Chivalry, Schmivalry.

umbrella
I read this article/a> about “domestic turn-ons” for women and I have to say that I agree with almost all of them. Luckily, my husband subscribes to most of them already, WIN/WIN!

However – BOTH OF US struggle with a slight variation of this point:

3. Feel comfortable when she performs gestures that would typically be considered “gallant” or “gentlemanly,” because you realize that those are simply nice things which nice people do for one another.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I have LONG HATED umbrellas. As someone with hair that actually looks better wet, and who rarely wears nice clothes, getting wet is always better than dealing with an umbrella in the rain. I have maybe carried an umbrella to protect myself from rain half-a-dozen times in my life. MAYBE.

End of Disclaimer.

Donnie and I were leaving the grocery store recently and it was pouring down rain. We were walking out together and we both hesitated before leaving the protective awning outside the store. He knew that I was okay with being in the rain (he is actually more likely to carry an umbrella than I am!) but he said, “Wait. I’ll just get the car.”

This kinda threw me off because — Why? Why get the car when I can, quite quickly, push the groceries to the car with you. Then we don’t block this fire lane!

So, after he took a few steps, I took off after him in the rain with the groceries.

When we got in the car he shook his head at me. Together we both spit out something like:

“I was offering to help keep you dry!” AND
“I don’t mind getting wet!”

We were both a little frustrated with the other person for not understanding our individual frustration. And then the truth came out:

ME: “I didn’t want people there thinking I expected or wanted you to run out in the rain while I stayed dry!!”

HIM: “I didn’t want people there thinking I wouldn’t run out in the rain for you!”

Basically – we were both trying to be chivalrous – but NOT because we wanted to make the other person’s life easier – but because we wanted everyone else to think we were chivalrous.

We’re quite awesome, don’t you think?

Now – I honestly didn’t mind getting wet and it really did seem like a waste of time/energy for me to stand there under the awning while Donnie brought the car. And he honestly didn’t mind getting the car so I could stay dry.

But – the reason we both got huffy with the other person’s actions? Is that we were worried about what the random people under that awning (trying not to get wet) were thinking.

I was mad because I thought, “He should understand how lucky he is! His wife doesn’t make him go out in the rain for her!” Whereas he was thinking, “She should understand how lucky she is! Her husband will go out in the rain for her!”

Basically, we have broken the entire concept of chivalry.

BUT STILL. I HATE UMBRELLAS.

So, in the end, I win.

6 Comments

  • Cara

    Holy crow. I just read the article and… I’m stunned. I clearly live in a bubble. That needs to be said? I find that said. Here’s an idea. Lets all refuse to marry men who need articles like that. Aargh. The rant that is forming in my head! I think I will go hug my husband instead.

    • zoot

      Yeah – I thought most of it was “common sense” but it did crack me up about the chivalry thing b/c my husband and I totally do chivalry wrong. 🙂

  • MargieK

    We usually get paper bags for our groceries, which we re-use for trash. We have the reusable bags, and use them sometimes, but frequently we need to replenish our paper bag supply. Why is this important? Because paper bags quickly wilt and become useless in the rain! It isn’t that unusual to go into the store when it’s nice, and discover after all the groceries have been bagged that it’s raining (so one can’t exactly exactly ask for plastic bags ahead of time, although I suppose one could go back and request that they all be re-bagged — but I never have). No matter how quickly one is able to push the cart car, all the bags into the trunk at once, so some are going to sit there and get wet, probably wet enough to break when they’re lifted.

    So I would have waited, so as not to risk ruining the (most likely) paper bags.

    I guess now I should go read that article.

  • Jo

    I read the article and all I could think was, apparently I have a much nicer husband than I even realized… and I already like him a whole lot!

    I don’t think it’s just you two… we also have “broken” chivalry in our house. I think I see it more and more in relationships… Women want to be seen as capable and do not want to inconvenience anyone so we do things for ourselves. 50 years ago, we would have expected a man to do those things just because he always had. It goes the other way too, Men are expected to do so many things that used to be the ways women took care of them.

    My husband does all the dishes and gets home to get our kids off the bus. I am in leadership positions at work so I frequently have the meetings and obligations. I see it as the new normal, and I like it a lot! It’s new chivalry, everyone helps each other out!