samedi, février 28, 2009

Rara avis

I had an anomalous experience a few days ago. I ran into a date with beautiful manners.

It was one of those aha moments that makes you wonder--why can't life always be like this?

That doesn't mean I'm slamming other potential dates for being cads, bumpkins or fit solely for auditioning for the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs."

Nor am I saying that the United States doesn't teem with rude women. I'm sure that there are a lot of them, too.

We live in a time in which politeness can seem old-fashioned. As I have also noted in the posts previous to this one, we live in one in which the Internet facilitates rudeness. I've found that some men are really a whole lot nicer in person than they are online.

So, back to this guy. After I had to cancel our lunch this week because Mr. C was ill, David called me to ask how the kid was doing.

When we finally met up for lunch, he greeted me with a large gerbera daisy (sadly, because the cat kept knocking over the vase in which it was put, the daisy is now doing duty as compost).

And he paid for my meal because, as he said, he had invited me.

Now this is a sensitive topic. Why should a guy, in these liberated times, offer to pay? I am usually pretty fast with the bills when the waiter or waitress stops with the tab.

But I have to admit that it really impresses me when a guy offers to pay the first time. I know that, down the road, I'll be making dinner, or buying a book, or the large tub of popcorn at the movies--but it makes me feel cared for.

I guess I'm not as egalitarian as I thought I was--those ol cavewoman genes are hiding in there somewhere.

After asking me if I could make it back to my car OK (we cavewomen are pretty good at tracking back on West Chester streets) David went back to work. As we said goodbye, I told him how impressed I had been by his gentility. "My mother must have raised me right" he told me.

He didn't respond to my "thank you" email until a day later--with a phone call to say that he was going on a second date with another woman.

I happily wished him the best, and returned to my work, grateful that I had experienced one date with a guy who exemplified the innate good manners of an age long gone--seemingly almost unnoticed.

Who knows? Politesse might seem tedious after a while-but I wouldn't mind a few other opportunities to find out.

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