Great post. Good evening, BougieLand.

JojoRaze said...

I live in NYC too and I notice that 9 times out of 10 when a woman has a baby stroller, men of all stripes will help her with that stroller up those hefty stairs. It's the one continuously chivalrous thing I see in NYC--a man won't give a woman--pregnant or not--his seat on the subway, but will carry your baby stroller, with the child in it--up the stairs. It's weird, but that's the chivalry code in New York City.

CaliGirlED said...

Punk!

mojitochica said...

I thought a slew of other non-bougie words, but punk will do.

CaliGirlED said...

*wink*

CaliGirlED said...

Elvin didn't stand a chance! LOL

maureen palmer said...

I'm all about striking a balance or a happy medium. Because of my upbringing ,I'm traditional in some areas( cook, clean but I also like to run finances). I have found these acts to be reciprocrated. So I will take a gentleman anytime.
My theory is feminism was to not meant to radicalize us, but to give us options.

Cue EW&F -treat her like a lady and Ingram- 100 ways to treat a woman.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPUsQDm-HQY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-NBJmvaYWY

CaliGirlED said...

You go Princess Cali!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

Just remember the true playaz rules when your daughter arrives. Boom.

Hannington said...

Ok, this here. I'mma say some stuff that's gonna get heat on me, but whatever. If she's not elderly, disables, pregnant, or with children, I'm not getting up for jack! Sorry, ladies, but just cause you have those lovely parts doesn't automatically mean I'm gonna give you a seat. That's taking the chivalry thing a bit too far. And in reagrds to chivalry, I wanna know, if there are things a man should do for a women simply because she is a woman, then what are the things a woman should do for a man simply because he's a man? Female chivalry? Why doesn't this exist? I open doors for EVERYONE, regardless of gender, but I don't want to be called a gentleman for that. I just want to be called a nice person. Ok, rant over

Only the Tall said...

Wow. Bye boy, fly boy.

Hannington said...

Well then, if that's the case, I hope when/if they get married, everytime he comes home, he stands by the stove and waves pots and pans at her. Just to be fair

GrownAzzMan said...

I still do these things for the women in my life. I just last week had a conversation with my 15 yo daughter about why a man always walks on the outside. Grown Ass Man handling things is right.

GrownAzzMan said...

I got upset the other day when I saw a woman pumping her gas while a teenager (probably her son but it wouldn't matter) sat in the car chillin'. I was all set to say something when I remembered I live in Los Angeles. Mother's teach your children...

GrownAzzMan said...

Thank you but I will fix my own plate. You might have my food all touching and stuff...LOL (Previous post)

GrownAzzMan said...

"True playaz know, this is dat ish get the panties dropping. "

Game recognize game.

Only the Tall said...

Triflin', just triflin'.

Only the Tall said...

I'm from the South and am shocked at some of the treatment I've read in these comments. Vive le Sud!

CaliGirlED said...

"I wanna know, if there are things a man should do for a women simply because she is a woman, then what are the things a woman should do for a man simply because he's a man?"...Awwww. I hope one day you get to experience this and then you will have found the answer.

CaliGirlED said...

That's right GAM, teach her show her, so when the knuckles heads try to come at her sideways, she will see them coming a mile away! Wow is she 15 already?!!

BlackButterfly said...

I have no problem with that either. Do you! :)

michaeldavis said...

obviously I missed out on this fun yesterday. All I'm going to say is. THIS.POST.ALL.DAY.

When I get side-eyed by random acts of chivalry, I usually just say something like "I know you can do this yourself, but you're a lady and this is how you should be treated." It works...sometimes.

The Husky Bro said...

I'm glad I missed this because I would have acted a damn fool up in here.
How is this on a brotha that chick walked her ass in the room and negroes didn't fall out their way to appease her? And if somebody had, she probably would have assumed that they"wanted something from her, like sex" and then it would have been all about how men are all dogs.

You don't know if those men had a woman in their lives or just wanted to be alone or didn't want to get shot down AGAIN or, heaven forbid, sized her ass up the minute she walked in the door.

Don't get me started.

OneChele said...

Respectfully, no one said they had to fall all over themselves. Just offer a chair. I don't think that's asking too much or in any way threatens their current situation.

CorettaJG said...

Love Claire Huxtable, she has always been a personal hero.

While I am fully capable, I love a gentleman and am happy to reciprocate chivalry with a bright smile and a sincere thank you, among other things. Men need to teach the brothers.

CorettaJG said...

I don't know why the plate thing is tough, but it is. Thankfully, my ex preferred to fix his own plate, and the times I did remember to do it, he was appreciative.

C Nelson said...

See, this goes with what I said. The only reason a man's going to worry about whether he's going to get shot down or whether he has a woman in his life or wants to be alone before he offers a woman a place to sit down is because in his mind, that act of kindness comes with strings attached -- he only does it when it's a woman he wants. (News flash: women can tell. Maybe not right off the bat, but it won't be the first time she's seen that attitude unless she's right out of the nursery.) Now, if he were a true gentleman, and he's that kind to children and frumps and everybody else as a matter of course, then it would be so ingrained he wouldn't have time to think about all that before the reflex kicked in! Furthermore, it would be obvious that it *didn't* come with strings attached when he didn't chase up the woman after being nice, but went on about his business, so he probably wouldn't *get* the flak he's worrying about after all. Most of this noise is just bitterness over the fact that some men routinely offer "chivalrous" gestures like bait instead of real kindness, and then get mad because a woman spots the hook and calls them on it.

The Husky Bro said...

*side eye on that "women can tell" super-powered clairvoyant nonsense seeing all these woe as me stories about being caught up with everything from married men to dudes on the down low*

anyway....

I read everywhere how black men are rude, selfish, lazy, greedy, on the down low, not compassionate...etc...etc..etc.

I am tired of hearing about how black men are because I know for a fact that I am a good damn man. I stopped trying to prove to the world that I am more than what you see in the movies, rap videos and on Maury. It's very annoying.

Further more, I read a whole lot of blogs and articles, etc. I see how the majority of black women feel/think about us. Combine that with personal experiences and it's all I can do sometimes just be cordial. But I am that, I am respectable and I do care.

But, ladies, you're not the only ones with your guards up.

jake said...

Wow this post is just wow. First of all, believe me white guys are no more/no less evolved than aour black brothers. I, however; am a child of the Deep South and my dad would skin the white off my ass if I didn't give my seat to a lady, open a door, basically deport myself like I was raised. On a further note, I think it's mad disrespectful to come to Chele's spot and tell her that what she believes is crap. There's a way for some of you sorry gentlemen who can't get off your asses to disagree without dumping. Miss me with that.

MotownMs said...

Speaking of the subway...I happened to be on yesterday and was offered a seat by a young brother...and I thanked him. It does not happen often but the action did coincide with the blog post.

I have to add...I was taught how to be treated by the best of them...my daddy. As a daddy's girl...my father always demonstrated and modeled what I should look for and expect in a man. Both parents grilled in me that people treat you how you allow them to treat you. That's why I declared in a previous post my fondness for the nice guys...;-)

MotownMs said...

rozb...so on point!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

*Looking intently through glasses into Bougieland* Some folks need to take off the too-tight shoes and release the bunions and just relax before firing any more shots. Chivalry - etiquette-manners-polite: there is nothing wrong with ANY of that being demonstrated among people who have a beating heart, moving limbs and a smidgen of good sense.

Opening a door or offering a seat to a woman doesn't make you a potential target for game, drinks or whatever - it just makes you a considerate man. And the same goes for women who hold a door or fix a plate for a man. Stop with all of this flexing 'ish' and quit thinking that being polite is weakness on either side. In my younger high-heel, slim-skirt showing of killer leg days, oh yes you may hold the door, hold the chair, hold my arm because my granddaddy was a gentleman from the south who never closed a door in a woman's face! In my older high-heel, still showing off killer legs (when I want to) days, you may continue to do so, and I will continue to say thank you with a genuine smile and no hidden agenda. Because that's the way it is. Period.

Now before I depart to deal with serious foolishness: 1) Jake - good to see you here again. Keep doing you and don't stay away - some of Chele's readers like your style. 2) Everybody - just think about this: an act of kindness is not for points or cocoa, it's just to be kind. We have to try harder to get along because somebody told us that it's not cool to get along - and that is bullshiggity of the most epic variety!! 3) Our late beloved member Bebe Moore Campbell wrote "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine", as well as "What You Owe Me" and other books that addressed the times that we lived and live in. Love, Peace and a Reese's weekend (and no more squabbling) !

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

And no I didn't mention the doors that I have opened, elevators that I have held, plates that I have prepared, or meals that I have fixed or paid for. Because I'm not keeping score. Many more things in life to deal with than extraneous tit-for-tat (of course, not advocating that anyone be taken advantage of - but then we've already been down that road here). Make it a great positive weekend!!

CaliGirlED said...

I've never tried it but I hear the vanilla is alright! :-)

Nika said...

Ahhhh, Jake....I hear ya. I was born & raised in Texas and got a semi-culture shock when I moved further north. Not to say that all men of a certain ethnic/social/whatever status act the same, but it's always nice for a lady to be treated as such.

Hmmmm, maybe you can send your southern ways up to D.C.?? :-)

The Husky Bro said...

Let me state, for the record, that I didn't specifically say anyone here was a culprit nor am I any more angrier than anyone else involved in this discussion.

and it's not just other blogs, articles, it's first hand experiences and discussions with others.

I said as much in my previous comments.

CorettaJG said...

Amen! I was born and raised in Louisiana, went to school in Alabama and Tennessee, and had my last assignment in Texas. I'm here in DC and it could use some southern hospitality big time.

The Husky Bro said...

Vanilla to the cocoa, huh.

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