The ladies’ seat – fellas, heads-up to chivalry!

February 11, 2009.
I took the ‘L’ tonight, out to the suburbs to do a presentation. It was standing room only when I stepped on the train. No man offered his seat.

I looked at the men around me and thought they were doofuses. For two reasons: courtesy and chivalry.

First of all, I was toting a bulky travel bag full of presentation items. I was wearing shiny red patent leather dainty-heeled shoes. Now don’t get me wrong. I purchase shoes I can dance in, so they’re always sturdy and comfortable. However, the contrast here was the guys around me were wearing practical shoes. The most any of them toted was a cell phone to their ears. It would have behooved them to offer their seat and let me take a load off.

Secondly, whether or not I had the heavy bag or wore the adoreable shoes, there’s this fine code of chivalry — I mean of manners between men and women — that when practiced, makes the world a better place.

One precept of chivalry is for a fella to offer giving his seat to a lady who’s standing. She has the option to accept or decline. I suggest that whichever she does, she does with a smile and and a “thank you.” Either way each person may enjoy a nice, soft moment (while the train rattles on, perhaps).

Modern day chivalry is a code of manners, and it’s special because it’s a code between men and women. The gesture of respect goes both ways.

And it’s among the code of courtesy. Just as a man would offer me his seat in a crowded place, I’d offer mine to an older woman. Just as a man would let me through a doorway first, I’d let an older woman step first. The latter, but of course, with understanding that the situtation is delicate if my age seems close to the other woman’s.

Plus, sometimes we just let our friends go first as a kind gesture.

It’s all wonderful; everyone involved shines. Unlike the dusty dufuses on the Red Line ‘L’ tonight.

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