The last five years living in Southern California have created a void in my life — I don’t own any warm coats.
None. Nada. Zilch.
You may, or may not, know that we are in the midst of the Great Tropical Storm of Ought Eleven. Rain is coming down in bucketfuls.
And I don’t have a coat.
Another thing you may, or may not, know is that people from Seattle don’t use umbrellas. In fact, if you live in Seattle and use an umbrella you are viewed as a tourist. Real Northwesterners wear coats with hoods…and dodge the raindrops.
On a quick run to the store for more Fat Baby Milk (because Ezra cannot go to sleep without drinking at least two sippy cups full), I shivered in my light spring 3/4-sleeve jacket WITHOUT A HOOD.
Leaving the comfort of my heated-seat cocoon, I prepared to make a run for the glass sliding doors. Before I’d gone two steps, Elderly Gentleman came up behind me and held his umbrella over my head.
Somewhat surprised by the gesture — and the use of ma’am; am I old enough for ma’am? — I laughed and joked with Elderly Gentleman about my state of origin and our lack of umbrella usage.
“But, you’re a woman, and you should have an umbrella.”
By then we’d reached the door, and I thanked him for the use of his covering. As I headed towards the produce section, I realized how unintentionally rude I had been. Elderly Gentleman had given up his comfort for me, and I’d scoffed at it.
What is it in me that spurns courteous behavior? Why am I embarrassed by kind gestures? How come I can’t just accept it and say thank you?
I would not categorize myself as a feminist, but I think I need to take some lessons in being a lady.
Allow my husband to open the door to the car for me, instead of brushing it off as silly.
Welcome the assistance of my neighbor when he offers to help me when my arms are full, rather than joke about how I just got balanced.
Be grateful for the men who were brought up as gentlemen, and not ridicule them for the act.
They say chivalry is dead, but it might be because I killed it.