In my last post, I touched on the idea of what it means to be a gentleman. After quite a few conversations with some of the lovely ladies in my life, it seems that this topic really hit home. Now granted, we all define this term differently and people have their own checklist of what it takes to earn the title of “gentleman.” Mark Twain once said, “A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn’t.” Teddy Roosevelt believed that “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” Author Shannon L. Alder wrote that “A true gentleman is one that apologizes anyways even though he has not offended a lady intentionally. He is in a class all of his own because he knows the value of a woman’s heart.” Whatever you believe, I think it’s safe to say that while there are a fair number of men out there who fall into this category, there has been a shift in the last..oh I don’t know..fifty years or so..in the roles that men and women take on. It seems to me, that in our quest for being all “I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!” we have inadvertantly pushed men out of their masculine role and pushed ourselves in their place. If you think about it, there are a multitude of songs out there dedicated to this very idea. To name a few:
1. Independent Women – Destiny’s Child
2. Miss Independent – Kelly Clarkson
3. Run the World (Girls) – Beyoncé
4. Man I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain
5. Respect – Aretha Franklin
Don’t get me wrong…I am all for women being strong and powerful and demanding respect..hell..I even wrote about “How to be a Badass” in one of my earlier blog posts. The point I’m trying to make, is that we don’t have to act like men to be independent and strong. The vast majority of women in those old movies I was mentioning in my last post, weren’t weak by any means. They allowed men to be men, but also used their power as women to make changes and get what they wanted. Immasculating men doesn’t help us to become badasses..we can do that on our own thank you very much. We also need to stop complaining about how “chivalry is dead” and remember that men are only required to act as gentlemen when we behave like ladies. (but that’s another blog for another day 😉 )
That being said..I find it incredible attractive when men know how to be MEN. There are a multitude of ways they can do this, but I figured I’d just mention a few. The following are GENTLEMAN moves that sure do make me swoon:
1. HOLDING A DOOR OPEN (special points if it is not only for me, but also for the other people who come after us..not all of them..let’s not get carried away here.)
2. NOTICING SOMETHING I’M WEARING. (I’ve heard people say before that women don’t look good for men..they look good for other women..and I agree with that, but I also took time putting myself together..it gives me a little thrill when you notice.)
3. REMEMBERING THINGS I SAY. (like my birthday or the fact that I like to watch the Bachelor. It shows me that you aren’t just nodding and thinking about the score of the Carolina game.)
4. BEING NICE TO THE WAITSTAFF OR ANY SERVICE INDUSTRY PEOPLE IN GENERAL. (This is especially important if/when they mess something up. How you handle these kinds of situations shows a lot about what kind of man you are.)
5. ASKING ABOUT MY FAMILY/FRIENDS. (These are the people who mean the most to me in the entire world. Nothing melts my heart faster than you asking if my baby niece has been sleeping better through the night…and if my friend got that promotion he was hoping for. It goes along with #3 Remembering things I say.)
6. MAKING THE FIRST MOVE. (Nothing is worse than a wishy washy guy who can’t ask you out or decide where to go to dinner. It makes me wanna throw up my hands and say “*F it! Take me home and I’ll pick up some damn chinese food, a bottle of wine and a redbox. At least I won’t have to share the wine.” I like to have the option of choosing a place, but boy is it sexy when you take charge and are a man with a plan.)
7. LOOKING PUT-TOGETHER. (don’t get me wrong..nothing is sexier on a guy that one of those ragland baseball 3/4 length shirts and a pair of jeans…but when you make an effort to pick out an outfit because you want to look nice for me..it makes me feel like one special lady and it shows me that you care about how you present yourself.)
< <-this..so hot. I know..I'm a weirdo…but really..hot.
8. KEEPING YOUR WORD. (most of us have heard the phrase “my word is my bond.” Real men honor their commitments and don’t make promises they can’t keep. If you say you are going to take out the trash..do it..if you promise to make sure you can be at my great aunt Shirley’s 90th birthday party, your handsome self better be there shakin’ it on the dance floor.)
9. GIVING A COMPLIMENT THAT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WAY I LOOK. (sure, every girl loves hearing how smokin’ hot she looks in her new skinny jeans…but every once in a while, it’s nice to know that you think it’s awesome how our innate craftiness can help us turn that old window into a coffee table..thank you Pinterest!) <– side note for my readers across the pond..if you don't know what PINTEREST is…google it..sign up..and don't make any plans..you, my dear friends, will be spending the next 12-48 hours wrapped in bliss..trust me.
10. DOING SOMETHING YOU DON’T LIKE TO DO BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT’S IMPORTANT TO SOMEONE ELSE. (I get that you might not be super into going to salsa classes with me, or to that new romantic comedy that just came out..but the fact that you will suck it up because you know it's something I want to do means you care enough about me to put up with a little torture…and boy does that make me wanna give you a big sloppy smooch.
and one more for good measure..
11. HAVING YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. (This means a variety of things, but basically can you answer the following questions?..Do you have a bank account that has more income than debt? Do you have a job that pays the bills and doesn’t make you absolutely miserable? Do you have goals for the future? Things you want to work toward? Do you have a place to live that doesn’t look like your parent’s basement or a frat house? Are you sober more often than not? I’m sure I’m forgetting something but that’s a pretty good assessment for me.)
Like I said before, being a gentleman can mean different things to different people, but if the guy you are dating does a good amount of those things I mentioned above, well then hold on tightly ladies..he’s a catch!