When I say that I’m dating a new guy, the first question my parents ask (well, first question after “He's not Catholic, is he?”) is, “Does he open the door for you?” Apparently this is my parents’ litmus test of a decent guy. For years I’ve fought with them, saying that they are out-of-touch with today’s world, solely out of embarrassment that my new guy did not, in fact, open doors for me; and as always, my parents are so annoyingly right. In actuality, most of my beaus have barged ahead and let a door slam in my face if I didn’t catch it soon enough. Luckily I have slowly acquired cat-like reflexes and can catch a door without any tongue clicking, head shaking old ladies noticing the etiquette transgression. It appears that girls and parents of girls have not yet gotten the memo that chivalry is dead. Gone are the days when society turns its collective nose up at the brutish young man. It’s almost celebrated among young guys today that they won’t do anything, pay for anything, or step out of their way for a girl.
I blame the girls in middle school who, out of impatience and eagerness for their male counterparts to mature, started calling guys and asking them out. All hail the empowered woman and equality, but come on, ladies; our awkward, middle school selves created monsters. And we didn’t even get a date to the 8th Grade Dinner Dance out of all that. Sigh.
I was walking to class at Mason last semester when I overheard an exchange up ahead. A girl, with her arms full of library books nearly dropped everything trying to catch a door slamming on her. “Whoa,” she said, “don’t worry, I’ve got it.” A guy turned around from his group, and in a thick New York accent scoffed, “Yeah, you thought I was going to hold that door for you, huh? Yeah? Well, homie don’t play that.” Well…“homie,” you must be single. There’s a difference in being a doormat and in being a polite, courteous citizen.
I have bad news, ladies. It appears that your White Knight isn’t going to ride up and take you to a land filled with glass slippers, frogs-turned-hot, and seven uniquely-personalitied dwarves to do your bidding. But, hey, that’s why we have college (or trust funds), the stock market, and nice cars of our own. That way, when your White Knight ends up riding up on a gimpy-legged donkey and admitting that he dropped a red sock in the wash with his white armor, you won’t feel so bad.
I believe I’m going to take it upon myself to be a modern-day Mary Poppins, and I shall go forth and teach all around me how to behave. I already have a penchant for giant purses. I’m sure I could pull something from one of them to knock some sense back into the world. It would be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, to say the least.
Those of us in our twenties are still from a time when our mothers made us say the magic word (“please,” in case you’re rusty), tell little boys we hit that we’re sorry (even if we’re not and would do it again if he dared yank another pigtail), and write thank you notes to our relatives (Dear Grandma, Thank you for the ugly sweater that itches and takes two people to pull over my head. I will cherish it. Love, Kelly). It’s not too late to regain some order in this barbaric society. I may seem anal, and trust me, I am, but also know that there are other champions of my cause. You never know who's watching, and if I am, rest assured that I'll be there to shake my head and sigh in a resigned manner, "What would your mother say?"