Chivalry Isn’t Dead
When I was pregnant the first time I noticed something rather pleasant the bigger I got: the men around me got more chivalrous. Not just my husband – although he did step up the “taking care of my Little Lady” routine a little – but my male coworkers and even men who I didn’t know started treating me much differently. It was as if every man I encountered was just waiting for a chance to help me. It was a weird feeling, probably because at 5’8″ I’ve never really been very good at faking the whole helpless female thing, but I actually liked it a lot when it started to happen.
The first instance I noticed was when I walked into a store. A man I didn’t know held the door for me, which isn’t that peculiar, but he sprinted to get the door for me and actually made a hand gesture for other people to wait while I waddled through.
A month later I was at work and the copier had a paper jam. Usually individual employees were responsible to clear the jam and get everything back into working order, but the second I got on my knees to try to pull the paper out a swarm of male employees showed up. “Here, let me help you up!” “I’ll take care of this.” “Why don’t you go take a break while we fix this?” It was as if I had slipped through a vortex into an alternate reality where the men took care of everything because they cared, and not because they wanted to be condescending or belittle women.
It’s an enchanted place indeed.
When my second pregnancy came along I got so huge that everyone – male and female – helped me a lot. I miss a few things about being pregnant, like feeling little kicks and knowing that my body was growing a human being, but I also miss the chivalry that I encountered as a pregnant woman.