By Sandy Welch Thompson
Sandy Path Of Life 8-20-15
I am a fairly independent woman and consider myself quite self-sufficient. Take a bit of education, toss in a spoonful of resourcefulness, a little bit of country living and perhaps a hard head from time to time and well, you have me or any of my siblings.
With this attitude comes a certain amount of confidence in my abilities to provide a living, protect myself or my family and stand up for what I believe in. I was raised in a tough but fair household, with parents who held traditional values and embraced new ones when they realized their kids were kinda smart and MAY be bringing something new to the table that was “okay”.
These, I believe are fair and accurate statements. There were four of us girls, with Jimmy thrown right in the middle, so we learned many survival tactics along the way that have served me wisely.
I did mention that I am self-sufficient. I am also married. With that, I believe that the word “self” can take a back seat from time to time. Lord knows a marriage counselor is gonna tell ya the same thing someday, so save yourself some bucks and just read this Path piece.
Sometimes those two items are in conflict – self and marriage. Those moments are when I must use a little something I like to call “Advantage Sandy”. Let me explain.
I know in this day and age, Heaven forbid you mention that a girl can’t do something for herself and far be it from me to insinuate that is the case. I have three daughters myself and it’s my job to ensure they are raised with the abilities to be fabulously strong women in their own right. They are a lot brighter than me, so things are lookin’ good!
However…maybe it’s because I am an old-school thinker, or maybe it’s because I am a girl that believes in manners, but contrary to what its obituary may say, Chivalry is not dead!
You guys remember that word don’t ya? You know, courtesy, generosity, valor, bravery? Maybe even a bit of superhero?
I’m good with all of these things. Sometimes however, these chivalrous acts need a little – well – let’s call it – encouragement, to keep its little heart beating. I do believe in saving this precious way of life.
As an older, wiser woman, there are a few acts of chivalry that I cherish. And you bet, thanks for askin’! Why of course I’ll share my wealth of knowledge with you. You too may find yourself enjoying the spoils of such a lost art, tinged with just a wee bit of modernism and a touch of persuasion.
Take some notes here, nothing is trademarked. Feel free to use. They are just a few humble tips from a simple wife’s perspective.
Rule #1: It’s gotta be their idea.
I am perfectly capable to start my own car in the morning. BUT, if David is already up and headed out the door and I ever-so-demurely mention that my car won’t warm itself, well then sure, ok, feel free to start mine too!
Did I expect it? Well, clutch the pearls NO, of course not. If I should happen to go out and the car isn’t warm, I simply start it myself. No problem. In the same token, should he come home that day and the TV doesn’t come on because it’s unplugged, the fuse has been flipped and he thinks it is blown out for 30 minutes, is that MY fault? Prove it. I generally have a warm car the next day.
Lovin’ me some chivalry!
I may have on occasion walked into the house sharing a simple statement that there are dirty clothes all over the utility room floor and I am fed up. Perhaps I’ve kindly added that the kids are his too and I don’t care if it IS turkey season, I am seriously thinking about hosting a garage sale dedicated to selling all things camouflage for 25¢ each. If those softly presented words inspire him to then throw in a load of wash…or that bad manners? Well obviously not. He did it on his own. He’s a grown man, I would never interpret this as anything different than chivalry at his finest.
One more for good measure.
There was a night when the dogs were barking like crazy at 2 am. I rolled over and asked David to get up and check things out. Because of all the heroic activity above, I expected no less than him to jump up, grab his gun and head straight for the door.
That didn’t happen as quickly as I thought it should and Silly David…he said something to the effect of, “You are already up”. Poor fella. Poor, poor fella. I guess he thought chivalry ended when ya go to bed. He obviously didn’t know the rules. They are fairly obscure nowadays. So I helped him out.
I came to his rescue in true chivalrous fashion – you know it has no gender boundaries right? I gently mentioned that if he couldn’t take a bullet for me then he was just overhead in the house. Then I turned on the lights and grabbed his blankets and threw them on the porch. Sometimes chivalry needs a bit of a woman’s touch.
The next time the dogs barked, guess who got up? Yep…in true knightly fashion! House protected. Wife happy. Just another occasion where my knight in shining hard hat and steel toed boots has gone above and beyond.
Now these tactics of keeping chivalry alive may not be for everyone. They can be modified to fit any number of circumstances. I am just saying that if someone, say…my husband…is there and wants (out of the goodness of his heart) to do a few gallant and noble things, then I am going to be right there cheering him on that quest. Cheers to all the brave men out there, living by the code of honor, and cheers too, to all the women out there that thoughtfully inspire this behavior every day!
And I guess I would be willing to paint that big, red “S” on his chest and sew him a cape myself. I don’t really think I want to see him in tights though, so I’ll let him stick with his work jeans.
To sum, I sorta pride myself on coming up with new takes on old words. And…chivalry is a pretty old term. Maybe I oughta just go ahead and upgrade the word to what it’s really being used as…SHEVILRY….and nah, no trademark on that either. Go on, you know you’re gonna use it. You’re welcome!