Three codes of chivalry fellas might not know
“You can’t have her!” a previous suitor demanded while play-acting protecting me from the streetside dangers. He improvised being punched, swinging his head for dramatic effect and providing sound effects “Ppsschh! Ppsschh!“
This after I introduced him to a code of modern chivalry he was not aware: When walking down the street, the gent takes the curb side.
And now he and I promenaded downtown Chicago after leaving a restaurant. We passed a line of horses and carriages. The horses and the drivers minded their business, while my suitor continued his dramatics. “No!” He stood between them and me, stretched his arms wide to mime blocking attackers. “Back off!” He absorbed a couple more imaginary punches. “Ppsschh! Ppsschh!“
I laughed so hard I dragged my pace. My suitor remained curb-side as we continued route. My darling had already asserted opening doors for me. ‘Twas a basic and beloved code of chivalry. That and a fella pausing for the lady to enter or exit doorways first he had asserted, too.
This curb-side code of chivalry proved new to him. He took it in stride. At first with a sense of humor, that I appreciated, and every time we promenaded along the street since.
Fellas, being chivalrous is classic, classy and respectful. Assert the chivalry codes you
know with confidence, and be open to learn new ones, like these for example.
Three codes of chivalry you may not know:
1. The stairs. While “ladies first” is prized among gentlemanly gestures, where you position yourself on the stairs varies via direction.
a) When ascending, ladies first. This way, if she slips, the gent may catch her fall.
b) When descending, fellas first. This to catch the lady if she stumbles.
2. The revolving door. “Ladies first” is a faux pas in this exchange.
The fella goes first. He pushes the revolving door so his lady completes the revolve. If he’s good, she need not touch the revolving door at-all, and only step in and step out per his accommodation.
3. The street. When a fella accompanies a lady along a street, he takes the curb side. ‘Tis to protect her from puddle splashes, and other potential hazards from street traffic.
These are simple and prized gestures. While they seem a formality, they also have a traditional practicality. For example, per the staircase, the lady might be wearing heels and would need to step more gently. Also, whether or not the lady is in heels, what if the fella stumbles? He could wipe both he and the lady out. ‘Tis a raw fact, men overall are built physically sturdier than women. So it behooves him to position himself most respectfully and safely while taking the stairs with a female.
Chivalry: Fellas, assert the chivalry rules you know. Be receptive to learning more rules.
Understand your lady may receive them well, or feel unfamiliar herself. Make her comfortable. Talk about chivalry. Even laugh about some of the rules. Yet honor them and uphold them.