09 May 2011

Mr. Men and Little Miss

My BF apparently believes that I want to make an @sshole of him because he said that is what other people must think of him when they seen him in public with me. Because we live in the south, and I still sometimes will open the door for him when we’re going somewhere in public or I’ll throw down a credit card when it is time for pay for a meal. And in the south especially, gentlemanly rules of chivalry do still exist, and apparently I am not playing well with others.

I’m sure it is some sort of combination of coming from working-their-butts-off immigrant parents to growing up in NYC to trying to live up to be a “modern woman” where I get my inadvertent attitude from. I’ve always found it nice when guys I am with do stuff for me, but by no means do I expect it, and shoot, I’m sure a lot of times it has gone clear over my head because I’m not looking for it. (However, I do have girlfriends who will stand in front of a closed door all dang day if they are with a guy, waiting for him to finish his stuff and get to door opening – because that’s what he’s supposed to do! )

This chivalry stuff certainly isn’t a point of contention between the BF and I, but he always teases me about it because to this day I just do my own thing. I guess it does hurt his gentlemanly pride a little that I am so lackadaisical about this stuff – so the other day we actually wrote what we considered our modern-day rules of chivalry on our wipe board (yeah, we’re those people) and came up with:

  • A gentleman will help a lady into her coat
  • A gentleman will give up their seats for a lady (on a train, etc.)
  • A gentleman will open the door for a lady
  • A gentleman will stand when a lady walks into the room
  • If a gentleman asks a lady out for a date, it is expected he will pay (though I consider that to be the case for whoever asks another person out)
And here we are, X number of years together (yeah, I don't keep track of that stuff either, but we'll save my lack of sentimentality for another post) later and we're still learning about each other. I need to keep my eyes open for when BF is trying to be nice and be OK with it - and BF needs to remember that I don't mean anything by it when I blow open a door or give him a weird look when I catch him standing behind me holding my chair.

Sp what do you think of chivalry in the 21st century? Are we such strong independent women that it is now considered dead, or are you still a believer in gentlemanly duties? What do you consider to be modern-day “rules” of chivalry?


IMG_4041  IMG_4026


Top: Calypso for Target medallion print crochet bib (I bought this before my shopping ban, I'm still good!)
Jeans: J. Crew high heel flare (worn here before - similar here, here)
Necklace: Anthropologie grandma's treasure trove (worn here before - similar here, here)
Bracelet: Forever 21 faceted cube spiral (worn here before - similar here)
Shoes: Xhiliration by Target teanna (worn here before - similar here, scalloped luxe here)

FYI, I'm cheating a little with my OOTDs because this was an outfit from last week. And I may be a wee bit MIA-ish this week because though I'm still working, I flitted off up north to spend all my free time with this little ice muncher:


  1. Ah, I love this post. Chivalry is a big "thing" for me - I was raised with a very strong, respectful father who always held the door, offered his coat, etc. My boyfriend, on the other hand, was raised by a very strong, super-feminist mother, so our relationship has taught us a lot. As a matter of fact, just the other day I was driving us and needed to stop and get gas and was appalled that Jeremey didn't get out of the car to pump for me - he thought it was ridiculous that I though he would, I thought it was ridiculous that he wouldn't. I've finally gotten him to open doors for me, so we'll take it one day at a time :)

  2. I love chivalry. It's so sporadic with Nathan that I really appreciate the sweet gestures of opening a car door, etc. Swoon! :)

  3. I don't really care about the Chivalry thing I care more about how he treats me not if he opens the door. I hope that makes sense, my hubby is always so good about doing all of those things and very much into treating me like a lady! That top from Target is darling!

  4. First, you look adorable! What a gorgeous blouse and I love the wide-legged jeans on you.

    Second, I feel the same way you do. If he happens to open the door, great. If not, I probably wouldn't notice. Actually...after reading this and having time to think about it, I probably would notice! :)

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

  5. When you have a man you can laugh with, hang out with, be intimate with, and generally get along wonderfully with.... the chivalry can be icing on the cake. I believe generally, we are treated the way we act. So if we are kind, compassionate, considerate people, we will mostly get that in return. I love it when my husband does those types of things for me, but I don't expect it. And I learned a LONG time ago that he can't read my mind, so although I work hard at not nagging, sometimes it is okay for me to tell him what I need or want. However, I do teach my boys to treat ladies with dignity.
    Is the little guy your nephew? He sure is cute!

  6. You look beautiful today! I love your Calypso choice! Who is the little one - your nephew? He's a cutie! I love chivalry. I'm all for it!

  7. I'm exactly the same as you are, Lisa. I don't know what it is either because technically I live in the "south", but yet DC is such a transient place that it doesn't really feel at all southern. I suppose I've always been a firm believer in taking care of myself and not becoming dependent on anyone. Life as I know it could come crashing down any moment. I'd like to hope that this mentality has made me stronger and better as a person. I do find it odd when females expect chivalry. The practical side of me doesn't think things should be split 50/50 all the time -- but rather, whatever makes more sense? If I reach a door first, I would hold it for the people behind me, regardless of gender. If someone is ahead of me, I would expect them to hold the door for me... but of course, this doesn't always happen. I suppose in the end I'm not really a believer in chivalry, but I do believe in having good manners.

  8. What a great post! It is a little unsettling when you are with a gentleman. Not in a bad way, it just throws me off a bit. I am a very independent woman now with a very gentleman-y man who likes to do stuff like open doors and pay for stuff. It takes some getting used to. I think, when it really comes down to it, it is all about mutual respect for one another so that neither one feels neglected and both feel they are appreciated.

  9. One of my friends used to joke that I was emasculating him whenever I opened the door for him. I often responded that "well, shit, while I'm at it, I should start wearing pants and paying for things too." He only sort of found it amusing. But I love being a modern woman!

  10. hmmm...I think I could use a more gentleman chivalry in my life ;-) I think a lot of men are worried that they will "offend" a woman by being a traditional gentleman that most shy away or are hesitant. I'm all for it!! I love when a man opens the door or stands when a woman enters the room.

  11. I certainly hope chivalry isn't dead. While I, too, hold the door open for my bf, I like to be treated like a lady most of the time when I'm around him. I know that a lot of modern, independant women want to be treated equally and that includes not expecting men to help them, but while I support equality, I do think some things should be left for the men to do ie, hold doors, pull out chairs, carry heavy groceries. It's double standards, I know, but I'm fickle like that. Hey, I'm woman ;)

  12. I think it's nice for the men in our life to do those gentlemanly things for us, once in a while. It makes us feel good and appreciated that they've made the effort. In a way, I think men like being a gentleman too. They like to feel like the stud every now and then..hehe. But as I'm married now I dont expect it, except maybe on those special occasions like birthdays. I said maybe!
    I still think men should pay on the very first date though! I'm old-skool.
    I love that blouse Lisa!

  13. There is the chivalry among strangers, such as the man who holds an elevator so you can get on, or the guy who gives up his seat on the bus for you. That does tend to vary a bit by geography and even age, with younger men not quite as adept at it, it seems. The other type of chivalry is between significant others or spouses and I think it's very important. Why should the door opening and rising from their chair when you enter a room end when you are married or together a long time? It's important to court each other, to continue to make each other feel special and this is but a small part of it. Be an independent woman, I know I sure am, but do lovely things for your spouse and let him do lovely things for you.

  14. Your bf sounds like a keeper, I'm all for chivalry! Love that target top too!!

  15. Oh wow! What an amazing top!

    I, for one, don't mind the chivalry, but sometimes it just catches me off guard. I remember a few years ago when I stopped to put air in my tire and a young man came over and offered to do it for me. I was in shock and barely knew what to say, besides 'uh...thank you!', of course. ;)

  16. I love this post ~ and your outfit! I'm a chronic complainer about how chivalry is DEAD in the midwest. My son is 18 and I have been determined to make sure he is a gentleman. So much so that he actually gets mad at me if I open the door to a restaurant instead of letting him do it. I've never been so proud! Lol. Chronic rudeness is rampant in the heart of the midwest. It really pisses me off. So if chivalry still exists in the South, then scoot over...I'm coming your way. Btw, I nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award. :) ~ susan

  17. Such a cute outfit! I am hoping to try that top on soon, it is so pretty.

  18. I have not seen a man stand when a woman enters a room. That would be nice. My husband & I are both from California, which equals casual. I am like you, opening my own doors, checking my oil, etc... He's chivalrous, though. We're still working on me walking on the inside when we're out on the street. Y'know, man on the street side, woman inside. I'm fine with it, but it's a pain to switch every time so I am on the proper side. I had to learn to slow down to allow him to do these things he wants to do & it's nice.

  19. Aww what a great post! The hubs opens the car door for me almost every time we get into the car. Sometimes it's unnecessary and I don't ask for it, but it's more of a habit for him now. He also opens the door for me when we go into stores or restaurants, and I do the same sometimes for him. And when we shop, he holds all my bags. But I think it's because he was raised to do these things naturally so it's not about doing it because it's the chivalrous thing to do. He just does it...just cause.

  20. Great post! When my husband asked me out on our first date. I told him I can't go I didn't get paid yet and need to buy school books when I do. He got real silent and responded with I'm asking you on a date...lol I felt really silly and realized I don't believe or was barely taught chivalry.

    I guess being raised by a Brooklyn bred, single, strong mom shaped me into a " I Can Do It All" Woman. I got better, but I still like to depend on myself. He does open doors, pull out seats and introduces me before having a conversation. So I guess chivalry isn't that bad..lol

  21. I LOVE gentlemen and chivalry! My husband has opened my car door for me ever since we've been dating. I love that. Even my mom loves that. She even makes him do it for HER!

  22. Hi Lisa! This is such a great topic! I must admit that I feel a little conflicted. I am never offended by chivalry and appreciate the gesture, but I do prefer to do things for myself. I often feel uncomfortable when someone opens the door for me or insists on carrying a box/package, especially at work. I think its because I want to be sure that I project an image of confidence and competence, and I worry that someone's impression of me might be negatively impacted if they feel I need or expect others to do things for me.

    But when my boyfriend and I spend time together, I don't mind at all that he opens doors for me or helps me with my coat. So how's that for a double standard....

    I really love your Calypso top. It looks so chic and polished tucked into your wide-leg jeans. And btw, I wore the GTT necklace in my most recent post (and I wore it to work yesterday too!)

  23. First of all love the outfit :D My Bf is just really gentleman'ish, but in a cute and good way I think :) Always saves the last piece of cake for me, holds the door and stuff like that <3.

  24. Love your outfit today!
    This conversation is so interesting to me. I work with some very strong women who view things like this very different from me. I guess I want to be treated like a lady and feel strong and like I'm able to take care of myself all at the same time. Not asking for much, is it?! :) One of the girls I work with acts insulted when a man tries to treat her like a lady!!
    I've found (and NOT with my husband) that a lot of men have not been taught some of these simple gestures that you've mentioned above. That's kind of sad to me.

  25. Ashley - ooh, that is a precarious position - but it sounds like you guys are working it out well! My BF totally won't pump gas for me either - but he hates riding around in my little car and prefers driving, so we can roll around in his giant SUV and he can feel more manly, haha!

    modernmom / Peggy - yep, the little fella is my nephew! He's in pre-K now and cute as a button! Except when he's not. ;o)

    Cee - so many people are just plain ignoring common sense and good manners nowadays. I think people who let the door slam behind them without even a backward glance are totally rude!

    Joey - true and hilarous!

    Desert Flower / Frannie Pantz - I totally agree with you. You'd think by now, though, that I'd be more used to it!

    wherelifehandsyouapear - when people do stuff like that, unfortunately for me, cynical suspicious NY-er Lisa kicks in first!

    littlemissfanciepants - Aw, thanks much! I think for the NE, chivalry isn't dead but there's so much other stuff going on that it's become forgotten! The SE though, still very much into it ...

    gigiofca - BF wants me to walk on the inside bc he claims I don't walk in a straight line PLUS I'm a total klutz, so he doesn't want to see me bite it AND get run over! OK, there's no claiming, he's right, I am a total non-straight line walking klutz!

    Mrs. J - I grew up in Queens! So you totally know what I mean about being a bit clueless about chivalry, because how often do you see guys giving up their seats on the subways?!

    Elaine / Cindi - aw, that is too sweet! BF's slammed my hair in the door before, so we agree there will be no door closing for me! ;o)

    Jamie - I'm on the same page as you. And yes, I totally double standard it too, because on one hand, I'm all over doing stuff like carrying boxes for myself, etc., but then I'll get miffed if I'm here hauling stuff and guys will just stand around and not offer to help or even hold the door open or anything!

    Emilie Delance - OK, saving the last piece of cake is just plain sweet!

    Leah - I know what you mean. It's a precarious time to be a "modern man" isn't it? Seems almost like you may offend if you do (or don't) pull back a chair for a lady! For me, I'm more embarassed than anything, because that's not what I'm used to!

  26. Oh, chivalry. There are certain things that I expect men to do, but there are correct and incorrect ways of going about it. Example: If I'm trying to open something (say, a jam jar) and I'm struggling, I expect any brawny man in the room to swoop in and defeat that pesky jar for me. BUT, if I'm opening something without struggling, then I expect the brawny men to stand down and not worry about me. I don't know if that makes any sense.

    Boyfriend is a big believer in chivalry and he loves opening the door for me, helping me in/out of my coats and jackets, and etc. Growing up close to his mom and sister, he just loves being the gentleman, and I don't mind. I also don't mind opening my own door, but I won't get too upset if he does it for me, either.

  27. PS. I LOVE that blouse. The knit detailing at the top is wonderful!

  28. Love this post too. I've met men who straight up will NOT walk through a door I'm holding open. It's a little awkward because I'm just trying to be nice.

    And there's that time a boy and I went out to dinner. I paid with my card and when the waitress brought it back, she brought it back to him. Even though it was my name on it and all that. Very funny.

    I haven't tried Hershey's Cookies and Creme.... but I will!


  29. What a cutie-cutie!!! Love your outfit!!

    Ok, I LOVE chivalry and all that stuff. I pause for doors to be opened, I do kind of look for help with my coat, I want to be lead up the stairs and followed into a room...all that proper etiquette stuff makes me feel good!! having said all that...what happens in my real life? Not joking AT ALL: I will be carrying both my 6 year old AND my 4 year old (a combination of 80 lbs!!!) and my modern day husband will not even have the "maybe I'll hold the door for her" thought cross his mind. LOL!!

  30. You look ridiculously chic and fun in this outfit. Like, this is ALL you.

    Basically your rules are mine. I (Southern) married a northern guy...we have definitely gone back and forth about what's expected. It's weird because I am both modern and old school, haha.

  31. This is a tough call. California and the Southern States are like two different planets when it comes to the Gentleman. Most men in CA use Chivalry as a means to score points. Isn't that sad.

    I can't tell you how any times I have had a huge box of Anthro returns in my arms and there are 5 men in front of me, and not one can hold the door to the Post Office open as they walk through ahead of me. That's not just chivalry, but plain old common decency and manners. I would hold the door for man or woman in the same situation.

    I'm wild over your outfit today Lisa. Maybe the shopping ban is working. This is a ultra Chic early 70's retro look. The difference is the clean cut wide leg dark denim. Back then we just walked all over the long hem until it was shreaded. The more faded the better.

    What a sweet little ice muncher. Hope it's already crushed.

  32. years together and always learning about each other still :) it's a beautiful thing

  33. amy kelinda - one area where I've totally become a girl's girl is in the opening of jars. Living with BF means that I automatically hand over something that I can't open on the first few tries. Gone are the days of Lisa trying to pry jar lids open with contraptions made of wound together rubberbands and dishrags!

    aki! - it totally kind of peeves me when the credit card thing happens! BF and I trade off on paying but more times than not the card gets set down in front of him, even when I obviously am the one who slapped my card in the folder and handed it to the waitress!

    Laura - I'm laughing because I literally experienced the same thing last week. I went to the post office with 5 large boxes and as I was approaching, I was grateful because two guys were literally standing next to the door chatting and I thought they'd help me with the door. And did they? Not at all, didn't even bat an eye as I struggled with it!


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