Gentlemen, I Apologize!

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Yes, I know for a fact there still are many of you left out there, although you are part of what appears to be a rapidly dying breed. To all of you who still open the door for us, who still offer us flowers on special occasions and not only, who still help us with our coat or hold the chair for us in a restaurant, who plan a romantic date and don’t suddenly remember they forgot to bring their wallet, to all of you who treat us with respect, appreciation and consideration, I offer a blanket apology. To all of you able and willing to make a woman feel like a lady, I apologize for all those times your kind gestures went unappreciated or scorned, thus pushing you towards overcoming your decent nature and good manners.

It can be a trialling time of year for any man wishing to show his love and appreciation for those important ladies in his life. Having barely survived Valentine’s Day’s trials and tribulations, now that spring is finally here, many of them have to deal with Mother’s Day and/or International Woman’s Day being celebrated in many places. It’s a murky pool of rules and shifting expectations out there and much as they may try, it seems that the kindest of intentions often turn against them. It’s not as simple as having good manners or being altruistic and generous anymore. Expectations vary from one woman to another and in a world of feminist tendencies, conservative needs and a variety of trends in between intertwining (often in the same person), it’s all about timing and intuition. Does she want/need/expect him to bring her flowers or open the car door or pay for dinner… or will she feel offended if he does any of the above, considering him a Neanderthal wishing to control her, treating her as an inferior, weaker creature rather than his equal? Or is she by any chance saying one thing and expecting another, in which case he needs to carefully anticipate exactly when, how and which rules may apply? None of this can be easy for them, so those of us expecting men to be gentlemen might occasionally have to stop taking such behaviour for granted and show some appreciation and understanding.

I used to think they have an easier time once they get to know the lady well enough in order to know what to expect and what she expects… but how many times have I been told they never really know what to expect from us and no matter how close they may be to us, we keep surprising them with our behaviour (and not always in a good way)?

The flowers hadn’t arrived. It was Valentine’s Day and her flowers and chocolates hadn’t arrived, so he was a bad, bad husband! Bad, inconsiderate, detestable man! But the flowers, chocolates and card had been ordered weeks ahead, the special day hadn’t gone unnoticed or forgotten, even if he had to be away for work. A thoughtful gift and a romantic dinner were going to follow when he got back home. Irrelevant! All of that was irrelevant, as was the confirmation email forwarded to her in order to prove the veracity of his good intentions. The delivery company had made a mistake, everything would get there the following day, but that was also irrelevant and he was still and awful creature who ruined her Valentine’s Day… because she had nothing to show off that day! Obviously, flowers are beautiful, chocolates are sweet, the sentiment is nice on that day alone and nothing else matters!

In case anybody expected this to be a teenager throwing a tantrum, I must add the story above involved middle-aged people married for well over a decade. If only this were the one situation of the sort I ever got to witness… I know the bad, bad man in question and while he certainly has his flaws, just like everybody else, he didn’t deserve any of that. It got me thinking – just how many men doing their best to be real gentlemen go through such experiences with those significant ladies in their life?

As a woman, I couldn’t help feeling somewhat small and petty… I keep feeling disgruntled and unfairly criticised when my gender is labelled materialistic, selfish, petty and ungrateful by men becoming irrational hysterics around various holidays and special occasions. I generally blame it on their unwillingness to be generous and understanding or on their poor choices in women, thus leading to frustration they spread around and for which they blame all womankind. After all, there are women looking just for what these men have to offer, so why should they bother with those of us wanting something else? Obviously, the situation is a lot more complex and the truth can no longer be denied – some of those men may have very well made significant efforts to be decent gentlemen, yet we ladies may have been exactly what convinced them it was not worth it.

Last, but not least, how about reciprocity?… Before turning men and their feelings for us into mere accessories we can brag about (although we complain bitterly if they treat us that way), we might want to take a moment and wonder if we actually offer something in return, thus justifying all those stellar expectations we often have… those very same expectations we blame them for not living up to… We are all guilty of occasionally taking for granted those people who care about us and who treat us well, but turning it into a way of life is something else. And since we were on the topic, Valentine’s Day (for instance) is a two-way street, we can and we should be generous and romantic as well – they may not look as delicate as we do, but that’s not to say they have no feelings, egos or insecurities. Oh… and apparently they might also have a sweet tooth, so it was brought to my attention that they might actually appreciate it if we shared those delicious chocolates they brought us. (Hmm… couldn’t I just offer a few roses? Pretty please? Asking me to share my chocolates with anyone is almost cruel… Oh well… that might be the ladylike thing to do, though…)

Therefore, I apologize to those of you, gentlemen we have been treated unfairly! But don’t give up on us or on that kind side of your nature. Just like you, we also make mistakes and once in a while, we even try to atone for some of those mistakes.

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10 thoughts on “Gentlemen, I Apologize!

  1. You did a fine job to clear a few things up. ‘Detestable man’ because things were delayed……Ah yes, perspective and patience are rather helpful.

    I’m smiling a bit, cause I just posted a few pics with a ‘sorry’ attached with commentary, and ladies were involved, but you are much broader here. Good stuff, and a referral from insanitybytes22 for the visit here btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just stopped by and read your post – I’m still smiling, great choice of pictures and comments to go with them 🙂 We are different and that’s good thing, I believe.
      Thank you for letting me know about the referral.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re being naive. You’re in the minority these days (if not a dying breed) in this feminist based world (at least in the United States and the Western Hemisphere). Your singular apology to all the gentlemen who have done this for women in the past means nothing to them now. And the newer generation of “gentlemen” do not subscribe to your conservative views. They, unlike the older generations, are more aware of how women really are and how vindictive they can be over the smallest of slights.

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    • I may be lots of things, but (unfortunately) naïve is not one of them. I simply chose not to punish people I will meet for the mistakes of those who hurt me in the past. I won’t venture a guess about men and women in the US, but I have travelled extensively in Europe (Western, Eastern, Southern and Northern) and I can tell you there still are decent women – and men, for that matter – of various ages. As for the new generations of ‘gentlemen’… I believe a man earns that this ‘title’, it isn’t simply cast upon him.
      Don’t get me wrong, I am not apologizing to all men out there or to the misogynists who choose to believe womankind hates them. I generically apologize to those who deserve it, even if they in their turn may have occasionally treated women in a less than ideal fashion. What can I say, if expecting a man to appreciate me and show it is conservative, then call me conservative 🙂
      Labeling an entire gender with extremist, biased statements doesn’t help anyone and if one chooses to do so, one should not be too surprised or offended if the opposite sex might also choose not to treat them too kindly.

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      • Ana, you’re gonna have to define “decent.” Decent means a lot of things to a lot of people.

        If there are any ‘decent’ folks left, of those few, I’m afraid that the vast majority of them have grown cynical to the dating scene. Realistic, if you prefer that word, since cynical is a lot more negative sounding and usually implies that one has given up on the idea that there are ‘decent’ women left that are worth dating and spending the time and money on.

        You know damn well what I mean when I refer to the word “gentlemen.” After all, you used that word over and over again in your blog post, assuming the audience knows what you’re talking about. 😉

        And this isn’t about expecting men to appreciate you. No. What you’re apologizing for is all the shitty women who have done wrong to men, including yourself, apparently. And you want a cookie out of that? No. A pat on the back? Goodness, no. The Lord knows what evils you’ve done to men in your very recent past and you try to make it seem like you’re above them, that you’ve never that done to men in the past. That you’re not like those other shitty women. That you’re the ‘exception to the rule.’ Please. Men, especially young men of today’s generation, are much more aware of the wiles of women and manipulative tactics that women use to shame men into ‘acting like a gentlemen.’ It’s a two-way street. You reap what you sow.

        And I don’t know where you got “labeling an entire gender with extreme biased statements” from but okay. I can’t stop you from your extremist views about me but all I did was point out that you sound gullible and that the men of today’s generation are more aware of how women really are, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If that’s extreme to you, then obviously you’ve been living in fantasy land for a very long time and still do, apparently.

        In any case, best of luck to you and your continued apologies to gentlemen everywhere. I’m sure they’ll turn over a new leaf and realize the error of their ways about women and put women back on the pedestal like they ‘deserve.’ =D

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        • Mea culpa, for a moment I forgot that women are the source of all evil in the world, while men are nothing but helpless saints, victims of our manipulative ways. 🙂
          I’m not trying to be the exception to any rule, I’m not trying to solve anybody’s issues with women, I don’t presume to know people I have never met and I certainly don’t believe one gender is better or inferior to the other.
          Thank you for sharing your views, but I believe our exchange should end here, as we clearly don’t share similar opinions and we are both set in our own ways.
          Have a nice day!

          Liked by 2 people

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