Chivalry is not Dead in London

To the man with the face piercings on the No. 134 bus at 6:30 a.m.: thanks for showing me that chivalry is not dead. As the bus pulled up and opened its door, you smiled, did a little bow and waived me to go on first.

First, a definition from Wikipedia (bold is mine):

“Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honour and courtly love. Today, the terms chivalry and chivalrous are used to describe courteous behavior, especially that of men towards women.”

I know some guys have a beef with chivalry after the whole feminist movement, but I like that Wikipedia says it’s basically courteous behavior. And, don’t we need more of that in today’s world?

Having lived in Tokyo, I experienced a lot of courteous behavior from the Japanese (men and women). There are just so many dang people in Tokyo that, if people were not courteous en masse, it would be chaos. The Japanese do abhor chaos. The only exception I found were old ladies who are sometimes nicknamed Obatarian (a cross between the Japanese for old lady and the English Battalion). Obatarian are fierce creatures and one should stand aside when an Obatarian is making her way to an empty seat on the train.

Finally, I am from the deep south: that’s Southern Louisiana, ya’ll. And we do expect our men to be courteous no matter how many waves of feminism we surf. Recently I attended a private fetish affair with the bro-in-law and the Belarusian. There I met many young men in uniform. One in particular worked in The City and very politely offered to buy me a drink. Just to be up front with him, I presumptiously told him that I was engaged and not looking for anything more that polite conversation. He enlightened me: apparently, engaging a lady in polite conversation without any chance of sex was his fetish. Firstly, has polite conversation become so rare and sacred that it is fetishistic? Secondly: Brilliant! He spent the entire evening refreshing my drink and engaging in a very high level of very polite conversation. If my southern sisters knew about this, they would flood into this city’s fetish scene like Katrina flooded New Orleans (is it too early to make jokes about this yet? I am a native, you know).

I was completely taken aback this morning by the man with the piercings in his face. Maybe it was my ignorant assumptions about people with facial piercings. I no more expected him to be polite than I would a Chav or a boy in a hoodie or my neighborhood homeless lady who used to scream at me when I bought her orange juice. But, come to think of it, every person I’ve met with loads of piercings has been quite lovely: Jolene, Anthony, Pete…maybe because they know what pain feels like, they don’t want to cause other people pain by being rude.

Anyway, thanks to the gentleman this morning. There are several world leaders who could take a lesson.

Beautiful photo by Farl.

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