Monday, July 16, 2007

A Lesson In Chivalry


So, I don't really do the helpless female thing very well. Some friends I know have it down to a science. CoughcoughKatrinacoughcough. (Don't worry, I love you just the same!).

It seems to me, though, that guys love that sort of thing. They just eat it up, since they feel so important when us women need their help. I just have never been able to pull it off with any sense of credibility or sincerity. Really, most of the time, for the stuff that people see, I'm really not that helpless. I've pretty much been on my own & independent since I was 16, so I've had to learn to fend for myself, and independence can really put a damper on coy flirting.

Whenever I have felt helpless, and truly desirous of a man's help, well there tend to be none around, and I end up, out of force of necessity having to change that tire/move that treadmilll/fix that cable/push that car all on my own. It's not that I don't want the help - I want it so very much. It's just that, well I'm convinced guys never think I need it, and so it's never really offered.

But last night, I had a moment of true female helplessness. Hallelujah, it was like Haley's Comet, coming around only once every 80 years!

So I was over at a friend's house. Said friend who, in an earlier post, was indicted for dumping me quite unscrupulously. All is forgiven though, and we've gone on to hang out, as friends, with enough of a moderate amount of attraction to at least keep things lively & entertaining, if not enough to actually date each other.

In any case, I had gone over a bit late, and was pretty tired from being at church and with friends all day. The glass of whisky he poured me didn't really do much to wake me up either. So, we hung around, having a nice evening, and then around 1:30, when he dropped a (not so) subtle hint, I got up to leave. I gathered my purse, and put on my adorable patent leather sling backs, and walked myself (dealbreaker #1) to the car. As I was walking out, I tripped on a rock, twisted my left ankle, landed hard on my right knee, spilled my purse out all over the pavement and pretty much flashed the entire empty parking area a lot of leg. As I sat there, humiliated, frustrated, tired and did I say frustrated, I started to cry. My knee hurt, and I could tell, even in the dark, that it was bleeding.

So, what did I do? Did I go home, knee bleeding, achy, crying and irritated, as I should have? As any independent, self respecting girl would have? No, in a brief fit of female helplessness, a real cry for chivalry and help, I hobbled back to his apartment, knocked lightly, and then stared up at him like a puppy dog when he answered the door. As he stood there, in his pajamas, I managed to quietly sob out "I fell, and I skinned my knee. Can I come in and wash it off?"

Now here's where the scenario starts to play out a little differently in my head. In the Bizzaro world of opposites, where everything is backwards, he actually would have been a hero. A real knight in shining armor. And he would've helped me. He would have led me to a chair, and went & got a wet towel, and knelt down and gently wiped off my knee for me, asking me if I was ok.

But in the real world, in a universe where, I'm convinced, real manners are a thing of the past, and only previous generations of men knew how to treat women as they desire, well things went a lot differently, and quickly downhill at that. He just stared at me, as I stood in the doorway, and then after a moment said "Yeah, come in. You can use the main bathroom". So I limped up the hallway, to the main bathroom, and sat, as gracefully as possible on the sink counter. Then I unraveled a bit of TP, and ran it under the faucet, and began to wipe at my knee as gently as I could, all the while with an audience. An audience that just watched me, and then, in a really not so smooth move, blurted out "Well, that's what happens when you wear dresses and heels all the time".

Really? Really, that's what you say to a wounded female, sitting bleeding in your bathroom? You insult her sense of style and femininity, as she's bleeding from a major joint? Really?? Because, wow, seriously, that's not the right answer. Although, I should add, in his defense, he did pull some Neosporin and a painfully small band-aid out of a drawer for me.
Needless to say, at that point I sucked it up, apologized for the inconvenience, and made my way out the door, making sure not to let it slam me in the ass. Then I went home, wounded knee, wounded pride and all. Urgh!

Now I know I'm a klutz. I know that I tend to wear shoes, that by Minnesota standards, are a bit impractical at times. What can I say? I grew up in Los Angeles, where we can get away with that kind of frivolity and call it class. As for the clumsiness - I have no excuse. To know me is to buy me Shout Wipes, and love me, hopefully. But please, as I'm hurting and bleeding on your counter, please don't insult me and then leave me to fend for myself, when I'm trying, really really trying, to be a woman here.

I just want to be something I'm not. Helpless. Coy. Flirtatious in a way that makes men want to rescue me. I'm not however, really, any of those things. Yeah, I'm confident, and strong, and capable and really want to help people who need it. Does that mean though, that in the rare times where I truly am a damsel in distress, that I deserve to get treated the same as every other day? I hope not. I want my moments. They feel good. Because, really, it does feel good to have a guy come to my rescue. Not that I know from much personal experience, but really, short of bodily injury, a girl can dream, right?

1 comment:

me again... said...

LOL!!! fun night...you should've just slapped him....women can do that :)
in fact many women back in the olden days slapped even the most Chivalry-ist kinda guys in those old movies! lol