Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why chivalry is not dead

I've been on two dates now with PDA guy (and I'm not talking Blackberry, if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge). He's different than anyone I've ever dated before; I'm not quite sure what to make of him. He paid for dinner both times, even though I offered several times to split it. When I leave the table, and then when I sit back down again, he does that half-standing thing. Do you know what I'm talking about? I never knew it existed in real life; I've only ever seen it in movies.

When I first met him a week ago, I walked in and saw him standing by the bar. I introduced myself, and scoping out the chair situation, saw two empty stools next to one with a bag on it; his, I presumed. I walked to an empty stool next to the bag, and he followed me there. Oh, sorry, I said, thinking that that must have been where he was sitting. I turned and walked to the next empty chair. He followed me there too, at which point I turned around and walked back to the first chair. This awkward dance went on for an uncomfortably long time, until I was flustered, slightly annoyed, and just wanting someone to sit the heck down, already. I only realized much later in retrospect that he was probably just trying to pull my chair out for me. But, I ask you, how was I to know?

Chivalry takes some getting used to, but I have to admit, it is kind of refreshing. So, he sounds really great so far, right? But there is one thing, though. One tiny little fly in the ointment. He's...the V-word.

Vegetarian. It's not that I have anything against vegetarians; they're perfectly lovely people. I just have no idea how to act around them. I find myself stressing over decisions like, is it ok to order a hamburger? If I order a hamburger, is it ok to ask for it rare? Should I get tofu when I really want chicken? Will he judge me??? Or I find myself saying things like, "Ok, so you know when you're eating a hot dog, and...oh, wait, no, of course not." For instance, not even five minutes after he told me he was a vegetarian, not even five minutes later, I found myself having this conversation:

"Oh, so you live in the South End? That's one area of Boston that I really never get to, but I'd like to sometime."

"Yeah, it's nice, I like it."

"I hear there's some really good restaurants there."

"Oh yeah, definitely."

"Like, um, The Butcher Shop? I hear that's really good." At this point I notice he's making a sort of strange face, and yet I forge ahead in confusion, as his face keeps getting stranger and harder to read. "Oh, I mean, I just heard...that it's...good...Is it...not...good? I mean, I've never been I just...OHHH...right..."

"Right, well it's just that it's know...meat-based."

"Right! Of course! Ha." And then I excused myself to rinse my mouth out after having gracefully extracted my foot from it. He started to half-stand up too. "Oh, do you have to go, too? I mean...oh. Right. Um, thanks?"

For some reason he still seems to like me. We'll see.


  1. On the first...oh...40 dates I had with my husband while he was only my "dating partner/boyfriend/friend who is a guy" I was totally weirded out by his chivalry. I was all, it's 2006, what's the deal? But it grew on me and I started to love it. And I love that his is still all chivalrous with me. And with all women, including our 5 year-old niece. It's a good thing. Try to go with it. The vegetarian thing, however? No way could I deal with that one!

  2. What I'm impressed by is that your "dating partner/boyfriend/friend who is a guy" of 2006 is your husband of 2007. Possibly there is hope for us all! :)