Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Speak Up

I love that he orders my dinner for me. It's an antiquated and long-abandoned act of chivalry that never fails to make me smile. I gave him the reigns on our first date, scanning the Japanese menu and admitting that I knew nothing about it. "Order for me," I requested, closing the menu and placing it gingerly on the well-laid table before me. I was pleased when he took the challenge. He asked if I had any aversion to anything in particular, then proceeded to tell the waiter what I'd have.

I told him once, many dinners ago, how much I love that he orders for me. He'd been ordering for me for a while at that point, and since I had never objected, he must've assumed I was comfortable with it. But there was a small amount of surprise on his face.

"You do?" he'd asked. "It doesn't make you feel weird at all?"

"No," I replied, setting my drink back on the table. "It makes me feel like a lady."

I know women who are offended if a man orders for her. Those same women are put off by opened doors and pulled-out chairs. I've never understood it. It makes me feel so cared for, so dainty. I like that I needn't speak up, that I don't have to pull my gloved hand from my coat pocket to open my own door, that my chair waits for me, its back cupped in a man's palm. It doesn't shout oppression to me. It murmurs respect and adoration. It tells me he values me, that he wants to treat me like a lady. And so few men do it any more. Either because the attempts they've made in the past have been denied, or because they were never instructed to so by their mothers and fathers, it's a charming move that has nearly died. I love that Billy keeps it alive.

At dinner on Sunday, before I headed to my house alone, we went to dinner. We looked over the menu and each announced what we'd be having for the night. When the waitress appeared, notepad in hand, Billy told the waitress that I'd have "the filet, medium rare," and I felt like we were on our first date. I smiled at my closed menu in front of me as he spoke, speaking up only when she asked me what I'd have to drink. Had I told him what I'd decided on prior to her asking, he would've spoken for me then, too. And I love it.


portuguesa nova said...

Also very cute, every time I'm at a restaurant with my friend's parents, the mom puts her cat-eye glasses on the tip of her nose, opens a menu, puts her hand on her husband's arm and says, "Okay, now, Dan, they have fish, chicken....oooooh, you really like that creamy pasta dish..."

He's perfectly literate.

So adorable.

God's gift to women (with really low standards) said...

Sometimes you run into the "I can open my own door, thank you..." That really sucks because then you have to fight the urge to backhand them. It's not that we, as guys, don't want to keep things like this alive, it's like you's denied a lot. Stupid feminists. I was never into the pulling out of chairs. It looks kinda stupid in the middle of McDonalds, but then again, maybe I should stop taking girls to McDonalds.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that at the end of your blog you clarified that you actually choose your own food and Billy only orders otherwise I would have been seriously worried. Nobody should ever decide what you eat unless you're 7.
Oh ya, please don't blame feminism for the end of chivalry. I'm under the impression that feminism is about equality rather than everyone being rude. Let me offer my apologies for the psycho bitches out there who don't appreciate a door being opened for them.
It sounds like Billy's what you want in a man and a partner and I think it's great that you found eachother.

God's gift to women (with really low standards) said...

I know. I just made that stuff up about feminists. I also made up the part about girls letting me take them places. (but I'm sure feminists are to blame for something.)