Monday, November 23, 2009

The Pains of Modern Chivalry

Working at the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a lot like any other corporate workplace.  Except for the fact that all the men wear white shirts and ties, all the women wear skirts and nylons, most meetings begin with prayer, and men go out of their way to open doors for you (if you're a woman).

So chivalry is not dead.  At least not around here.  This would be really great except I don't know what to do with it and when faced with such kind gestures, it tends to create awkward situations for yours truly.  Allow me to explain.

Exhibit A: Walking into my building I see through the glass doors that a man already inside the building has hurried to open the door for an elderly woman who was walking in.  Well, I am about 50 steps behind this elderly woman and he just stands there holding the door.  For me?  I guess so.  Not wanting to be rude, I am forced to break into my half-shuffle-half-run-in-heels while balancing my 5 lb. purse and Wal-mart sack of lunch food all the while eying the gentleman at the door to see if he really is waiting for me.  (I'm very graceful, I know).  Couldn't he just shut the door and let me help myself into the building?  I may not look it, but I really am quite capable.

Exhibit B: Picture this - I'm in the back of an elevator full of men in suits.  The elevator stops at the main level where everyone is getting off and they all wait for me to get off first.  I stand in the corner behind a dozen men while the door opens and everyone stares, waiting for me to make my move.  Ok, I understand the "ladies first" rule, but there has to be some exceptions; the lady can't get off until you move your manly behind out of her way.  It was a nice thought though.

Exhibit C: I'm headed to a meeting with laptop, battery charger, mouse, planner, and notepad in my arms.  A man I do not know kindly asks to carry my things.  I am surprised!  Shocked!  Uncomfortable! Caught off guard!  I mumble some kind of verbal gratitude and an "I'm just fine, thanks" only to stumble away awkwardly as I drop most of my armful of office supplies. 

I forsee two possible solutions to my dilemma of personal awkwardness: either men in the world learn the finer parts of being a gentleman, or the men around this office just need to relinquish their acts of chivalry and let me be independent.

Chivalry - the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. Also, the act of creating complicated and/or awkward situations for the socially independent female of the 21st century.

For the record, Kyle is truly a gentleman and I love him for it.


Abby and Jason said...

It's nice huh?! The same thing happens to me. I love nice people!

KPost said...

It IS nice! I should be one of the nice people :)