Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Merry Christmas! A pondering on Chivalry…

Merry Christmas one and all! It’s fabulous to be posting (A day early, because there’s no way I’d manage this on Christmas day!) so close to Christmas and I did think about writing a festive post…but then something else cropped up, so I decided to do that instead!

Jen Ruiz of http://www.EliteDaily.com wrote an article recently called ‘9 Things Chivalrous Men Do, That Make Women Melt’ and it got me thinking about chivalry. Jen’s 9 items were:

1. Opening Doors
2. Saving the last bite of food
3. Spending time with your family
4. Suffering through a girly movie
5. Sending flowers
6. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk
7. Filling up your petrol tank
8. Helping you put your coat on
9. Kissing your forehead

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Some of these surprised me. Yes, it’s nice when a man opens doors for you and let’s you go through first, but I always got taught growing up that it was a polite thing to do for anyone, opening doors for people. I’m always looking behind me too, to see if I need to hold the door for someone, even if they’re a few metres away and it means I have to stand there and wait. If they’re coming and they’re gonna need that door and I’m in the doorway, then I will stand and wait and hold it open for them!

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Saving the last bite of food? I’m sorry, but the last thing I’d want would be his last bite of food. He might have done something to it. Smothered it in a sauce I don’t like, or it might be cold. Unless it was an expensive set of chocolates, individually wrapped, or his last Rolo…

Spending time with my family? Well, yes, that’s lovely, but isn’t that politeness and being PART OF A FAMILY? I spend time with HIS family, does that make me chivalrous?

Suffering through a girly movie? This got my feminist hackles up. What exactly is a ‘girly’ movie? I’m a girl, and I like Star Trek, science fiction and Alien V Predator movies. Is Ruiz assuming that because I’m a girl, I must like chick-lit, light and fluffy movies that just focus on love stories? I like those too, but if I had a choice between Sleepless in Seattle and an Alien movie, then you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll come down on the side of the xenomorphs with acid for blood. And suffering through it? I sit and suffer my way through Storage Hunters…

Sending flowers. I do like flowers. But I’d prefer to receive a single flower than a bouquet. A bouquet of flowers, to me, means he’s done something wrong, or he wants something. Growing up, my dad only bought my mum flowers when he was saying sorry after a blazing row or he’d done something so momentously stupid I can only associate a bouquet with a man in the dog house. A single flower, beautifully wrapped,means so much more.

Walking on the outside of the pavement? The first time my husband did this, I asked him what he was doing, when he deliberately switched places with me and took my hand. When he explained it would be so he got hit by the car BEFORE me, I thought he was just crazy, but as he did it more and more, I began to think about how sweet this was. Even after nearly two decades, he still does this.

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Filling up your petrol tank. Erm, no. I don’t find this chivalrous, or romantic. Sorry. It’s a practical thing that I can totally take care of and it gives me an excuse to have ten minutes peace and quiet whilst I go and do it myself.

Helping you put your coat on. I do like this gesture. I also like when we’re walking places and he puts his hand in the small of my back to help ‘guide’ me. I don’t know why. I just feel…protected. And a man that will stand up, just because I stand up from the table? Oh, be still my beating heart!!!

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Kissing your forehead. Hmm, at the beginning of a relationship if a guy kissed my forehead, I’d feel a bit put out, but two decades in? I quite like it. It’s sweet.

So what do you think? Does chivalry make you melt? Is it old fashioned? How much chivalry do you put in your stories? What do you consider to be gentlemanly actions? Does chivalry still exist or are men stuck in this limbo land where they are afraid to be chivalrous in case it is misconstrued as looking upon women as weak and feeble creatures? Personally, I love a gentleman. A man who makes the small gestures to show that he respects and values you as a lady is a true prize and a rare treat.

Thankfully, I’m married to mine! My husband knows never to buy me roses (I prefer tulips), always makes sure I have chocolate and looks after me when I need him to. The small gestures, like telling me there’s a book sale in Waterstones, or buying me surprise bits of fabric off of eBay, will always work.

In January, my first book, The Baby That Changed Her Life comes out and my hero, Lucas, truly is a gentleman. I hope you love him as much as I do.

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I’d love to hear your views.

Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Louisa xxx

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11 thoughts on “Merry Christmas! A pondering on Chivalry…”

  1. Good to know that chivalry has survived. A few contrarian ladies in the 1970s-80s decided it was uncool to do those things for women. The actions may have started out with the “weaker sex” in mind, way back when, but these days it’s like the article says – to show someone you care and are looking out for them. It lets a girl know this one might be a keeper. It’s fun to reverse roles and do nice things like filling his tank, too, right? Maybe I’ll throw that in a book sometime. 😉
    I’ll pass on that “last bite” saved for me, though, too. ha ha
    Merry Christmas, Louisa! Love your book cover, and I’m wishing you all the success in the world.

  2. I like a man that is a gentleman. Not that I have to have the help but nice that they notice I’m there. When I was about 16 my family was out to dinner with a couple of my father’s business associates. My mother and I stood to go to the restroom and my two younger brothers looked at the men like they were crazy then burst into laughter. They didn’t think their mother and sister were worthy of being treated like ladies. When we got home my mother straightened that out by practicing the process with them.

  3. This was enjoyable to read, Louisa! As everyone else has said, I think it comes down to manners, respect and consideration – all good things!. Important when it comes to relationships, as well as common courtesy to strangers. My sons had the same third grade teacher, and he was a big believer in teaching manners. He always made the boys stand up when the girls left the room, and at a buffet-style potluck picnic he hosted at his home, the adults went first, then the girls and the boys last. By boys protested to that it was dumb, but they adored him so I have to think it left a lasting impression 🙂

    However, strangely, just yesterday I was listening to the NPR game show ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me’ and one of the questions was “What is the most emasculating thing one can do to a man”? And the answer was for a woman to open a door for him! I find that hard to believe (and disappointing, too!) and think I just might have to take my own survey on the subject!

  4. Belated merry christmas, Louisa! I have to confess, my guy is a door opener and I like it – in large part because he is (I discovered too late) one of the world’s biggest messy heads. I’m not neat freak – but I thank heaven for his having a few old-style manners drummed into him – because I now know putting things IN the laundry basket, pulling the bedclothes into a tidy arrangement ON the bed, getting dirty dishes ALL THE WAY into the dishwasher are skills that will eternally elude him. So, I take my romantic cliches where I can get ’em.

    It all boils down to being thoughtful of the put-yourself-in-their-shoes variety, isn’t it? Do any of our M&B heroes leave a trail of debris in their wake and never get the knack of the blinking recycling system? (CANS ON THE LEFT. BOTTLES ON THE RIGHT). My guy may not hoover, but he fixes squeaky doors. He may drop his clothes like a *@(£)$* teenager beside the bed, but he puts up bird boxes with cameras in them so we can watch little baby blue tits start their lives. He dusts three times a year in all the high places I can’t reach and laughs like a hyena at my very bad jokes. (OMG – can anyone spot the premenstrual girl who just had a fortnight of in-laws in the house?)… I yearn for a graceful way to accept that his version of thoughtful behaviour and my version of thoughtful behaviour are on divergent paths because in the big picture – squeaky doors and laundry piles aside – I know he’d bare his chest and slay a dragon for me.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR xxx

    1. I believe you just bore witness to a holiday tantrum! Oooops. Guess that takes me off of the Saint of the Week shortlist. Happy New Year one and all – and may your Dragon Slayer dreams come true xx Annie O’

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