Friday, January 9, 2009

Requiem for Chivalry...

Last night, on my way home from taking my mom to the airport (hey mom!) I was [unfortunately] privy to a Sleeping Beauty tale - of sorts.

*For sake of back story, it may be interesting to note that couples who are wont to, ahem, be publically affectionate gravitate towards me. Me. The blushingest girl in Haifa. Le sigh*

So this couple is sitting behind me and I'm happily listening to The Talking Heads and generally minding my own business. All of a sudden the guy is all.up.on this girl - and she's telling him off in rapid-fire Hebrew. After a while, she begins to intermittently weave in English and this is literally what she says: "I've been trying to sleep all night...".

Okay. So I'm going to put myself on pause and talk to the handful of guys who read my blog - and, hopefully successfully, explain why we ladies (I mean me) like fairy tales so well. I'm not going to lie (and yes, I'm blushing right now), but every girl has day dreamed about being woken with a kiss at least once. Every. Girl. But on a bus? In the middle of the night? Um... hecks to the no.

So here I am, already trying not to be sick - and looking for anything to distract me from the anti-romantic wonder behind me, when, from farther behind me still I hear English. Okay, I know that a lot of people in Israel speak English - but not usually as a first choice. But a young lady and two yound me were speaking with each other in a language I actually understand - and I swear I wasn't eavesdropping, but I sort of just absorbed parts of their conversation.
The girl had apparently asked the guys to escort her home - and they were bold enough to ask her why. At which point they began to tease her and ask if she were afraid to go home alone. After a few minutes of them teasing her, she finally admitted that it made her nervous to go home alone. They refused to help their friend and non-chalantly informed her that she'd be fine as she rather dejectedly got off the bus.

Friends, I'm not proud of what I'm about to tell you - but it's like I was possessed, or something. I couldn't help myself. It's probably not the classiest thing I've ever done, but I turned around, gave them the stink eye, and shook my head in their general direction. Which they saw... and commented upon thusly:
"I think that girl just shook her head at us for not walking ___ to her door."
[Insert sheepish grin] ...I turned around and confirmed their suspicions.

Before my soap box crushes from the weight of my self-righteousness, let me say that it's not easy for independent young women (I mean me?) to admit that she needs help. Please offer (I mean men - mostly.) from time to time. If she is so moved to ask that you make she gets home safely, oblige her. And please, never make her ask twice. Preserve everyone's dignity. Give chivalry a chance.

the men I am friends with are almost uniformly and extremely chivalrous. The characters in this story, while real, are strangers.

P.S. good manners are for everyone. And a little note to the women: accepting help graciously when it is offered does not mean or imply that you are weak or inferior. If it makes you feel better, hold the door for the person after you next time.

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