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Jewish Journal

Chivalry is Dead!

by Julia Bendis

June 16, 2011 | 10:02 am

What has become of chivalry?  Does it even exist anymore?  Everywhere I go I’m seeing women carrying big packages, pushing bulky strollers, and lugging around overweight toddlers while their men are cruising by without a care in the world!  The thing is that it doesn’t even seem like the women mind it as much as I do.  They walk around very proudly of their non-mannered men.  What happened to our society?  What happened to men opening doors for women?  Have we become so self-efficient, and so independent that we no longer need chivalry, romance, or a simple gesture of kindness?

And what are we teaching our sons, that its alright NOT to hold the door open for a woman.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned but when I happen to be behind a man or anyone for that matter, I just assume that they will hold the door open behind them.  They don’t have to open the door for me, just hold it open after you walk through it if there is someone behind you.  Unfortunately, being that naive has led the door to slam in my face many times.

Just the other day I was walking out of a Doctor’s office with my kids when a man was walking in.  I assumed he was going to hold the door open for my kids and I, so I proceeded to rush my boys through the door right as this idiot let go of it.  Not wanting my son to get slammed in the face by the heavy door, I leaped into it with my body.  And yes, my back still hurts but not as much as my feelings.  As much as I wanted to go off on this pathetic excuse for a man, I wasn’t going to do it in front of my kids.  Instead I made sure to notice which office he walked into.  Can you guess what happens next?

I walked my children to a nearby bench, where we sat down for a snack.  While they had their snack, I pulled out a notepad (yes I carry one with me to write down jokes that randomly pop into my head, or in this case assault an imbecile) and started writing a letter to this thoughtful man.

“Dear thirty-something-well-mannered-gentelman:

My name is Julia and we just met moments ago when you didn’t have a minute to spare to hold a door open for me and my kids.  In case you had forgotten me, I was the Mom leaping into a steel-made door so it wouldn’t slam into my child’s innocent face.  You did however spare a second by looking back to find out what all the ruckus was all about.  So sorry for the disturbance.  Do you remember me now?

Could you do me a big favor?  Could you deliver this letter to your parents for me?  Thank you so much.  I would like to address your parents now.

Dear Parents of this half-wit, mannered-free, so-called Man.  I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising such a thoughtful, and well-mannered man!  Just today he helped me remember what a jungle this world is, and that I should never ever assume other people would hold the door open for my children and I.  It was a total disregard of my duties as a parent to almost let my son’s face collide with a door!  It has taught me a huge lesson, and I would like to thank you for that!  Thank you again for raising such an upstanding citizen, who is a great contribution to our society.

Sincerely,

A Mother who almost let her kid get hit by a door.”

I walked back into the office where this man was, saw him sitting in the waiting room and proceeded to give him the note.  “This is for you, Sir.  Happy reading!”, I announced as he stared blankly at me.

Now I just hope to never run into him again…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I was born in Ukraine, in the former USSR, and grew up in Riga, Latvia which is on the Baltic Sea.  My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1989, right before the...

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