Category Archives: chivalry

This is a Story of Titanic Newlyweds You Don’t Know

Star-crossed lovers. The poster was fashioned ...

Star-crossed lovers. The poster was fashioned after Titanic ‘ s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were several newlywed couples on board Titanic when she sailed from Queenstown (now Cobh, Ireland) in April of 1912. These are couples who married shortly before Titanic sailed, there were no couples married while Titanic was at sea. This article will introduce you to a few of them.

First up, John and Nellie Snyder, who were travelling in first class. When Titanic sailed John was just 24 and Nellie 23. The couple was offered seats in lifeboat number 7, ensuring their survival. The Snyder’s had a long and happy life, raising one girl and two boys. John died 47 years later from a massive heart attack. Nellie lived another 24 years and died at the age of 94.

The Bishop’s, Helen and Dickinson, where another first class newlywed couple. They were returning to their home in Southwest Michigan from a four-month European honeymoon. The Bishop’s were the fourth newlywed couple in lifeboat 7. Dickinson a wealthy, 24-year-old, widower had married the 19-year-old daughter of a family, which owned a company that manufactured an early version of the easy chair. Unfortunately, the Bishop’s lost their first son two days after he was born in December 1912. They divorced in 1916, Helen dying of a cerebral hemorrhage (from a fall) two months later. Dickinson of a stroke in 1961.

Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Surv...

Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Survivors – NARA – 278337 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edward and Ethel Beane were a second class newlywed couple. Edward had immigrated to New York City. After several years he returned to England to marry Ethel and they sailed on Titanic. The Beane’s lost all of their money and wedding gifts when the great ship sank. Edward helped Ethel in lifeboat 13, but he stepped back when he was told, “Sorry, sir only women.” After the lifeboat reached the water, Edward saw it was only about half filled, so he dove into the water and swam for the lifeboat. His bride of one month was the person who pulled him into the lifeboat.

John Chapman, 37, and Lizzie Chapman, 29, were on their honeymoon after being married on December 26, 1911. John was also not allowed on a lifeboat. Lizzie turned to a friend and said, “ Goodbye Mrs. Richards, if John cannot go I will not go.” The couple died together. John’s body was later found and his effects returned to the family. Lizzie was never found.

There were many other newlywed couples (some say as many as 20), a few of them are:

Neal and Eileen McNamee (both lost)

John J. and Madeline Astor (Madeline survived)

Victor and Maria Castellana (Maria survived)

Lucian and Eloise Smith (Eloise survived)

Over the course of more than two decades, the one Titanic story that has intrigued me more than any other is the story of another honeymoon couple. I cannot tell you their names, I cannot tell you anything about their lives or how they died, I cannot even tell you if they survived. I can tell you how they spent their time on board Titanic. This story came to me from a Titanic survivor. There was a newly wedded couple immigrating to America to start a new life. The couple did not have enough money for them both to travel in second class, so the new groom bought a second-class ticket for his wife, and a third-class ticket for himself. The couple were frequently spotted at a gate separating second and third class passengers. They would talk and hold hands through the gate.

This story has been one I have returned to many times over the years, always searching for the identity of the mystery couple and their story. Where were they from? Where were they going? Had he gone ahead for a few years to make a new life, and then return for his bride, as so many men did in those days? What were their names? Did she step back from a lifeboat when he was refused admission? Did they even find each other after Titanic struck the iceberg?

Maybe this couple is my enigma, the one Titanic mystery to elude me. And maybe that is as it should be. I always take a reasoned, logical, scientific approach to life, particularly to research. I approach things very unemotionally; search for the last scraps of evidence, then painstakingly applying logic to arrive at the best possible analysis, always aware that emotion is my worst enemy when trying to arrive at facts. So, to some my romantic nature may seem odd and incongruous with this other side of my personality. But, it is the romantic side of my nature that has decided it does not want to know the truth behind this couple; if they survived, how they survived (if either of them did), or even if they ever existed at all.

In my mind (and heart), they can be whatever I need them to be at the time. The loving couple, who defying all odds, found each other in the chaos of the sinking Titanic and survive together, boarding a lifeboat arm in arm. I can have her weeping in a lifeboat at the loss of her husband as he swims to her side and is pulled into the lifeboat. I can have them finding each other only to arrive at the boat deck after all the lifeboats are gone. Maybe she refuses a seat in a lifeboat because her groom is denied a seat, and they die together. Or, he could have picked her up and forced her into a lifeboat (with or without the aid of one of Titanic’s crew) against her wishes, before he stepped back and died with the other men. No matter my fancy of the moment, if one survives without the other, my imagination always has the survivor living out a long life forsaking all others for the love that was lost. My favorite though has them living a long, joyful, fruitful life together; dying within a year of each other leaving children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to mourn a couple who held hands where ever they went, always.

The engineer and research part of my personality will never give up the chase, and will continue to track down any lead that will finally resolve this issue. But, I do not think my quest will be pursued with the same gusto it once was. I think this is one battle my romantic side has finally won. I think this is one story where the unknown is the greater story. In my mind they stand for all the “if only” and “should have been” tragedies of that great ship. In my mind, they are standing at the gate, holding hands through bars that will never separate their love for each other. Maybe, just maybe, that is how this story should end.

Unlike previous Titanic films, Cameron's retel...

Unlike previous Titanic films, Cameron’s retelling of the disaster showed the ship breaking into two pieces before sinking entirely. The scenes were an account of the moment’s most likely outcome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you would like to read more about Titanic newlyweds we recommend, “Titanic love Stories: The true stories of 13 honeymoon couples who sailed on the Titanic”


Filed under chivalry, family, history, New, ships, thoughts, Titanic

April 10, 1963 ~ April 10, 2013

Below is a link for a short note I wrote on my personal facebook page. It is timely, and now you know a little bit more of where my thoughts are in the spring.

Thank you a great week.



Filed under chivalry, family, history, ships, submarines

“I Hope You Get to Live Like …”

Daddy and Elizabeth playing put put golf at Young's Dairy 25 May 2008

Daddy and Elizabeth playing put put golf at Young’s Dairy 25 May 2008

The Ides of March, 15 March, two days ago as you read this (I wrote this on the 9th of March). Of course, ides just means the half division of something, and comes from the Romans. So, how do we all know the phrase “Ides of March?” After all, we can use the “ides” to all the other months and many other things as well. Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar Act 1 scene 2,

Brutus: “A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.”

Brutus was saying this to Julius Caesar. Good reason for that warning as the 15th of March was the day Caesar was assassinated.

I like the halfway point as a good place to take stock of where I am, where I’ve been, and where I am going. I’ve been doing this on the run, but the 15th of March is when I pause for a moment and really take stock of this.

Daddy and Elizabeth 4 May 2008

Daddy and Elizabeth 4 May 2008

I like being a man. Not for some political reason (be it politically correct or incorrect). I like the “manly” things like a barbershop, a real old-fashioned barbershop.  Keith’s Cuts in West Liberty, Ohio was the first real barbershop I had been too in a decade or more. My wife found it for me, paid for my first haircut and gave me the address. When I moved to Columbus, I drove more than 100 miles round trip for a haircut, until I found the Gahanna Barbershop, another real barbershop, not a beauty salon.

Keith’s is that male bastion of the times of old … without the true crime magazines. Decorated in a “Cincinnati Reds and bowling” theme. I’m a Yankee’s fan (a cousin played with them), but Keith’s Reds stuff is pretty neat. The bowling is really just bowling pins marking Keith’s 300 games, and boy has he had a lot of 300 games (a score of 300 in bowling is a perfect game). I think though the best part is the men who go to Keith’s. West Liberty is a small farming community, and you can usually find a few of the city’s elder statesmen of agriculture waiting their turn in the chair and talking about manly stuff. None of which I understand. I appreciate it, but I really don’t know what a three-point-hitch is or what it does, much less why it is important. But I nod my head in agreement just the same. That’s what men do when we have no clue what someone is talking about, just nod your head and say “yup” once in a while. I just love going to Keith’s Cuts.

The Gahanna Barbershop is another bastion of sheer manliness. I think Tim the tool man would feel right at home in either of these barbershops. Gahanna Barbershop has four barbers and on most days you can usually find three of them there. These men are all military vets, or at least deserving of the title honorary vet. One is a Navy vet, so I feel right at home in the conversations. The décor is outdoors and vintage barbershop “stuff”. They have a hornet’s nest that the original inhabitants no longer use, old signs (including Burma Shave signs), a few tools, and shadow boxes with old barbershop instruments. The mirrors are framed like windows and they have a clock with the numbers backwards so it reads the right time while you are looking in the mirror.

My favorite time to go to the Gahanna Barbershop is Saturday mornings. This is when a parent (usually mom) will bring in their small son for a haircut. Of course, we include them just like one of the guys. I like to watch their faces beam at being one-of-the-boys. I think mom brings in her son for the price though, not the camaraderie. A real barbershop still charges half what one of the beauty shops or unisex shops charges. I don’t like that name “unisex”, sounds like someplace Larry Flint get’s his haircut at. I still go back to Keith’s once in a while, we need to patronize these old barbershops men. If we don’t one day they will all be gone.

Daddy and Elizabeth reading Dr, Seuss Easter 2009

Daddy and Elizabeth reading Dr, Seuss Easter 2009

I was pondering all of this as I read the poem “Given A Choice”  by Sheri. Her poem for International Women’s Day. With everything I am interested, or have been interested in, poetry is not one of them. However, Sheri’s poetry always speaks to me and makes me think, those deep thoughts.

As I thought about my Southern roots, and why Sheri prefers to be a woman, I also thought about what being a man means to me — a Southern man. This brought me back to Shakespeare. To be specific Hamlet Act 1 scene 3 Polonius is giving advice to his son Laertes as he prepares to leave for Paris.

Polonius: This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. …

Those who know me would certainly say I am that. But, over the 20 years I have lived in the north I have quietly amputated small portions of who I am to fit in more with the Yankees (some of which you have read in recent articles). Something I have recently decided to undo.

Elizabeth on a merry-go-round 2008

Elizabeth on a merry-go-round 2008

Along with all of this I have also been thinking about those other things I like about being a man. Like the first time I held my daughter, or how I feel when she runs up to me on a playground, looks me in the face and says, “Daddy I love you”, just before she turns and runs off again. That and all the 1,000’s of other things she does. It makes you feel like you could take on heaven and hell for her if you had too.

There are also the not so good feelings too. As the man (at least for my generation and the older ones) you learn from the time you are a small toddler that daddy fixes everything. Like George Bailey “fixing” the rose petals back on the rose for his daughter when they fell off. Dads are supposed to be the defender of the family. You stand between your family and the ugly and dangerous things of life. The not so good feelings? When you hold your dying child in your arms knowing you can’t fix this. It does not ease the pain knowing no one else can fix it either. It makes you feel like you’ve failed, and worse than that, you failed a child, your child.

I also remember a while ago something that probably shocked me more than anything ever has. I remember the moment I realized a woman loved me totally and completely. She accepted me warts and all, no judgment or “fixing” required. There was nothing about me that would cause her to love me any less. She did not say this with words, but with one act, it was as if she had placed a sword in my hand and then bared her chest to me, smiling because she knew she was perfectly safe in my arms. It was the most restraining and most liberating I have ever felt in my life. It was also the most scared I have ever been in my life. I should have told her, but I didn’t. This is one of the “unconditional loves” we talk about. But there are conditions, you need to nurture and protect the “unconditional loves.” A dog will flinch if you beat it enough as will a child. You must always nurture love specially during hard or busy times, because that love between lovers is fleeting if not nurtured.

Do we get a second chance, after we learn from our mistakes? I don’t know. I know that no matter what comes, my daughter will always know the bountiful love of her daddy. Always accepting and never judgmental, I will not need a second chance with my child. I will always tell my daughter, and more important show my daughter, that I do and always will love her. But what of the other? There are many people around the world that have felt that “unconditional love” in their lives at one time, only to lose it. Will they get a second chance too? I don’t know. I do know that if I get a second chance at another relationship with another woman, I will not make the same mistakes again. I will make a whole new set of mistakes, it’s what we do, we are human, not perfect. I do know this though, you only make a mistake once, the second time it is a choice.

So, what can we do?

“To thine own self be true…”

Let nothing go unsaid that you should say. Live in today. Yesterday is gone, and can never be changed. Tomorrow is not a guarantee, it is a gift. Accept people as you find them — today. Accept responsibility for yesterday, and then let it go. Make plans for tomorrow, but do not let planning for tomorrow keep you from living today. In one word LIVE. Like the song says “… I hope you get the chance to live like you are dying …”

My wish for you is peace, joy, and love.

Have a great day,



Filed under chivalry, Cup-O-Joe, family, history, New

Hey, That Feminist Gave Me Back My Lance — Chivalry Part 4

English: A boy helping a girl over a creek.

English: A boy helping a girl over a creek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article is about chivalry and feminism. However, before I get to that point I want to talk briefly about people’s views, in general, and about feminism.

Take any view on any subject and you will find extremist views on both sides of that topic. It is also true that those with the most extreme views are usually the loudest, and therefore get the most coverage by the media.

I am of the opinion that every person, regardless of their similarities or differences to other people, should have the opportunity to go as far as they are capable of and should be compensated based on those skills and equally with others who possess similar skills. I also believe that all people, by nature of being human, are due a certain minimum amount of respect.

This does not always happen. I once worked for a company where employees could be fired for discussing their compensation with other employees. They would calculate what each person would most likely accept as the lowest offer, knock 10% to 20% off that to give you negotiating room, and give you that offer. They wanted to pay the rock bottom price for each employee. If you had a good job you were willing to leave, you might not do too bad. If you were currently unemployed, they took advantage of that. If you believe a woman should have the opportunity to excel based on her abilities and be compensated fairly for her skills, I do not consider that feminism, I consider it common sense, and I do not consider myself a feminist.

So, on to the extremes for a moment. There are those feminist that are on the extreme, and I was not surprised by their response to chivalry. These are the some of the same feminists that say “all men are potential rapists.” The same feminists who seem to take great joy in attacking anything masculine that men are doing, unless of course a feminists is doing it (then it’s a good thing, and they don’t see anything contradictory about this attitude, so much for equality). I’ll give you one quote from this group. But, this is not what today’s article is about. As you know I prefer to look at the positive, we already have enough negative in this world of ours. And so today I am applauding feminists. Not the extremists that appear to be men haters. Nope I am applauding the feminists who believe in equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work AND who also believe in chivalry.

I have read several articles that proclaim in their titles and their content that feminists have killed chivalry. I say feminists may be the key to brining back chivalry. But, before I go there, here is one from the opposition.

This is from a female college student who calls herself Pixie.

Feminism killed chivalry. Its our fault girls, that men don’t behave like men anymore. Good job.

wORLD WITHOUT chivlry? But …who will open doors?Who pull out chairs??!?! Who will joust 4 my honor????Women r truly lost wow it is a sad day in merica.” Punctuation, spelling and grammar is Pixie’s, italics are mine. Here’s her website.

Oh, just so you know, there are also MRA’s (that’s “men’s rights activists” in the activist’s jargon something I just learned … I’m not one of these either) who agree with the extremist feminists. Personally, I think those MRA’s are just cheap and lazy, but that is my opinion.

There was also a study (from the University of Florida) that proclaimed all chivalry benevolent sexism. Open a door for a woman, even if you just did that because you got there first, and it is benevolent sexism. Pretty much if a man does something that anyone could call chivalry, even if that is not why he did it, it is benevolent sexism. Of course, we must all work diligently to stamp out all forms of benevolent sexism. If it means stamping out chivalry, I’ll pass.

So why all this talk of chivalry lately? Wish I could take credit for it, but alas it’s not me. It wasn’t until I started to write the second article on this series that I decided, “Hey, I need to do a little web research.” I was shocked at how much I found and how recent it all was. Tracking backwards I discovered it all seems to have started with Ms. Emily Esfahani Smith and an article she wrote for “The Atlantic” , you can also find Ms. Smith’s work on the blog “Acculturated”. When Ms. Smith wrote that one article on chivalry it opened a flood of women blogging about chivalry. Jezebel did a good job of carrying the anti-chivalry flag, with other feminists joining in.

Ok, enough of that. I like positive. Now on to why I say feminists are saving chivalry. Many feminists are complaining about the loss of chivalry over the past few decades, and they want a return to chivalry. The 20 some-things of today do not date as “we did back in my day.” They just meet up someplace, usually with their friends around. Ms. Cheryl Yeoh, 29, does not do hook-ups or meet-ups. It’s only “traditional dating” (boy this makes me feel old) for her. She says “If he really wants you he has to put in some effort.” Here’s the article.

Next we go to Ms. Calla Kenney at “Breaking Away From Modern Feminism: Why This Woman is Leaving the Collective”, when you get there also read her “Terms and Definitions” tab, she does a great job of explaining herself, and has some suggested reading. Good job young lady (No insult intended, in my mind anyone young enough to be my kid is “young lady.”).

Then over at “Divine Caroline” I found this vlog from Lori Harfenist, a feminists who likes chivalry.

At “For Harriet” we find author Valerie Jean-Charles, a black feminist who is definitely a supporter of chivalry. Her article is “Feminism and Chivalry – A Case of Identity and Desire”. I specify “black feminist” because “For Harriet” is a community “celebrating the fullness of black womanhood.” Some of the other authors I quote from may be from a variety of races, they do not state their own race and I do not care what their race is (as some of my past girlfriends can attest too). I include Valerie’s race here because she stated it.

Valerie says, “…I love romance and the idea of building a life with someone. I love releasing the control I exhibit at work and in society within the confines of a relationship, and having a firm shoulder and strong arms to lean on and fall into. To many, I don’t necessarily fit the image of what the mainstream says a feminist should be because of my race, my socioeconomic status and most importantly my adoration of men — specifically, black men.

Feminism gives women the tools and space to speak, write, and argue about their need of equal representation in political, social, religious, and economic spheres of life. I love men opening doors, giving up their seats on public transportation, and pulling out chairs for me, as well as rising from the table when I do. Does this mean that I am complacent and weak without thoughts and ideas of my own? Of course not. …”

Ms. Chris Jordan at “Alpha Mom” gets the point across with humor ( a favorite of mine, humor is ALWAYS appreciated). Here’s her article “Has Feminism Killed Chivalry And Good Old Fashioned Manners?

At “Gridlock Magazine” Suze Nowak supports feminism and chivalry by pointing out that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only she did it in high heels and backwards.

Jennifer Harper made her pint in the “Washington Times” with the results of a Harris poll and her analysis.

Last on this list (there were too many for me to list them all, but when you do a web search on the topic you’ll see what I mean) is feminists Samantha (Sam) Brett (at the “Sydney Morning Herald”), who starts out, in her article “Should Chivalry Be Stopped?”, by telling you in her first two sentences, “I am a feminist. I also like men to be chivalrous …”

I bristle at people who declare “all” actions by a group of people are “this or that.” Nothing in life is that definitive. If you sit down and talk with an Army division just returning from combat you will be surprised to find (after getting past the “sound bite” answers) that there are as many reasons those soldiers chose to go into combat as there are soldiers in the division. Any time I hear something like “all chivalry is benevolent sexism” I just don’t buy it. To me the intent behind action is just as important as the actions themselves. And the intent comes from the doer not from the receiver or an observer. Also, dare I say it, “the ends NEVER justifies the means.” Ok, maybe bold, caps, underlined, italics is a bit overdoing it, but you get my point.

I thank God for the many lessons my grandfather taught me, and wish he had been around to meet his granddaughter. However, my intentions are not all altruistic on this point. There is a little selfishness here too. How much more could I have learned from him had he lived past my 16th birthday. He did live long enough though to teach me that women are amazing, and the most powerful women are those women who are comfortable with their own femininity. Don’t believe me? Look at some of the most powerful men in history. Do a before and after look at them. Single, each one was exceptional, married each one was nearly unstoppable. The writings of John Adams could be more accurately signed “by John and Abigail Adams.” Without Abigail Adams, John’s monarchist tendencies would have relegated his thoughts and influence to the trash heap of his day. But with Abigail John’s monarchist tendencies were properly bridled. Rarely were his greatest ideas his and his alone. Those ideas usually came about through deep and often complicated political conversations, held in private, between Abigail and John. You should read their personal letters to each other. Both were intellectual giants.

Here’s another one for you. Does anyone think Bill Clinton would have become the political leader he became, without Hillary Clinton? Say what you want about the two of them, I am not getting into politics or definitions of femininity here. But Bill would have been perfectly happy to lead a much simpler life. A man can be strong on his own. A woman can be strong on her own. But, a couple is so much more versatile and powerful than either of them are alone.

Back to my grandfather. He taught me to respect women because they are so amazing, versatile, intelligent, and yes powerful. He taught me to honor and respect women, without expecting anything in return, because respect and honor should be a gift and you should never expect anything in return for a gift. So, I am going to continue to be chivalrous. I am also going to retrieve those chivalrous parts of my personality I abandoned because they were frowned upon. More than that, I am going to teach my daughter what chivalry means. I am also going to teach her that chivalry IS NOT just manners, and women do not become chivalrous by being polite to men. Chivalrous behavior on the part of men and women is different, one from the other, yet both are about respect.

Finally, I would like to say I happily aligned myself with feminists like Samantha Brett. On chivalry at least, we are in agreement. So to Sam I would like to say, “Thank you for giving me back my lance.”


Filed under chivalry, Cup-O-Joe, family, history, New, notes

I Found My Lance — Chivalry Part 3

Waverly Plantation, Mississippi (Southern Hosp...

Waverly Plantation, Mississippi (Southern Hospitality) (Photo credit: Jody McNary Photography)

Southern Chivalry? Yes, Southern chivalry, or as Vic Dye defines it Southern hospitality (read my interview with Vic Dye here, use the password “vic”. This interview is available only through this article). Chivalry truly is about respect, something that is instilled in Southerners from the time they are learning how to crawl, and swipe all the breakables off the coffee table.

English: The southern United States, as define...

English: The southern United States, as defined by the United States Census Bureau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A map of the modern definition of the Southern...

A map of the modern definition of the Southern United States, Oklahoma red. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I grew up in the South respect was a universal thing, more so than to previous generations of Southerners. You showed respect to everyone, and people who did not, were frowned upon. What you did in your home was one thing, but in public (particularly in front of children), that was another. I can remember my father being upset with something someone said in public, even though I had heard him say the same thing at home. I grew up poor, and school busing in Florida did not start until I was entering third grade, before that you went to the nearest school. Until third grade, I went to Browning Pearce Elementary School Campus Two, where as a white boy I was in the minority. When northerners talk about racism in the South I reply, “I never saw a lot of that when I was growing up, all the other kids treated me just like everyone else, and they didn’t seem to mind that I was white.” Northerners think I am trying to make a not-so-funny joke, but I am not and this was how I grew up. Every adult (black or white) knew that if I was not behaving myself they were to paddle me, and then tell my dad, where upon he would paddle me again.

So, what are some of the ways that Southerners are chivalrous? Here are just some of the things I remember from my childhood:

  • “Please” and “Thank You”, every single time no matter what, no matter who. If you do not get what you want you say, “Well, thank you anyway.” If someone does something for you, “Thank you very much, I really appreciate that.” Also, “May I?”, “Your welcome.”, “Excuse me.” or “Pardon me.” If you don’t say these things, Southerners will silently question your upbringing (upbringing: Southern speak for how you were raised and what you family is like), thinking you do not know better and were not raised properly.
  • You always act with humility, putting others first. In the South the “golden rule” is still gold. Many shortcomings in a person’s personality will be overlooked if they know how to behave in public around other people.
  • If you are going to make a mistake, err on the side of being too nice.
  • Be friendly! Southerners wave to strangers with a heartfelt smile, and they mean it. Greet the people you come into contact with. If they respond with a few comments, then you answer them. Example: “Hi.” “Hi, beautiful day isn’t it?” “It sure is. You have a nice day.” “Thank you. You too.” “Thank you.”
  • Men always take their hats off when entering a building, during prayers, the national anthem, and when the flag passes in a procession (like a parade).
  • When walking on the sidewalk with women, men ALWAYS walk to the street side with women on the inside. This is a safety issue, though walking on the sidewalk today is safer than in years past, though from time to time we still hear of someone losing control of a car and hitting people on a sidewalk. This is also done in Europe, though for a different reason, in years past people threw their trash into the street through open windows and a pedestrian being hit near the street was not uncommon.
  • All females are referred to as “ladies”, whether you think that particular one is or not.
  • You always hold the door open for others.
  • Always conduct “small talk” with others, whether you know them or not.
  • Do not interrupt.
  • Always offer guests to you home food and drink.
  • Always respect elders.
  • Always look people in the eye when they say something to you, or you say something to them.
  • Always shake hands with a firm grip, not an overbearing painful one (men and women both).
  • When a major event happens to a family (death in the family, new baby, home from the hospital), you visit them and bring food, even if you stay just long enough to give them the food and convey your feelings on what has happened.
  • Stand by your family and friends.
  • Always welcome new neighbors. Yup, they are not being nosey, in the South this is polite and shows “good upbringing.”
  • When in doubt treat others the way you would want yourself and your loved ones to be treated.

A friend posted this on my wall at facebook. If you know who originally did this, please contact me.

In the South men always treat women with respect, carry heavy packages for them, pull out chairs for them, open doors for them. When a lady is in need of assistance you always offer her your hand. If the chairs or seats are all taken and a lady is standing, you stand. Even if the lady refuses your generosity you stand. In the South, a gentlemen never sits while a lady is standing. Also, when a lady enters or leaves a room, a gentleman stands. The things I said in my earlier article about women’s high-heeled shoes apply. Never speak bad about a lady to others, particularly in public. Yes, there are gossips in the South, but you will be held in high regard for refraining from talking bad about others or repeating disparaging rumors. When women are talking you give them your attention, maintain eye contact, do not interrupt, and listen attentively. All of the many gestures of chivalry most certainly apply these and more.

A chivalrous Southern woman does not yell in public and keeps her composure. Women who can say more, with fewer words are viewed as very intelligent and held in high regard (concise is good). Men and women who appear to use more words than are necessary are treated politely, but never enthusiastically (wordy is never good). There is wordy, about right, and concise, men get no points for concise or about right, and like women are avoided (when possible) if known to be wordy in their conversations with others.

Something “outsiders” always seem to miss is the understanding of  the phrase, “Well bless your/his/her heart …”. When a Southern woman starts a sentence with “Well, bless your heart …”, despite what it sounds like you are not about to empathized with, you are about to be, politely, told you are stupid. It may sound like a compliment, but make no doubt about it, that Southern lady just told you, you are “too stupid to pour pee out of a boot with the directions written on the bottom.” (This is not to be confused with the two expressions “Well bless you …” or “Well, bless my heart …”)

A Southern lady is a wonder to behold, they are far more capable, intelligent, cunning, loyal, and above all subtle, than most people realize, and certainly more so than Southern men. Poise, graciousness, subty, good manners, calm, these are the hallmarks of a Southern chivalrous lady. Chivalry for women in the South is not a matter of “do the same stuff men do for women, only you do it for men,” no. A chivalrous lady in the South truly does have the upper hand to all other people in any forum.

It is not possible to do this subject justice in under 1500 words, but you have an introduction. My best advice is to travel to a small or medium sized city in the South, find a good location and observe locals. You will learn more about Southerners in thirty minutes on a street corner than you ever could in a book.

One last thing. As a visitor to the South, you will not be held to the same standard Southerners hold each other too, “it just wouldn’t be polite.” Southerners know you are not a Southerner, but as long as you try to behave in a “Southern manner”, you will highly thought of and respected.

Part four will be on chivalry and feminism, and I hope you are surprised as I am.

Have a great day, and be chivalrous.


To learn more about the South and Southerners read the interview with Vic Dye and my Cup-O-Joe articles, particularly the article, “The Lesson.”

“Has Anyone Seen My Lance — Chivalry Part 1”

“Who Made This Lance Anyway? — Chivalry Part 2”


Filed under chivalry, Cup-O-Joe, family, history, New, Southern