Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is Chivalry Dead?

The other evening I ate a delicious apple-cinnamon muffin at a local dining establishment with a couple friends at a homework party. The muffin was even beyond delicious... it was warm and full of love and pretty much exactly what my little tummy was seeking after a long day of sneezing and sniffling. At the end of the evening as we were paying for the food we consumed, I went to pull out my $5 bill to take care of my delectable muffin, when one of my friends quickly told the waitress to put my order with his. At first I protested, as I was ready and able to take care of it, and I ordered it with the intention to pay for it, but he insisted, and I would be stupid to just let the opportunity pass me by. I mean, if the man wanted to pay for my food, then let him pay for it! He said, "I'm just trying to be a gentleman. Is chivalry dead?"

And so I thought about it. My mom has beaten it into my head that I need to be independent and responsible for myself and myself only. I cannot and should not rely on a man or become dependant on him for anything. If I have a problem, I have to figure out my own solution. In general, I don't like asking people for help. I don't like having to admit that I need someone to cover my work shift because I'm sick... I'd rather just power through it and take the responsibility. I don't like asking for rides to the airport... but sometimes I just have to admit that I cannot afford a round trip airport shuttle, as it's the cost of half a plane ticket. In my last dating relationship, I felt bad when he paid for me at first (though I did warm up to it eventually and did some leg pulling to make it happen... heh heh). I don't really care if anyone opens a door for me or not... either way, that door is opening, and I'm going through it. I would prefer to just take care of myself... not only because it's been beaten into my brain... but because many times in the past, people have failed me and screwed me over when I tried to depend on them just a little bit.

So what's wrong with a young man paying for an apple-cinnamon muffin? Why is it so hard to do? It was a nice and generous offer made out of the kindness of his sweet little heart. Granted, the muffin was only $2.50, and in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal... but the offer was just so different to what I've been accustomed to that it really took me aback. It's an action that still left some kind of imprint on me... that someone would care enough to pay for my delicious $2.50 apple-cinnamon muffin, just because he's my friend. I didn't even have to guilt him into it... he just did it without a second thought. It's so strange to me that someone would actually do that. It's not a bad thing, either... maybe I *have* been under a ton of stress especially in this past week trying to figure my life out and how to pay for that random $3000 I owe the school somehow... maybe I *do* try to be too independent... maybe my independent streak causes me more stress than it should and sometime I'm going to have to learn how to trust other people with parts of myself... even if it's as small and simple as a $2.50 muffin. Maybe he didn't have any ulterior motives behind paying for it. Maybe it really was an act of kindness. Maybe I just need to stop being so suspicious of people and just trust.

I mean. For pete's sake... it's a muffin. I took the muffin to a spiritual level. It was a witness of God's love for me... that sometimes I flat out tell God that I don't trust him to take care of me, and that I would like to one day, but today it's just not gonna happen. Sometimes I look at offers that God gives me for happiness and I don't trust in that goodness and instead, try to handle things my way. My friend's nice action was an example of God's love for me, and how God doesn't just provide for me because he wants something in return... he does it because he loves me.

So if chivalry is dead, then we should probably work at bringing it back. If free muffins are in my future, maybe I want to embrace my future. Maybe life doesn't have to be so bleak and stressful because maybe I don't have to do it alone. Maybe there should be people willing to open doors and pay for your muffins because they are being chivalrous... they are being examples of God's love for you... and you should just accept it.

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