Here Lies Chivalry…
Chivalry is Dead and I Attended the Funeral.
If chivalry is dead, masculinity stood atop its grave, paraded its combat boots in circles around the soil, and stomped it down two extra feet. How do I know this? The last time I caught a glimpse of the brother, chivalry, it was circa 2005 and I was leaving Barnes and Noble. He opened the door for me, flashed a devilish smile, and then proceeded, after following me down two rows of the parking lot; to tell me my derriere was “fat.”
Chivalry, which is loosely defined as “courtesy to woman” is a suffocating art. Its ghost peeks from the empty first date Chinese food cartons, the soft hand bereft of a kiss, and the unopened car door handle grasped by a reluctant female. But I’m no fool. I know damn well how Chivalry met its demise. I’m no snitch, but I witnessed everything.
My eighteen year old cousin rushes home, pulls his debit card from his secret stash, and tries to race back to his hoopty parked outside my grandmother’s home. I grab his arm before he can make his exit making him aware that he’s missed my presence in his hurry. He says, “Sorry Riv! I don’t want to be late to pick my girl up from school and I need to grab money from the ATM so I can take her out to dinner tonight.” I smile and let him continue his fast pace run back to love. My cousin has it bad for his high school sweetheart. He presents her with gifts, showers her with kisses, and spends countless hours on the phone with her.
I’m astounded. Where are the men my age who exhibit the same behavior? Men: who want more than a DVD, some take-out, and move-making halfway through the first date. Where’s the romance? My question was soon answered by a text message a few months later.
“Cuz, she dumped me. She’s really gone.”
I sympathized with the angel on the other end of the line. The only love he’d ever known had taken the wings from his back and flown away. I told him to be strong, breathe, and take it one day at a time. However, slowly and surely I watched him wither into a person I didn’t recognize. He threw around misogynistic tale with his boys, played with the emotions of females who lingered near, and pledged to never settle down. It was within this moment I watched chivalry straddle a mountain, look toward the sky, and fall to his death.
The cycle of relationships and its dramatics leave our soldiers feeling far from avenged. My chivalrous and loving family member pulled himself back up, dusted the beauty of union from his shoulders, and started to fight an invisible war. In this war, women are objectified, ignored when they yell for their knight in shining armor, and dismayed when they let their rapunzel like emotions down for their “warrior” to see.
When our past decides to define us, we let it. Instead of spreading our horizons and soaring to a new height, we confine the possibilities and mask our sorrow. Chivalry is dead, all because one woman in “his” life turned her back. Before he walked to the cemetery, dug a six foot hole to encase himself in, and laid himself to rest; he failed to notice the thousands of women lingering on branches waiting for him to rise again.
By: Riva Flowz
(Not original Edge Photography used for post)