Is that my knight in shining armor? Oh, nope- just my sandwich wrapped in tin foil.
You’ve seen it in every storybook and Disney movie of your childhood. The damsel in distress, trapped in the evil witches’ tower, alone and hopeless with her only chance at true love and survival lying in the hands of the majestic prince; a true knight in shining armor, who will climb up the tower to rescue his princess, lift her on top of his horse-
And drum roll, please- here he comes, gallivanting his way to his into the glimmering night sky. And just to think it all started with the words “once upon a time…”
Take notice that nowhere in this fairytale did the princess receive an after 2 am text from her knight saying “babe. Wanna come over?”
No, chivalry is not dead, but boy is it different.
Chivalry was used to describe the moral system of knighthood. It didn’t mean opening doors and paying for dinners, but ultimately meant being courteous and being brave. But in the days since the release of Destiny’s Child “Independent Women”, ladies have learned to put a roof over their heads and shoes on their feet, without the help of a man.
The thing is, that chivalry is not about the inferiority or the lofty superiority of women. Instead, it’s about fostering a mutual respect for one another and realizing that expecting respect or kindness should never make you feel as though you are weak or childish for wanting it.
Unfortunately, kindness to strangers has become a rarity, with people slamming doors in people’s faces, and pushing in line at the checkout counter which men and woman are both guilty of. The idea of common courtesy is over. It just doesn’t exist as much anymore, because friendliness is grounds for suspicious behavior, and kindness is assumed as part of someone’s ulterior motives. Nowadays, the only way someone will offer me a seat on a subway is if I am visibly and heavily pregnant, or if my legs are cut off.
In our ever-changing realm of communicationin, from the 140 character tweets, LOLs and ROTFLs, it seems as if we’ve lost our ability to communicate, altogether.
The real problem here is that people in general, for one reason or another, have become complacent and allowed their partners to get away with adhering to the bare minimum. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a husband, nor am I looking for a quickie- all I’m asking for is a damn good steak, an intriguing conversation, and a chance to spend time with someone, somewhere other than a poorly decorated bedroom.
So for now I will find chivalry where it’s always been…in 80’s movies. I will wait for John Cusack hold a boom box outside my window and for Judd Nelson to thrust his fist into the air while “Don’t You” by the Simple Minds plays in the background. But alas, John Hughes will never direct my love life.
And that’s okay, because you don’t need a cheesy 80’s movie, or flowers or a box of chocolates to rectify your existence. The only relationship that is most profound and truly crucial in your life is with yourself. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.