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Judging from this article, chivalry is still alive, although I wouldn’t exactly say it’s thriving.  I remember a time when men opened doors for women, pulled out their chairs for them, and yes, even stood when a woman entered a room.  My dad did that and still does and he tried to instill that chivalrous attitude in my brothers–although he was more successful with my older brother, Mike, than with my younger brother, Charlie.  I also remember him telling both of them that a man never hit a woman–or in this case boys didn’t hit girls.  One sure thing that would always get them in trouble was if they hit one of their sisters…

Well, except for the time Mike beat up my oldest sister, Cathy.  But she deserved it and my other sister, Christy, and I were more than happy to keep our mouths shut about it.  You see, Cathy was nothing short of a bully, picking on all of us and reigning supreme in a household with four kids younger and smaller than her.

That is, until the day when she picked on Mike, the third child, who’d finally had enough of her and had grown just enough to take her down.  It was a battle of epic proportions in our neighborhood, all the kids gathered around in a circle in our backyard, most of them cheering Mike on.  And when all was said and done, the Queen was on the ground and we had a new King.

After that day, Cathy was a lot easier to live with and she never challenged Mike again.  That’s not to say she didn’t still pick on the other three kids in the family, Christy, Charlie, and myself, we were, after all, smaller and younger than her, but she’d been knocked off her throne and we pretty much ignored her bids for supremacy after that.

As I think back on that day, I wonder where our mom was while all this was going on.  She had to have heard us shouting and cheering for Mike, but she never came outside to see what was going on.  Of course, our backyard was the place where all the kids in the neighborhood gathered to play and she probably thought we were just engaged in one of our games and went on with whatever she was doing inside.  Or maybe she knew what was going on and decided the time was right for Cathy to get a little come-uppance.

I don’t know but I do know that Mike was a much kinder “King” than Cathy ever was a “Queen.”

And that’s it for my little walk down memory lane except to add that I’d love to see some of the old ways come back.  Not just men acting chivalrous toward women, but women treating men with a little more respect too.  And while I’m at it, children need to respect their parents.  We could all do with a little more chivalry in our lives.

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

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