2017-05-19 / Columns

Chivalry appears to be alive and well

Ela Lindsay

For singles who are tired of this newfangled dating world that consists of getting to “know” people in an impersonal, no-eye contact cyberworld, then meeting for quickie coffee dates for mutual size-ups, this column is for you.

For those, like me, who miss the good old days when a man might show up for a date with flowers or woo a gal with dinner and a movie on a first date, I have a story to tell.

Just when I thought chivalry had shriveled up, died and disappeared in the wind with the likes of manners and first dates that go beyond a fast-pay-Dutchmeet and-greet, I come across a gentleman for whom these practices seem to be second nature.

For Mr. Chivalrous, the first date was to a concert. And not just any old run-of-the-mill event. This was an Arlo Gurthrie live show at the Civic Arts Plaza in T.O.

And not only did I notice that Mr. C. opened doors, I was floored when he agreed to pick me up near my home, about a half-hour drive from his place. Nice going!

Prior to meeting him, perhaps my chivalry picker had been off-kilter, because I seemed to be getting more and more used to less and less attention during first and second, even third dates. So attending a concert with a door-opening sweet guy was definitely a plus and a second date was welcomed.

And don’t get me wrong: It was not only that Mr. C. was really respectful and chose such a fun venue for a first date that I wanted to see him again. He was also charming, smart and cute and we had interests in common. Also, the date ended with a kiss on the hand. Who could resist such a nice touch?

In any case, the second date was a dinner invitation. And, again, not to a chain restaurant or a drive-through. This was a trip to Malibu to a lovely place overlooking Zuma Beach. Yowza!

As we got to know one another better, a third date was planned. It was a fun excursion to Ventura to go thrift-store shopping for hidden treasures, a pastime we both enjoy. And don’t think I didn’t notice his effort to stay on the road side of the street as we walked hand in hand in the downtown area. Impressive!

Date No. 4—and believe me, that’s close to a record for me these days—was mostly a bunch of surprises. And I love surprises, so the idea that someone even heard that fact, noted it and made it happen was a another huge plus in my book.

This adventure started with a train trip to Santa Barbara. I love trains but hadn’t been on one since I moved here years ago, so even just riding one was a huge treat. And as the coastal scenery whizzed by, I could only imagine what else was in store for us.

There was lunch at a cool restaurant off State Street; drinks at El Encanto, a posh hotel up the mountain; dessert at another fun spot on State Street; new-for-me Uber rides up the wazoo in between; and a hand-in-hand walk along the ocean just before sunset, viewing all types of art on display.

The pièce de rèsistance? Dinner for two on the train ride back home—classy all the way, folks! I felt like a princess the whole day.

So, thanks, Mr. C., for showing that chivalry still exists! Plus, of course, just writing it down allows me to enjoy the adventures over and over again.

I’d love to hear readers’ stories of chivalry on dates as well as experiences of the anti-manner kind. Your stories and messages are always a pleasure.

Ela Lindsay is a single writer in Ventura County. Send emails to eLindsay@theAcorn.com.

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