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Chivalry Is Dead Folks

I’m supposed to be enjoying the last few days of summer vacation with my kids.  But something happened the other day that bothered me enough that I felt the need to write about it.

Let me preface this whole story by saying that I try to instill, especially in my boys, chivalrous acts.  It doesn’t always stick.  But I try to emphasize opening doors for people, carrying heavy bags, asking if someone needs help.  These are not necessarily acts they see on a daily basis at home but we try.  I want them to grow up respecting the women in their lives and being ready and able to help however it is needed.

Most relationships at least begin by the guy being chivalrous.  If they don’t, that is a sad state of affairs.  But somewhere along the way, things lapse into laziness or bitterness.  I want to raise boys that maintain these small acts of kindness even when the romance fades.

Enter in, what happened on our way into the state fair.

I was walking through a sketchy neighborhood into the state fair with my eldest son- of whom doesn’t miss much.  The Mr. and my youngest two were ahead of us and since I’m quite a bit slower at this point, we were separated.  The sidewalk was very narrow and as we approached the fair, several people got in-between us.  One was a family with small kids and then there were two guys…

Let’s be more descriptive- two shady characters.  One was a tall, very fit man that I would never want to see in a bar fight.  The other was a chubbier, scragglier individual.  They were close enough to us that I was catching a bit of their conversation.  And what I heard sickened me.

Pieces of their conversation went something like this-

“She’s a good-enough lookin’ girl.  I mean, she’s not…  But she could easily come in here and make $2000 a night hookin.'”

It’s 11:00 a.m. on a Wednesday at the Iowa State Fair.  My faith in humanity plummeted to the ground.

My first reaction was to back the hell up and put as much distance between these two and myself and my boy as possible.

My second reaction was to look around for any kind of security.  I mean, I realize these two were just “talking” about this, but it couldn’t hurt to have them followed?  Unfortunately, I could not find anyone nearby.

My final thought was a feeling of helplessness.  What if these two are part of some sort of sex trafficking?  How could I get help to this woman they are referring to?

I was thoroughly disgusted.  I realize that this problem has been around since the beginning of time.  But how could these two, who were older than I am, sit there and talk about women in this manner?  How dare they?  And to be so bold, in the middle of the day, around families. I wanted to throw up.

That brief conversation just about ruined the day at the fair for me.  I kept my kids close. They always went to the restroom with us.  They never left my sight.  It reinforced for me the evil in the world and how it is all around me, all the time.

I’m sure I did not handle this in the best way possible.  I’m sure there was something I could have done.  The shock of it all took awhile to register.  And by then, the two disappeared into the fair crowd.  I’m not sure I could even point them out in a lineup since I was looking at them from the back.

The incident gave me much to think about.  What would the mothers of these two think about this conversation? Would they care?  Would they be mortified?  Are they proud of what their sons have become?

It just reminds me of my determination to instill in my boys how to treat women.  They are not objects to be sold.  They are to be respected.  God gave man his helpmate and partner. She is to be loved just as he loves himself.

Then, the very next day, without mention of any of this, one of my sons opened the car door for me and carried my grocery bags.  Completely on his own.

And that gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, for a select and lucky few, chivalry won’t be dead.


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