I went out with my family and my young nephew to Cici’s last night on Valentine’s Day and noticed that there were quite a lot of couples there. We were there because a young boy loves nothing more than a buffet full of pizza for a treat and we all went to be with him and his mother. It was not a date, but a valentines outing. I was a bit disappointed, thinking to myself how upset I’d be if my man insisted on taking me to Cici’s for my valentines day dinner, as a date and not a family outing. Now there are many men who don’t make enough money to take their lady to a fancy restaurant, but certainly they know that a good and romantic, candle-light, home cooked meal can’t cost anymore than Cici’s and is much more heartfelt! I would respect that more than a man who would take a woman out to a cheap dinner. It is horrendous that subway now has a commercial showing guys taking their prom dates to subway for dinner! I would just as well go alone than submit myself to that. Prom is supposed to be a formal and special occasion, warranting something more than fast food.
This is just the tip of the iceberg however. I miss the times when it was the norm for a man to open a woman’s door. It was considered rude if a man didn’t remove his hat inside a building (unless of course it was a building for home improvement or something, like Lowes.) But nowadays men never remove their hats. Once that thing is on their head for the day, apparently it is there to stay. When I went to a youth basketball game at a church the other day I noticed several men with their hats still on. Now I know its a game, but it is inside a church, and I would have thought that a church building would warrant a hat removal. Apparently not.
Taking your hat off is a symbol of baring yourself to the world. Removing your hat exposes your head and all that you are to the world. You are exposing yourself to God, and to the people of the world. With that hat on, you are insisting that there is something to hide. Perhaps you are embarrassed of your hair or the absence thereof. There is no need to be. Women like all different types. The fact that you are unashamed to bare your head and your face to the world shows that you are proud of yourself and that you are confident in who you are. Hats are normally used (by men) for a function. Either they keep their head warm, protect them from the sun, or so on, but inside a building there is no need for this, thus the hat should be removed.
Personally I was always one to go with tradition because I have always been a firm believer that tradition shouldn’t die, that it was started for a reason, and that it is a sign of respect for the past if nothing else. But here is some history on it, courtesy of eHow.
Men removing their cranial adornments was originally done by knights to show the king or queen that there was no intention of harm from the knight, as well as to show a mutual trust that the king or queen would not slay the knight upon removal of the helmet. It has been around for centuries. It was also viewed as a sign of chivalry and respect to women to take it off when a woman was present.
In the south, there is an old tradition of a man tipping his hat at a lady. I always assumed this was a new form of removing a hat in a ladies presence because of the fact that, unlike ancient times, women are everywhere and everyplace men are (for the most part) and taking it off every time a woman passed would be a hassle. The tradition didn’t die however, it just morphed to accommodate the new and changing times. Tipping your hat at a lady involves grabbing the bill (if there is one) and nudging it down on your face just slightly while lowering your head in the direction of the woman. If there is no bill you do the same thing just grabbing at a pretend bill.
Removal of the hat shows that a man can honor tradition and honor those around him without fear of persecution. If someone pokes fun, simply reply that it is tradition and hold your head high. The trend will catch on, just like it does with everything else. The harlem shake started somewhere, afterall.
Another thing that bothers me is how some of the traditions of etiquette in the presence of a lady were so honored but have been lost in time. Not that long ago, men were expected to pay for dates, stand when a lady was about to sit down at a table, open the ladies doors, tip the hat, give the lady his jacket if she was cold, etc. Most of these traditions seem to have faded with time and I personally view it as a tragedy. Again I always find that a man who is masculine enough to honor the more fragile sex is worthy of honor himself.
Prom time came and went last year, but there was one thing I did notice that stood out to me above all else. I witnessed two couples walking into a restaurant and the two men were walking in front of the two women, and when they opened the door, the men let it close in the women’s faces. If I was one of those ladies, I would have turned around and walked back to the car until my date could learn some manners! I would never have let that happen. My friends were astounded when I told them that I didn’t pay for dates. I dated men who respected me enough as a woman and had enough honor as a man to pay for the dates, including buying the prom tickets.
I always thought that the older generations would respect these honored traditions more than the newer generations but I have recently found that to be all wrong when I noticed an older man knock me in Walmart trying to get by in a hurry, and he didn’t even have the courtesy to say “excuse me, miss.” But that same day, when I was walking into a convenience store a young man held the door for me and when hearing my “thank you” replied with a wonderful “yes ma’am!” Chivalry is not dead!
The old tradition of standing when a woman entered the room is a bit much nowadays when restaurants and libraries are constantly getting new customers and patrons, etc. However, I still find it very honorable when a woman starts to sit at a table and a man stands up to welcome her. I love it even more when a man pulls out the chair for his date to sit in. This is another old sign of respect that has faded over time and is sorely missed, at least by me.
These, again, are just the humble thoughts of a traditionalist, but perhaps there are more women out there who think that men should still honor women in these simple yet effective ways. Women, we are the fairer sex, who will bare the children, we deserved to be honored! Stand up for yourselves. Men… to those of you out there who still have these manners, I respect you. You are the “street wise Hercules” who will fight “the rising odds.” Bonnie Tyler and the world salute you.
P.S. In case any of you were wondering here is the song by Bonnie Tyler, “I need a hero.” I usually have a different vision when I hear the song than the music video portrays, but to each woman her own!
And here’s a commercial from the 80s that uses that song!