Friday, August 1, 2014

Dear DIL: Chivalry Is Not Dead

Dear Future DILs,

I need you to know that what I am about to tell you is not at all about me being an awesome mama…though I strive to be.

And will strive to be an awesome mama-in-law too…I promise. You might not always think so, but I pray that you do.

This little ditty is about the PBA seeing, firsthand, that not everyone is taught to be a gentleman as they are being taught to be. And understanding why I do what I do.

At least I am TRYING to teach them to be gentlemen. It's not really an "every day, all the time" kind of thing yet.

Here's the thing: I expect them to hold doors open. Not just for me, but for everyone.

Today's lesson was as simple as that.

Now girls…I must explain one thing, because this can definitely be a hot-button issue for some women. I know that you are probably capable of opening doors for yourselves. And I do not teach them this quality to belittle or demean you in any way. It is not to “keep you under their foot of oppression”.

I know that some women are offended…and not just a little bit…they are DEEPLY offended when men attempt to be chivalrous. I implore you, girls, do not allow the world to teach you this offense. Receive it as a courtesy they are offering to not only you, but everyone they meet.

Ok…off my soapbox.

Most of the time, they do a pretty good job of remembering. However, if we are walking into a building together and they don’t open the door, I will stand there until they snap to attention.

In case you didn't know, yes, I’m that kind of mom.

It doesn’t take them long to notice; and to be fair, we’ve been doing this for a while so it is mostly second-nature and rarely do I catch them missing their cue.

In fact, they are typically so aware that they will sometimes race one another to the door to open it. Again…not just for me, but for others as well.

It’s a proud mama moment for sure when they do that for others.

Largely when they hold the door for strangers, it goes unnoticed. In spite of doing this training for a while, I am still surprised when other people fail to acknowledge someone holding the door open for them…child or not.

They don't do it for the attention...but it is still surprising when a simple "thank you" isn't given. I told the boys that showing this kindness is not done in order to be acknowledged but because it is the kind and thoughtful thing to do.

Being Christ in some small way. Serving others. All that stuff.

Not to get all WWJD on you, but I assume that Jesus would have opened the door not just for his mother but for everyone…can I get an “Amen”?

It’s just showing honor, love (in some cases…presumably for you and hopefully me) and respect…bottom line.

Primarily, it is the Senior Saints who notice, comment and quite frankly, often gush all over the boys. The ladies especially.

The PBA now only turn a couple shades of red, whereas they used to turn ALL shades of red when this happened.

But I digress. 

Well, today, the PBA and I were leaving the gym.

As an aside (because that's what I do), we go to the gym virtually every day of the school week, and occasionally on Saturdays. (It’s closed on Sundays otherwise I might go then too.) This is not me bragging…I am simply setting the scene for those who may not know: I do 30-60 minutes of cardio, and some weightlifting every time I go to the gym. Every time. OK 4 out of 5 times.

That's still a lot, lest you be unaware.

So now let me ask you: does this sound as though I am “getting some exercise”? I ask because since I am officially “old”, I had to be screened for diabetes and have my cholesterol checked.

Oh, and I also got to have that “oh-so-fun” exam which it is recommended that women over 40 have…it used to be every year, but since Obama is into telling health care system how to operate, it’s now every 2-3 years.

Frankly, from a discomfort standpoint, I am ok with the every 2-3 years, but from a practical standpoint, cancer could spread at an alarming rate in 2 years, so to wait that long between mammograms seems ridiculous to me.

But I shall get off my soapbox now. Again.

Everyone who has had one done told me what it would feel like, but words don’t fully convey the experience.

I found the “manhandling” to be the worst part, but maybe that’s just me.

So I got a call from my doctor’s office about my diabetes and cholesterol tests. My diabetes test was fine…no indication that there is a problem (I wasn’t really worried). For my cholesterol: overall number is ok, bad cholesterol number is fine, good cholesterol number is a little low.

I don’t understand the math on that one, but ok...math isn't really my thing anyway.

What was the advice from the nurse who called? “Just try to get some exercise in and that should help bring that number up.”

Clearly, sweetheart, you did not read in my chart which clearly indicates that I exercise at least 5 times/week.
But whatever… “I’ll try to get some exercise in”.

But I did not set out to tell you about my medical non-issues. Sorry…that’s what happens to people when they get old…they give you unsolicited information on their physical well-being.

Get used to it, my dear DILs. If I’m doing this at 40, imagine what I’ll be like by the time you marry my son. Good luck and God bless you!

Anyway…chivalry is not dead (although my filter may be).

Today, the PBA and I were leaving the gym. As we approached the door, there was a young man…I’d guess him to be in his early 20’s…coming toward the door. My 11yo reached the door at the same time as him…I know this b/c my 11yo hurried up his pace, mostly certainly to beat the man to the door and hold it open for him.

But instead, the man grabbed the door from my son’s hand. For a split second I thought “Oh well he’s going to hold the door for us.”

As I started to go through the door, he came through the door.

So I stopped. Somewhat in his way, mind you, because I presumed I was going first.

Silly me.

So I side-stepped him.

My 11yo reached in the take the door from him…but the man had already let go of the door. So my son caught it half-way through closing.

No acknowledgement at all that this may have been rude.

He didn’t even seem to notice that anyone else was there, let alone three someone elses.

Neither I nor the PBA said anything…mostly I was concerned about one of them in particular who sometimes lack filter. I can’t imagine where he gets that quality.

But no…mouths clamped shut.

Once we were outside, however, I looked behind me at the boys and their eyes were like saucers and they were shaking their heads.

Yeah! They get it! They see why I do what I do…at least in this case. I promise you: I’ll keep working.

With all my love,

Your adoring MIL

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