It’s economics. Supply should meet demand. I was reading my twitter feed the other night and noticed a few comments on the lack of chivalry in Toronto. This is the demand. I said to myself, “Self. Are these two lovely young ladies @stnabambina & @juliecgarcia right? Is there a problem around here? ”. Then I thought about it a little, and recalled some conversations I’ve had with single girls I know. It’s happened more than once. I’ve heard more than one young lady complain that dudes just aren’t doing the right things anymore. Supply is lacking.
Now in response, I of course tweeted that chivalry isn’t actually dead, just on life support with a DNR. Let’s hope that this little article will spread like wildfire and our patient chivalry will make a miraculous recovery. Like Doogie Howser MD kinda recovery shit. The kind that only a boy-genius who operated on dogs to impress girls can make happen. To help me out with this, I’m going to collaborate with a good friend, lovely lady, fellow Torontonian and current New York prose hustla Shannon McDizzle aka. @mcdeezthewriter. She’s convinced that they’re winning in the chivalry department. I hope she’s wrong, she usually isn’t.
This is how it’ll go: Tots is going to do a little Toronto. McDeez will do a little New York.
(Tots): Boys, Dudes, Men, and everything in between. Let’s first go through what chivalry isn’t. It doesn’t mean that you pay the bill every time. It doesn’t mean that you pick her up. It doesn’t mean that you need to throw your jacket over puddles. Although nice gestures, those aren’t the things that a modern woman in Toronto expects. They’re independent, they have careers and make their own dough, they sometimes know exactly what they want from you and will tell you exactly what that is – whether you want to hear it or not, machismo be damned. This is the age of the strong woman in Toronto. But just because they’re strong, doesn’t mean that you should ignore that they are a lady. The fairer sex has some needs, and while they are perfectly capable of fulfilling many without help from us, where they can’t we need to pick up the slack.
So what does chivalry mean today? Why is it so hard? I’m a people watcher guys, I wander the city, some say aimlessly. I’ve seen the err in our ways – notice I don’t say “your”, I say “OUR”. Bros, we’re in this together. We’re all working toward the same goal, Ludacris said it in one of the greatest one liners on an Usher collabo (come to think of it, maybe this collabo will generate a great one-liner somewhere between me and McDeez. I hope she does – no pressure. Tangent done).
So bros, don’t Barney Stinson and treat your ladies as potential victims – even if you’re not in it for the long haul (make no mistake, none of us here are naïve enough to think that every date/encounter is going to lead to long-term) you still need to do certain things to make sure that you get a good referral even if you don’t get the prize. Guess what, women talk. They will share the err of your ways with their friends, and their friends, and their friends. Man, women talk a lot. That’s your first hint in the game of chivalry. Listen. Actively. Don’t hear her. Listen to her. Remember when I said she’ll tell you what she wants? Your chivalrous duty is to listen. Maybe even do it. Not so hard is it? This is the key. It will unlock all kinds of locks, doors, chastity belts, and anything else you stick a key in. Listen to your woman. This is how you’ll get to know exactly what she expects from you.
While listening is key, there are a few things you should know and she shouldn’t HAVE to tell you. Rather than laundry list them, I’ll just give you a few mistakes I’ve seen made or made myself. Here goes:
- Walk on the curbside when you’re walking together. I know that your life and body are precious to you bro, and walking close to traffic is scary with the insane drivers, cabbies and cyclists in this city. But isn’t her body precious too? Isn’t that your goal? Protect your goal man. Don’t be stupid. Do it.
- Open the door for her. Not just the one to the bedroom. All of them. Cabs, Cars, Entrances etc… Failure to do so will likely prevent you from ever opening the bedroom door. Don’t be stupid. Do it.
- Be nice to her friends. Ladies have a harder time maintaining long term relationships with other ladies than men do with other men. They aren’t bros like we are. That said, they cherish their friendships with ‘the girls’. All ladies in Toronto have that crew they call ‘the girls’ – be good to them. Do the above 2 for ALL of them when you’re out together. Trust me, it will only work in your favor. Don’t be stupid. Do it.
Get it? Got it? Good. Now over to McDeez. I’m way interested in what she’s got to say. Aren’t you? You better be dummy, I just told you the importance of listening to ladies didn’t I?
(McDeez): Before I weigh in on the discussion of chivalry, let me oust any naivety you may assume I, and many other women, may possess. Listen fellas, we are fully aware that the goal of each and every one of you men is one in the same: there is one prize, one reward, one mountain to climb – and this proverbial mountain rests somewhere between my sneaker laces and my eyelashes. Whether women want to admit it or not, arriving at this destination is the ultimate goal for any and all women-loving men. I’m not mad at you for it, you are wired in a more animalistic way than we are and that’s not your fault. What frustrates me is the effort-lacking way in which you go about fulfilling your desires. The point of true chivalry is not about tricking us into giving ‘it’ to you, it is about showing us you’re worth giving ‘it’ to. And unfortunately it has been my experience that modern-day chivalry is lacking – especially in my hometown of Toronto.
Granted, I may have a skewed perspective since I was in a relationship for nearly three years before I quit life as I knew it and moved to New York City – where I have been single and mingling ever since. However, New York men have opened my eyes to the ways of the modern day gentleman that I have since realized my life had been somewhat lacking, prior to my relocation. Case in point: while on one of my first dates as a “new-to-New-York-er” last fall, I was walking down a busy street with my dude du jour when he gently grabbed my arm and guided me to the inside of the sidewalk as he walked curbside. The only other time I had experienced this phenomenon was years ago when I was dating, well, another New Yorker. I was familiar with this chivalry, but it had been so long I had forgotten about it. “Nice!” I proclaimed, giving him a verbal pat on the back for being what I call a ‘curbside guy’ – a dude who refuses to let a lady, friend or otherwise, walk closer to the street than he. I have been on a number of dates since then, sampling what the city has to offer me (tee hee), and I would say a good 80% of the men I have dated over the past year have been curbside guys. Not to mention door-opening guys, mannerly guys, and all around chivalrous guys that this city seems to be chock full of. Now don’t get me wrong, assholes run rampant in every city, but understanding and practicing chivalry will help impede the speed at which you go from zero to typical (read: you’re not getting any!). To my Toronto men whom I love and cherish, I am not here to hate on you. Consider me your Cyrano of Chivalry … because some of you damn sure need me in your life.
I am convinced that the same men who lacked any appreciation for chivalry are the ones who invented keyless-entry car doors. A quick click and you are liberated from the ‘hassle’ of opening your lady’s door first. Minus ten points for those who subscribe to this weak theory. Speaking of technology, during a recent ladies-only round table on this very topic, we determined that an actual phone call (remember those?) h
as become the modern day version of old school romance. I am guilty of texting more than I call, because I am all about productivity, however receiving a “hey, just wanted to say hi and have a great day hun!” phone calls is the breath of fresh air between the normal barrage texts, emails and Facebook notifications that you have ‘liked’ one of my photos. Take 90 seconds out of your day and blindside your lady love with an actual real hello – minimal effort, maximum results!
Although male intentions transcend cities, countries and continents, New York men (well, a lot of them) seem to just grasp concepts of chivalry much more that my Smoke City dudes (in my experience). When it comes to Toronto dudes, I am convinced there is perhaps a piece of the puzzle missing in terms of the way some men are socialized. I have asked the curbside guys why this custom is so common in New York and so foreign to a little ole’ Torontonian like me. Their answer: ‘I don’t know, my father taught me well I guess’. So guys, surprise your lady and act like you are the king of the curbside. Don’t just push the door open behind you enough so she can squeeze through if she hurries, make it a point to walk ahead of her, pull the door and stand and wait as she happily walks through (what’s in it for you? Oodles of points and a chance for you to inconspicuously check out her assets!). Paying for a meal is great too, but it will be the teeny tiny yet oh-so-thoughtful gestures such as the aforementioned that will give you a unique value proposition, allowing you to stand out from the competition in a woman’s eyes. And Tots’ point on listening is key – and not just listening in the way that you are waiting for us to stop talking, giving you a chance to jump in and turn the conversation back to you (ugh, I dated a dude like this in recent history – please note the past tense). Really listen. A woman worth the effort will have interesting things to say that extend far beyond bitching about a co-worker or the great Louboutin vs. Jimmy Choo debate of who makes a sexier stiletto (shame on you one-layered broads who think men give a damn about any of this. Pick up a book. Have an opinion!) There is no standard form of chivalry, the above stated are just examples of how to execute. The keyword in the process is THOUGHTFUL – act thoughtfully and listen thoughtfully. Resuscitate the nearly extinct art of chivalry and trust me, we will thank you in the ways you are hoping to be thanked!
Thank youuuuu McDeez!! Now I want to make one quick comment before we wrap this thing up. Shannon and I wrote our parts independently first before wrapping up in this neat little package for you. Yet curbside walking and door-opening & listening/being attentive made it into both? Dudes, step it up. Ladies, you deserve no less.
So that’s it ya’ll. Chivalry in Toronto isn’t dead, it’s only in critical condition. It can be saved. Do the right things. You read them TWICE up above. Don’t be stupid. Do it.
PS: In case you missed it, this piece was complete with NPH references. Why? Because he’s dope. Thatisall.
PPS: Thanks again to @stinabambina & @juliecgarcia for callin’ it all out to begin with!