“You got a gold star this weekend.”
“Cool. I’ll put it on my refrigerator. Can you tell me exactly why, though? What good relationship deed did I do?”
“If you don’t already know, I’m not telling you”
“I want to continue to think you did it on purpose.”
Originally written almost three years ago (and revised many times since), “The VerySmart Guide To 21st Century Chivalry” is a somewhat traditionalist list of a few of the right ways men and women should treat each other.
In a perfect word, there’d be no need for such a list because there’d be no ambiguity about chivalry, but since “the concept of chivalry died years ago, neglected so long that it ended up gaunt and emaciated, starving to death outside of a KFC because no one could spare him the big piece of chicken” many contemporary women are surprised when men practice it. So surprised, in fact, that we occasionally receive “points” for things we’ve been doing since we were eight years old. (I said “eight” because that’s the first time I remember my dad smacking me in the back of my head because I didn’t open a door for my mom. That shit hurt like hell, so I tried to make sure to never to it again)
But along with the usual typically chivalrous acts, we spend much of our waking hours doing certain things for the sole purpose of making women’s lives easier, things we don’t get any types of special points or extra credit for.
Here’s a few of them.
1. Sleeping in the wet spot
Each gender has an equal stake in making sex a pleasurable experience. From courting to coitus, sex is the world’s truest symbiotic activity; an event where much of the outcome is based on creating an environment where teamwork trumps talent and unity usurps uniqueness.
But, the moment the last orgasmic reverberation ends, all notions of gender equality, togetherness, teamwork, and sexual ubuntu end as well. Men are expected to be the sacrificial “lay in the mysteriously colored (and mysteriously temperatured) wet spots made as a result of your collective effort to cum” lambs, ignoring the fact that human’s aren’t built to lay in random coital dampness. (Well, human’s not named “Kat Stacks” aren’t meant to lay in random coital dampness.)
Yet, despite this blatant and flagrant inequality (and despite the fact that we’re not the ones secreting random water-based lubricants all over the sheets and shit), we accept this arrangement, as long as you don’t ask us to get up and make you any kool-aid. (It’s cold out there, and, well, we generally don’t like how we look when it’s cold and we’re butt-naked.)
2. We don’t complain about our days
We hate our commutes, our bosses, our idiot coworkers, our “too damn talkative for a f*cking Monday morning” cubicle nemesi, our secretary’s terrible brick-based brownies (and the fact that she’ll “accidentally” misplace one of your messages if we refuse to eat one of them), the lunchtime lines at Au Bon Pain, the too flirty cashiers, the fact that the one cashier who’s actually cute is the one that never flirts with us, and the fact that no one in the office remembered it’s our birthday just as much as you do.
But, in what may be our most altruistic act, we usually leave it all at the office, allowing you to bask alone in your professional martyrdom glory. Trust me, on the chivalry scale, there’s no difference between “walking on the outside of the sidewalk while with a woman” and saying “My day was fine. Yours?” when you ask us about our day at work.
3. Allow you to convince us to try “new” foods
I have a friend who has literally eaten at least one junior bacon cheeseburger every day for the past 17 years. This may seem like a particularly depressing piece of Pittsburgh-area hyperbole, but his diet isn’t really that much different than the typical man’s diet.
Seriously, if you were to open the fridge in any random bachelor’s apartment today, you’d probably see nothing but myriad representatives from each of the three main food groups—breakfast food, reheatable beef products, and fruity shit stored in the fridge just in case a woman decides to come through. That’s it.
But, when we’re with you, we’re eating Ethiopian lasagna and Thai scrambled eggs and anus-angering Indian food. (Seriously, can someone tell me why Indian food hates our anuses so much? Did our anuses sleep with their sister? Do our anuses own them money? Did our anuses promise Indian food that it would always be its “spirtual son”? If anyone has any idea what their beef is, please let me know) So what if our stomachs are growling like Busta in the “Scenario” video, we do it in an attempt to appease your need for “atmosphere” and “newness” and “ambiance” and other gay-ass sounding descriptive nouns.
4. Leaving the toilet seat up
After getting up in the middle of the night and stumbling through the darkness to relieve ourselves, we occasionally forget to put the toilet seat down when finished. Women usually complain about this.
But, if you all knew the actual truth—if the toilet seat is actually down after we’ve relived ourselves in the middle of the night, there’s a likely chance the seat was never actually up, which also means there’s a likely chance we just said “f*ck it” and decided to pee on the toilet seat—you’d realize exactly how kind and considerate we were to leave it up.
We masturbate (frequently) so we’re not as compelled to sleep with each of your friends, an extremely chivalrous act saving you the trouble of having to find a new group of women to borrow dresses from and dread going to Saturday brunch with.
Anyway, people of VSB.com, can you think of any other chivalrous acts men always do, but never get any actual notice or credit for? Also, ladies, are their any forms of “reverse chivalry” you regularly practice but we don’t know about?
The carpet is yours