“On The Third Day Chivalry Rose Again” or “Someone Get Me A Medic!”

by Nomes

It has recently (as well as not so recently) come to my attention that chivalry is not so much dead as has had a really long month of binging and just woke up with an array of unfortunate new tattoos on it’s rear-end and face, as well as a rainbow mohawk on its head and perhaps a toe or two missing…and a slight heroine addiction. So it’s not dead. Just a little confused and sickly and emaciated in oh so many ways…

My need to speak about this comes from a not unusual situation: Guy starts chatting you up on the subway to Brooklyn (from Manhattan). At first it’s friendly/curious/a little too smiley (*insert raised eyebrow here*) chatter about your Spider Solitaire game, then it’s chatting about being from Canada, travelling and the educational system in North America as well as the positive socio-economic and cultural repercussions of the economical crisis on certain Brooklyn neighbourhoods. Yep. That was my 11pm MTA conversation on my last night in NYC, folks. Life.

So naturally he offers me his number and the next time I’m in town I should call him up. Me: “I make no promises…” Him: “I don’t expect any.” Friendly chatter, goodbyes, followed by a hilarious walk home through a slightly-less-“affected”-by-the-economical-crisis, neighbourhoud of Brooklyn… Sidebar, I have to describe that situation:

Guy on the street corner with friends (being closely watched by a cop on the opposite street corner) “How’s it going Becky!”

Me:….

Guy: Katie!

Me:…..

Guy: Jessica! Cassandra? Savannah! Julie! Carolyn? I’m trying to guess your name, here! (said in a completely genuine manner)

Me: *bursting out laughing at his impressive attempts and gesturing for him to keep trying as I keep walking*

Guy: Linda? Sarah! Kayla! Ok. Good night Becky!!! Well… at least I made you smile!

Me: Yes you did!  *and I’m unable to stop chuckling the whole way back*

Legit lovely….Maybe you had to be there. But I digress.

So here’s where my hesitation comes to play. If I call this guy from the subway up (which at first I was like.. “No. I will not.” But after our lovely and interesting chat, I thought… Maybe! A cool guy, potential friend!) then what are the implications? If a guy buys you a drink or two. If a guy buys you dinner. If a guy offers you a piece of chocolate. If a guy gives you his number and you want to call him up to hang out the next time you’re in NYC. What is expected of emancipated women of the 21st century? I call upon you: Feminism? St-Agatha? Madonna? Lady Gaga? SOMEBODY HAVE AN ANSWER?

It has been my guilty-white-girl attitude to offer a kiss in exchange for a (very expensive) dinner even if I’m not feelin’ the love (if you will). Should it be my policy to show an ankle when a guy holds the door for me? I mean give a guy a smile on the street and he might just offer you a good ol’ stalking, complete with creepy-voiced “compliments”. So you gotta gauge it, sure, but…

My question is, whatever happened to chivalry? Those 1950s days when a boy would chase a girl around (and hopefully sing a song or two along the way) in order to woo her into letting him hold her books. When holding hands made your heart go pitter-patter and sharing a soda didn’t mean you were gonna spread your legs for him later on that evening.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ol’ modern world and wouldn’t have loved living in the 50s… I don’t think. All I’m saying is: is it just me? Or are we expected to “give back” to the chivalrous (mohawked and hangovered) man or else suffer the wrath of being called a “cold, manipulative bitch” and add to our already besieged self-esteem/self-worth struggles and confusions. Men, why?

So where do we draw the line? Can we be emancipated women of the 21st century and still expect a gentleman to pay for dinner? Is it rude of me to think that he is rude if he doesn’t offer to pick up at least the first check. (Rules on this vary, but I do believe that if he asks you out on the date, he should probably offer to pay. Sue me!)

Ok now after that date: If you’re not sure of the vibe, I mean it was a good meal, you chatted for hours even though it felt strained at times but maybe it was because you were nervous, I mean he’s really cute…. do you kiss the guy? (asks the 14 year old girl to Cosmo Girl’s advice column…)

What about out at a bar/club… the most UNCHIVALROUS PLACE OF THEM ALL. Where Chivalry goes to die by flaying followed by drowning in a vat of pure alcohol. IS it unchivalrous of us ladies to accept a drink or several from a young “gallant”, knowing full well that though we may dance (even that is questionable) we will most definitely not makeout with you on that dirty dance floor? Is it not more unchivalrous for the young man to insist on grinding (…how ELSE are you gonna dance? RIIIIGHT?!…sigh*) because he GOT you a DRINK!

Me: Hey man. You offered the drink. Who am I, poor student/struggling actor to say no? WHO?!

Funny story: this can sometimes backfire, as my friend experienced on our most recent outing to a slightly scuzztastic (but cheap drinks!) bar for a friend’s birthday. The guy buys her a drink. He is slightly unfortunate. She accepts it nevertheless. He starts to “dance” with her. She declines. He actually takes the drink back from her hand after she had taken a sip. Her: ….

PROOF that drinks are the new currency for luck in the bedroom. The Dance Floor: Meat Market in a new and even more literal way than ever. Now who’s to blame for this unfortunate mathematical equation? The emancipated “emerging female adult” is one of the culprits, that is for certain. Gosh darn it but we crave the attention, don’t we ladies? I mean we all love to go out dancing, get some drinks bought for us, maybe flirt with a guy or two, harmless fun. Some girls hope to find the man of their dreams there. Some girls do. Most will not. In any case we are partially to blame for this. But as in love, lust and disgusting bar behaviour (DBB for short) are a two way street. Two two way streets? An intersection?

So again, I ask. Where do we draw the line? Granted the men who have been less gentlemanly in the past, have mostly been very drunk and oh so young, but was this behaviour not indoctrinated into their sober brains? Cause the idea has to come from somewhere! Let’s not kid ourselves, alcohol doesn’t make stuff up, it just loosens up the already present urges and moral beliefs. So who’s the jerk who’s spreading the news about the dance floor and other such areas? The idea that girls are only there to let loose AND WILL “DANCE” WITH ANYONE IF HE’S FORCEFUL (doesn’t take no) ENOUGH (points towards the bedroom will be attributed with any drink purchased). LET THE GAMES BEGIN! *bell tolls 11pm*

THAT BEING SAID!!! I would like to say, that some bars are worse than others and that chivalry still exists in beautiful moments such as :

The guy from Manchester who not only paid for my cab ride home but accompanied me all the way home to make sure I was fine. Not forceful AT ALL, he said goodnight (after I gave him a grateful peck) before taking that same cab all the way back to his hotel. No guilt trip. No muss. No forceful exchange of numbers. Thank you, wherever you are!

or

The guy (and his friend) at that same scuzztastic bar which was previously mentioned, who kept offering to buy drinks for me and whoever couple of friends I happened to be dancing with at the time. Strings unattached. In fact we were the ones who invited them over earlier, to buy our Birthday Girl friend a drink and insisted they stick around. Cool guys for the win!

or

The guys who offered me a ride home cause I was wearing a cool hat (there were also girls in the car or I would never have accepted. Also they were from Ottawa and quite sober) and even though they kept saying I should go to the club with them, and I adamantly refused time and time again, they were totally cool with dropping me off closer to home.  *shrug* Cool guys for the win x 2!

So there are some cool people. There are some wonderful guys out there. And to those men, I say thank you. Thank you for offering a girl a good time without the bitter after taste of a scuzzy and guilt-tripped roll in the metaphorical hay. To those other men and to the girls who encourage them… don’t. Just don’t.

Final words of wisdom: Men, here are 3 simple rules to follow whilst drunk, sober or otherwise…

1. Know how to read the signs. 2. Don’t be a creep. 3. Class will get you everywhere and crass will get you STDs. **CLASS OVER CRASS PLEASE!**

So say we all. 😉

Nomes-out

On a similar note, here’s a little tip from our favourite Jenna Marbles on how to get a guy to remove his groin from your hiney (and other unfortunate interactions you may suffer):

Worst Breakup EVER!

by PenRei

A few days ago, my friend J (she’s so cool that just a letter will suffice) in Vancouver told me the worst breakup story I have ever heard. It happened to her friend and whoever she is, my thoughts go out to her. It is so bad, that I wondered if the guy may have been borderline sociopathic. No, it didn’t involve someone dying, but it was still bad.

This girl, we’ll call her Rebecca, met a nice young man we will name Tony. They hit it off and began dating. Things appeared to be going well and before she knew it, a few months had gone by. It wasn’t the perfect relationship, but that’s okay since relationships are never perfect. Still, it was mostly good and Rebecca was happy.

After a while, Tony stopped contacting Rebecca. He cut her out of his life cold turkey without so much as a brief explanation, or even the courteous breakup conversation. She was so confused! What happened? It didn’t even end with a fight or a misunderstanding. There was no indication that a breakup was up ahead. Two weeks went by and still no word.

Then, out of nowhere, she gets a letter in the mail. It’s the kind of letter that has fancy font writing on it. It’s either garbage or something important. Just to be sure, Rebecca opened the letter and pulled out what was inside.

It was an invitation to Tony’s wedding. YES! That’s right! Tony was getting married to another woman. He broke up with her by inviting her to his wedding to someone else. Wow Tony! Way to have some class (obvious sarcasm)! He didn’t mentioned that he was engaged and was using Rebecca to cheat on this other girl who appears to have been a girlfriend. He didn’t tell her that he didn’t want to see Rebecca anymore. He didn’t even delicately say that there was someone else. And he had the audacity to invite Rebecca to his wedding. I don’t know if he’s the biggest asshole in the world, or was secretly hoping that Rebecca would show up to his wedding to kill him so he wouldn’t have to get married.

Safe to say, Rebecca was incredibly upset, and for good reason! Poor Rebecca! That is no way to have someone break up with you.

Why PenRei Doesn’t Drink

by PenRei

So, on Saturday November 19th, I went to a union party with my fellow coworkers. Technically I wasn’t a union member yet, but I would be in 10 days, so the union representative decided to put me on the list for the party.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t really interested in going. For the entirety of the week, I spent almost every minute outside of work locked in my apartment writing. (Sidenote: I would love to be a published fiction writer someday. Whether or not that happens, we’ll see.) It was great! I was on a roll and managed to push through that annoying writer’s block that everyone hates; the one where the black line cursor just flashes on the page, taunting you and making you feel like an idiot for not coming up with something. I had won the battle against the cursor for the week, and I didn’t want to give up.

Yet, I had already promised 5 people at work that I would go, plus I thought that I might benefit from social contact outside of the office. So I made myself all pretty, put on a dress, and went to the party.

All in all, I had a good time. I chatted with some people from work about things that had no relation to work, actually had a conversation with others aside from the polite exchange of hellos in the hallway, and got to see some drunk.

Now, I don’t really drink. In fact, I tend to only drink 2 glasses of wine a year. To put it simply, PenRei and alcohol are unmixy things… like oil and water: it just doesn’t work. In most cases, more than half a glass with alcohol will result in severe cramps and nausea, so it’s not exactly worth it for me. I have gotten used to being sober at parties when everyone else is drunk. Unfortunately, I was not ready to do that at a work party. Having put myself in hermit mode for the entire week, I already felt my social skills declining. On top of that, I was so used to being professional around people at work that I knew it would take a lot to loosen me up and be a normal human being. Enter alcohol! I made the sober decision that being sober for the party would just be filled with awkwardness. My choice drink of the evening: champagne. It was an open bar, so I could go for whatever I wanted without effecting my wallet.

After 2 glasses, I was drunk. Not embarrassingly drunk, but I had a solid buzz happening. I managed to loosen up and just have fun. But then, I did something that I now regret.

My friend and coworker Max Power asked me if I would be okay being set up on a blind date with one of his friends. With my guard and inhibitions left at the bottom of my second glass, I agreed. I then found out which of his friends it would be and this was a guy with yellow fever.

No, no, it’s not yellow fever in the sense of the viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. I’m referring to the case where a person (usually white males) show a clear sexual preference towards asian women (the asians from Japan, Korea, Japan, ect.) Yes, I’m only half-asian, but apparently that still counts in the category. Now, to clarify, it’s sexual preference to point of sometimes obsession. For me, it’s not very attractive. I’m not interested in going out with someone to help them fulfill some kind of fantasy. I’m not an anime character come to life for you to play with!

Still, I had already accepted, so I decided to find out a bit more about this blind date of mine. Maybe he would turn out to be a catch and I could look for positive things to compensate for his yellow fever. So I asked Max Power’s girlfriend about him. The conversation went as such.

PenRei: Hey! So Max Power is thinking of setting me up on a blind date with one of his friends.

GF: Really? Which one?

PenRei: (insert name of guy)

GF: Oh… He’s really not attractive (brutally honest tone)… but he’s kind of funny (pity tone).

Womp womp!
It was sounding progressively more like a bad idea. She could have just told me that he had a sense humour. No! She clearly had to tell me that he wasn’t attractive first.  It makes a person wonder!

Sure, this makes me sound shallow and superficial, but we all would like to know that there is a potential for chemistry when it comes to a date. Nothing kills chemistry like hearing that the person isn’t attractive. So now, on my list, the candidate has yellow fever, isn’t attractive, and is only kind of funny (he didn’t even qualify for the funny guy category). This isn’t sounding to be too promising.

At this point, I am hoping that Max Power was so drunk that he forgot about the whole thing. I just can’t find a way to tell him that I’m not interested in actually going through with this without insulting his friend. Plus, I can never write fiction when I’m in a relationship. It’s so distracting! And I’m on a roll these days! But PenRei drank, and now she might be in a messy situation.

So remember kids, don’t drink and accept blind dates. It’s a dangerous thing to do!

I don’t think I’ll be drinking again anytime soon.

Proper Etiquette To Stop Dating

by PenRei

There appears to be a dating movement that has been sweeping the nation for far too long. I call it “the pussy text”. Now now, don’t worry. I’m not talking about an adorable feline or a female body part. I mean the type of person who is terrified of a respectful, yet uncomfortable, conversation that is just courteous. The question: after going on a few dates with someone and things go well, but then realize that it’s not going to work, do you:
a) call them and nicely tell them that the chemistry isn’t there
b) never speak to them again and hope you’ll never bump into them
c) wait a couple of days and text that you just want to be friends, even if you don’t mean it

My answer to this would be a, call them. Avoiding the talk just makes you look like a pussy.

Unfortunately a few of my friends (both male and female) have become victims to this uncourteous trend. I realized that this behaviour had become a widespread epidemic last night when my friend Johnny-Be-Good was hit for the 3rd time in just a few months.

The scenario:
My friend Johnny-Be-Good went on a date with a guy. It was one of those great first dates where before you know it, seven and a half hours have gone by, just talking and wandering around the city. At the end of the night, the guy initiates a kiss, clearly demonstrating his interest in JBG. The next date happens a few days later, this time with the guy showing further interest with a make-out session. The date ends with him asking JBG if they can see each other again. JBG replies “yes”. Two days later, over the phone, date #3 is confirmed. Unfortunately, things begin to go downhill from here. After a flirtatious period of non-stop texting, communication was cut cold for 3-4 days. JBG starts to wonder what is going on and finally manages to reach the guy. The guy says that he’s really excited about their next date. Two minutes later, he drops the bomb on JBG, texting “we should just be friends”.

Um… what?

Talk about leading someone on! If you’re not interested in someone, why would you make the first move (twice)? Why would you book the next date? Why would you talk about how excited you are?

Another friend of mine posted on Facebook late last night “The next person to say “we should just be friends” via text is getting an etiquette lesson via text! Grow some balls and call the person!

Granted, I understand that you could change your mind about the person, circumstances could come up, you might not be ready to date again… there are many reasons why you would decide that it won’t work. Let’s face it, most relationships in life don’t last. If they did, then there would be no need for dating since we would meet our life partner early on.

Single people everywhere, heed my call!
If you’re not interested in someone you’re dating, have the guts to call the person and be honest. Wouldn’t you rather know it’s not working instead of being led on and guessing? Dating is already enough of a struggle.

I leave you now with a clip of Carrie Bradshaw in all her fabulous fury talking about just this (but about serious relationships and post-its).