“Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.” –Olivia, Easy A
Guess what everybody. Chivalry still exists. In real life, even. I don’t think John Cusack holding a boombox outside her window or any of the other described scenes Olivia desires are actually chivalrous. Just sexy. However, holding a door, letting you sit in the front seat, jumping to make sure you’re okay when you trip over your feet, and dropping you off by your dorm so you don’t have to walk all the way from the parking lot ARE chivalrous. I have always had issues with accepting help from other people when MS limits me. I remember embarrassment after I fall and scrape the palm of my hands and quickly covering up with a frantic “I’m fine!” However, in the last few weeks, I have needed the extra help, and I have become better at asking for it. The MS in me isn’t very nice at times. A lot of the time, especially when I’m not nice to it (I figured it out: it’s in my brain, right, so my sass stems and it has taken some—maybe). And the “help” I have been receiving, chivalry, is nice. It’s still there! When I was dating my first boyfriend, my mom instructed me to LET him be chivalrous, to get the doors and help me in the truck, even if I didn’t need it. And I have remembered the advice.
“Chivalry is nothing but the desire to be helpful, to express respect through deference, and to break out of the ‘it’s all about me’ mode and see what you can do to help other people.” –Scott Farrell, Chivalry Today
So. Thinking about chivalry. It isn’t just a romantic-thing, as Olivia in Easy A makes it out to be—it’s an everybody-thing. Like my sister carrying the heavy stuff or a girlfriend willing to run grab something for me in a building across campus. And I don’t think I’m an outlier here with chivalrous friends. Chivalry goes way back. I have heard of elderly gentlemen angry at a young lady for not letting him be chivalrous.
To everybody who has shown someone chivalry, thank you. I’m pretty sure that means all of you. You would have to be pretty conceded to never show anyone chivalry. To all my friends, thank you.
Challenge: Go out and show somebody some chivalry and make somebody’s day. (Making people smile is pretty much my goal in life, so I’m passing on the commission, if you will.)
Smiling Happily, Anna =)^2 (Smiles Squared)