Practicing Chivalry in the Modern World

Little do we know it, but everyday we put trust in the strangers around us not to be dicks or fuck up in a way that puts ourselves and our loved ones in a crappy situation. Whenever I can remember, I like to say a silent prayer to keep my family and friends safe from erratic drivers or any kind of mean person that day. Because let’s just admit it, there are some stupid fuckin people in this world. And I’m not just talking about those who are looking to harm anyone, because sometimes I think the meanest, rudest people are ones who are just plain inconsiderate of their surroundings.

I have the privilege to ride public transportation everyday on the Bay Area’s subway/train system, so luckily I don’t have to worry about shitty drivers as much as I’m terrified of being stuck in the underwater bay tube and being drowned in some sick, twisted sequel to Deep Impact. What I do observe everyday are strangers’ habits. I like to play the game “Noble or Narrow?” as I watch people taking seats and those left standing. Who’s paying attention to that precious old lady who just entered the nearly full train? What about that pregnant woman reaching up for the handle in front of that teenage boy fast asleep with his Beats headphones blaring so loud it’s practically at full volume in the train? Would it be completely inappropriate if I kicked that kid right square in the ballsack?? Maybe I’ll let my purse slip a little and smack him in the face. OOPSIES.

But it gets better, because at least he’s passed out. There’s a young lady with a Louis Vitton purse sitting next to him texting away on her iPhone. I’m sure it’s the same person she’s been talking to for the last 5 hours discussing the same fuckin topic about how he hasn’t text her yet and they had such a good time last night so she needs to hear from her BFF that she’s totally worth more and he can go fall off a cliff because HOW DARE HE?! All the while, there’s a pregnant belly swinging no less that 10 inches from the top of her head.

The worst culprits, in my opinion, are grown men. The ones who are playing video games on their iPads, chillin’ in their seat. I’d like to think they have a foot condition or back issues and, thus, have every right to swoop in on a seat while the 40-year old woman at his shoulder juggles her three work bags. However, most of the time that benefit of doubt gets chased away by the little pragmatic gnome that lives in my head, and I suddenly feel like telling him he’s being a dick and the angry bird gods will never let him win that level if he doesn’t find a set of balls and stand the fuck up.

This is literally an everyday occasion on the train. People not minding others around them. So imagine my surprise yesterday when, on a train with few seats left, I witnessed a young man give up his seat at the sign of the first female to walk through the door (a middle aged lady in this instance). No hesitation, no questions asked. NOBLE. My insides immediately went to goo as my ovaries cried out in admiration. And this guy isn’t alone, there are a few good men – and women, for that matter – out there practicing such chivalrous ways. Even yours truly has given up her chair a fair few times. I sometimes snag a seat in the morning and catch up on some reading, but I avoid taking any seats close to the door where it’s plainly reserved for seniors, pregnant women, or disabled persons (which, technically, I fit into the latter. Thank you back fusion 😉 ). Plus, whenever I ride standing I try to use it as an ab workout, not holding onto anything as I struggle to stay on balance. USE YOUR CORE, SHARON. It’s a good time. I don’t suggest this while reading. Not a good time. Besides, most of us are sitting for the majority of the day so why do you need to do so for 40 more minutes? You don’t, so stop being a dick and take a look around.

The lesson here? Chivalry exceeds the male species these days, but seeing a gentleman be a gentleman can still make a girl go weak in the knees. Be good to each other, because it really can make a difference in someone’s life – whether it’s the older man you’re giving up your seat for, your own well being, or a keen observer that you just made smile. So go on then, be someone’s hero.

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