Friday, October 30, 2015

28 "Quaint" Behaviors of a Modern Gentleman

Earlier this week, I posted this image on my personal Facebook page. The answer, obviously, is a gentleman walks on the outside. Why? Well, it’s clearly an out-dated reason, but before paved roads, carts and horses and even early automobiles traveling would often kick up dirt and mud and water. Ladies wearing dresses would get muddy if they walked on the outside. (That can still happen.) Also, before indoor plumbing, maids who worked in apartments and homes would often toss the contents of chamber pots from windows. Those contents would typically fall away from the building toward the outside of sidewalks. Again, a gentleman would allow a lady to walk on the inside to avoid the possibility of such a horror.

In my experience, my friends and family who are women have appreciated the little things that I try to do to be chivalrous and gentlemanly, regardless of whether or not the action is outmoded. I was surprised when a number of my platonic female friends (PFFs) on Facebook took exception to this example of gentlemanly behavior as condescending. Other of my PFFs and, frankly, I disagreed. I not only think that behavior that is generally considered gentlemanly is not only polite behavior in a world that seems to be increasingly rude and indecorous, but it also demonstrates the respect I have for the lady in my company.

Here are a few contemporary and, perhaps, old-fashioned behaviors that I think would generally be considered gentlemanly:

1) A gentleman opens a door for a lady.
2) A gentleman has good grooming habits.
3) Regardless of how a couple meets, whether on Tinder or at a local café, a gentleman courts a woman.
4) A gentleman is on-time.
5) A gentleman stands when a lady enters a room.
6) A gentleman doesn’t use his phone (talk, text, surf the web) during dinner.
7) If, in the case of an emergency, like for a single dad whose children are home, a gentleman explains to his partner the situation and asks permission to use his phone.
8) A gentleman gives up his seat.

9) A gentleman helps a lady with her coat.
10) A gentleman makes reservations.
11) In a business environment, a gentleman waits for a lady to extend her hand first before offering a handshake.
12) A gentleman is polite to service staff.
13) A gentleman picks up the tab.
14) A gentleman asks a lady’s opinion.
15) A gentleman pays attention to detail.
16) A gentleman offers sincere compliments.
17) A gentleman does not use profanity in the company of women or children.
18) A gentleman says, “Please” and “Thank you.”
19) A gentleman gives his coat to a lady if she’s cold.
20) A gentleman does not put his elbows on the table.
21) A gentleman is kind to animals.
22) A gentleman keeps his word.
23) A gentleman does not “kiss and tell.”
24) A gentleman never, ever, strikes a woman. Ever.
25) A gentleman defends his lady’s honor.
26) A gentleman picks up a lady at her home.
27) A gentleman walks a lady safely to her door. And, yes . . .
28) A gentleman walks on the street-side of the sidewalk.

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I’m certainly that some readers will find my list quaint and other may consider the behaviors condescending toward women. Well, I don’t. In a society that seems to be increasingly uncivil, where professional athletes regularly seen on video physically abusing their female partners and politicians photograph and text pictures of their genitals to women as a part of contemporary courtship, I think gentlemanly behavior is more important than ever.

While no one is perfect, I think a man should strive toward gentlemanly behavior. And, if I’m in your company and you find my overtures of respect patronizing, please politely let me know that you’d prefer to open your own car door, pull out your own chair, and go “dutch” for dinner. As a gentleman, I’ll respect that.

Friday, October 23, 2015

More Great Single Dad Memes from The Single Father's Guide Blog


True dat.

Siggy's my man.

The Favorite Son loves zombies and cats, so here's this.

I know.

Afraid this is probably accurate.

Be that dad.

If you're a reader of The Single Father's Guide Blog and you're a father, you'd better be "A Real Man."

Experience, sadly, tells me this is the case.

If this is ever your answer call a cab or call me. For Pete's sake, don't drive.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Chase Utley Slide: The Matter with Professional Sports

I know that I won't make a lot of friends among New York Mets' fans, especially now that the Mets will advance to the National League Championship Series without their shortstop, but the Chase Utley slide into second base, a play in which Ruben Tejada's leg was unfortunately broken, was not a dirty play. It was something called, and get this, baseball.

There was a time, not too long ago, when professional sports leagues operated with unwritten rules within the context of those that were codified. Here are a few:

  1. If your pitcher hits one of my players, then my pitcher will hit one of your players. (Baseball)
  2. If your wide receiver thinks he can run a post pattern on my defense, then my defensive back will hit him high while he's turned back for the ball. (Football)
  3. Forwards establish dominance in the paint by rebounding with elbows out; if an opposing player doesn't want a black eye, he'd better stay clear. (Basketball)
  4. If your middle infielder doesn't clear the base on a double play turn, then my runner will take him out. (Baseball)
  5. Need a change in game tempo or did one of your best skaters get cheap-shot checked? Goon, go start a fight. (Hockey)

After 11 years in the NFL, Barry Sanders retired at 31.
It was also an unwritten rule that professional athletes would give a few years to as many as a couple of decades of high salary and the best table at a restaurant for a little bit of glory and a lifetime of knee problems and other physical ailments. There are a few notable exceptions, however, including Oklahoma State University Heisman Trophy winner and Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, who retired from the National Football League (NFL) at the height of his career, healthy. Smart guy.

Anyway, that's all changed, I think, for two reasons. First, the lawyers got involved. The first notable example of the lawyerization of sports was the class action suit, for which San Diego Chargers' linebacker was the "poster child," filed on behalf of former NFL players who sustained concussions during their playing career. Referring to the previous paragraph, an NFL player who expects to avoid a concussion during his career is like a swimmer who doesn't expect to get wet. Players have always known that they'd get their "bell rung," and it was a trade-off that any reasonable person would have expected.

The lawsuit has resulted in many changes the NFL, like moving up the kick-off to reduce the number of returns, outlawing clean hits to the upper part of a ball carrier's body, and the hitting a defenseless player, like the wide receiver running a post pattern. For me and many others, it's made the actual game almost unwatchable, not because there isn't violence in the game, but because an important dimension of the game strategy and gamesmanship is gone. That in turn, has resulted in the advent of quasi-gambling fantasy football like Fan Duel and Draft Kings. Having money on players and on games is the only way to make the NFL watchable.

Seriously, the gals who are Cubs fans are the cutest
in all of baseball.
Other major sports, like baseball, hockey, and basketball have realized that the largest, and perhaps, only market growth that remains for the Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Basketball Association (NBA) are women. Don't get me wrong, there aren't many things more sexy than a woman who is passionate about sports, but I think the major sports' market research has determined that their growth market may not fully appreciate the gamesmanship involved in a hockey fight, an elbows-out rebound, or a hard slide into second base.

All of this brings me back to Chase Utley.

Chase Utley is an crusty, old-school baseball player. From what I've seen, considering some of the silver-spoon crop of baseball players, whose names I won't mention here, who get themselves into a snit every time a pitcher tries to establish the inside corner, Utley is a dying breed.

Baseball player, Chase Utley.
Look, I don't want anyone to get hurt. I didn't revel in Joe Theisman's broken leg or Junior Seau's concussions. Neither did anyone else, I'm sure, but there is risk in everything but, particularly, professional sports. We watch because the athletes who play do things we can't and take risks we won't, like standing 60' 6" away from a man throwing a small sphere 95 MPH very close to where another man is standing.

Did Chase Utley intend to slide hard into Ruben Tejada? Yes. Did Utley intend to hurt Tejada? Absolutely not. Utley's a baseball player and, I'm pretty sure, he respects the game and other players. What did Utley do wrong? Nothing. He was playing baseball.

So, Mets fans, stop whining. Enjoy real baseball while it lasts.

At the same time, Utley knows damned well that the next time the Mets face him, regardless on which team's roster he's playing, at some point a Mets' pitcher will throw at him. Utley knows it. When the pitcher hits him, I'll wager that Utley'll clench his jaw, shake it off, and run down to first.

Friday, October 9, 2015

To My Daughter at Her Sorority Initiation

On Tuesday, my beautiful daughter was initiated into the Kappa Delta Sorority at the University of Missouri. The Sorority asked parents as well as other family and friends to write a letter to the initiates on the special occasion. After the initiation, the new members receive the letters and read them. This was my letter.


October 6, 2015

Dearest Jordan Lynn:

On your path, you’ll see many milestones. Some, you’ve already overtaken, like getting your driver’s license, graduating high school, and acceptance to the university of your choice. Down the road, you’ll see and pass other milestones, like college degrees, your first professional job, perhaps even a committed relationship, children, and more. Today, you embrace another one of those milestones.

If our lives are like roads that wind through mountains, you’ll see breathtaking views. When you see that beauty, take the time to appreciate it. When you travel through dark valleys, be brave and continue to move forward. Those valleys may be beautiful in their own way, but they may also help you appreciate the mountains. As you move forward, you’ll very likely not see those same mountains and valleys again. Still, they exist. Even though you can’t see them now, they’re there. They’ve always been there.

As you travel and achieve those things that are important to you, know your family and friends are with you. We may be physically present or we may not. Still, some may no longer be here, in the present, to share and celebrate your milestones; know that those people are still there. Like that mountain you’ve passed, those people still exist. Though you can’t see them now, they’re there. They’ve always been there.

So, as you celebrate this special milestone today, initiation into Kappa Delta – Epsilon Iota Chapter. There is one thing I’ve always wanted for you, and that’s happiness. Congratulations. Know also that not only is my heart and my love with you today and every day, you can rest assured that your mother is there with you today, as well. She’s there, Princess. She’s always been there.



Friday, October 2, 2015

It's The Seasons of Hope 2016 Calendar, Baby

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
(Don't tell me about the labor. Show me the baby.)

A winner of a Bronze Medal at the Living Now Book Awards, the Seasons of Hope 2016 Calendar creates breast cancer awareness, fosters prevention, and inspires hope. A portion of the proceeds will be used to benefit the Brian Ahearn Children's Fund.

Order yours today.