chivalry

is it dead?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Let me give you a little history on chivalry and the chivalric code.

Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized German custom. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as the knightly virtues of honor, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.

The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages; they not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless.

Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “of noble bearing”. Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honor of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe.

Now we describe chivalry as:

having the qualities of chivalry, as courage, courtesy, and loyalty; valiant.
considerate and courteous to women; gallant.
gracious; generous, esp. toward the less fortunate.

I would argue that most people think the days of gentleman, knights in shining armor and chivalry are dead; however, I don’t think that’s the case at all. Sure I believe in equal rights, but it’s not about that (which is usually the argument). If you are going out on a date (with a new person or your current one) there still needs to be respect. There should still be excitement. “Woo-ing” should still happen. A few of my friends are back in the dating game, and they think it is absolutely preposterous that I tell them the man should pay on the first date. In my opinion, of course he should. He should be trying to impress you and most of all he should be a gentleman. You get the first one and I will pay for the one after that.

I was brought up to expect “gentlemanly” behaviors and manners: Men open doors for women, men walk on the street-side of the sidewalk, and men always pay for dates. Now let me tell you, I have snatched up a fellow who does all (and more) of these things. Ladies, there is still hope–they’re out there. When a check comes, I always offer to pay which he takes me up on every once in a blue moon, but more often than not declines politely.

As our modern lives may have changed and so has chivalry. With that it has also changed what we expect, and know we deserve. Chivalry is not dead. The definition has simply changed. Maybe I am a hopeless romantic, because I uphold men to the “good ol’ boy” standards of generations past.

What are your thoughts? Is it dead? How has it changed? What makes it different now?

our song

“…Our song is the slamming screen door,
Sneakin’ out late, tapping on your window
When we’re on the phone and you talk real slow
’cause it’s late and your mama don’t know
Our song is the way you laugh…”-Taylor Swift

when we locked eyes

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Let’s turn the clocks back, we have to travel back about 4 years and a few days that’s where this story beings. Four glorious years ago, I was a few weeks into my sophomore year of college. My life was consumed with Fall Recruitment, rushing new sorority girls with an 18 credit load while life guarding and teaching swimming lessons. Needless to say, the last thing I had to do was take on another venture, but I did. I started working in the University Admission’s office (yes this is an integral part of the story). Moving forward Linzey had introduced me to her friend Matt, from that very moment I was swooned. Immediately after he left us, I turned to Linzey and said, he’s a babe–hook me up! Sadly at the time Matt was unavailable, but we digress.

Over that next semester, Matt and I become really good friends, chatting at work (the Admission’s office), which unbeknownst to me, I have recently learned he was also nervous to talk to me. Honest to God, I would always get butterflies and clammy hands. Ugh why was this boy taken, what a joke. Throughout this little crush triangle, I kept it cool (apparently too cool, because he had no idea!). We left for Winter break, and upon return I learned a few interesting details, 1. We had class together and 2. he and his girlfriend at the time broke up! I was beaming with happiness! Absolutely over-joyed. The first day of class, Matt does not—let me repeat that–DOES NOT sit next to me, ummm excuse me? This must be a mistake. We walk out together and are chatting before we go our separate ways. The next class and every one until the end of the semester we do not sit by each other. Fine, it’s fine. We still hang out both before and after class and I have Matt edit all of my stories, as he is a journalist and we’re in a journalism class.

Let’s speed up to the following year, again, Winter break passes and all is well. We both have stopped seeing the people we were at the time and are starting the semester on a fresh page. I just got back to my apartment, and Matt knew I arrived. He offered to help me unpack so we could hang out, I already knew this was not a good idea, as I told myself the next time I see him I need to tell him how I feel because these feelings are just festering and not doing me any good. After I turn him down on the unpacking, we settle for hanging out at his place with his roommates and making dinner. I had a fantastic time, but I still didn’t tell him. Right, before I was going to tell him my life saga and profess my undying love for him, he tells me about this girl he is sort of smitten with and asks for my advice. I abort the plan and give him the advice. I believe he went out on three solid dates with this girl and then never saw her again. Thankfully, Matt and I had another journalism class together again that semester, we sat next to each other and it was lovely.

We speed up one more semester. It is now December of 2011 the night before my graduation. It’s a chilly Thursday December night. I’m hitting the town with my girl’s to celebrate and have a final goodbye with them. This was also the night that I finally decided I would Matt how I felt. I didn’t expect anything to happen, I just wanted to get it off my chest. We’re heading home, walking about six blocks back to my apartment and I find out Matt is at a bar on my way home. I ask him to meet me outside so I can say hello, he does. Once I get there the conversation does not go as planned. I am blocked by any type of conversation at all. Everyone is complaining and I have to take them home. We hugged goodbye and said we’d talk tomorrow.

Tomorrow hits, post walking I finally tell him. His response was less than positive, telling me he never even thought I liked him too, timing was off, and he never went for anything because he thought I had some long distance boyfriend (false!). That day I left for Wisconsin and moved to DC and shortly after Matt left for New Zealand and Australia. Thankfully as suspected, nothing between us changed. It was laughable and we continued our friendship. This is when he started dating her. He asked me a million a half times my opinion of this new girl, and I made it clear that I wasn’t a fan regardless if they were dating or if they weren’t. She just wasn’t good.

A year passes, they are still together (good Lord, help a sister out!) Matt decides to stay in Minnesota and continue his education and get a Masters, but life hit and he got a dope offer with the Cub’s A team in Knoxville–he thankfully took it. Right after he moved to Knoxville in February, he booked a trip to DC to visit in June. Recently after booking the trip, they broke up.

So, we skip to June of this year. Matt comes to visit and it is the most glorious reunion I could have asked for. I showed him around DC doing all of the appropriate touristy things mixed in with a local vibe. Sunday rolls around and we saved the monuments for right before hitting the airport. When we are on the National Mall we begin to hold hands. It just felt right, no big deal.

–The Part You’ve Been Waiting For–

When we arrive at the airport to say our goodbyes, I walk him to his terminal and we hug. We kiss on the check, which is pretty natural, and then before I know it his lips are on mine! My mind is racing! What is going on? Is this really happening? My head isn’t caught up to my heart and I blurt out “ummm what is this” and his response is so calm and cool, I let you go four years ago, and I’m not letting another four pass me by; be my girlfriend.

So there you have it folks. I couldn’t be happier. Well I could be, but that would be trading in the long distance, but other than that it’s wonderful. I talk to him all the time (not that I didn’t before him being my boyfriend), we FaceTime, we email and we even have trips planned to see each other. It’s fantastic. Never underestimate the power of a friendship and what it truly has to offer.

This is my story, and I’d love to hear yours.

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the story of us – a boy’s perspective

you can find Matt @hamsterjockey

Every relationship has a story. Some are really long; some are really short. The story of Kendal Ann and I has been in the making since we first met. I love our story. Here it is from my perspective.

Disclaimer: This is a love story.

It starts at Winona State University. We met through our mutual friend, Linzey, and as soon I met Kendal Ann, I knew that she was going to be a special part of my life.

As time progressed, Kendal Ann and I became even closer. She is one of my best friends. We talked about everything – sports, life, politics, everything. We share so many interests and she loves baseball. For me, that’s huge. After a couple years, I knew deep down that Kendal Ann and I would be amazing together, but it never came up in conversation. I never brought it up because I didn’t want to take a chance at losing one of my best friends.

We had classes together and I was nervous to sit by her. So I didn’t. I was so nervous around her. Eventually we had another class together and we sat next to each other. Secretly, I was so excited to sit by her. That class was wonderful – one of my favorite classes I ever took at Winona State.

Even though we both worked in different places during the summer, we still always kept in touch. We texted all the time with the occasional phone call mixed in there too. The girls I dated got really jealous and even told me that I couldn’t talk to her anymore. Excuse me? She’s my best friend and I’ve known her longer than I’ve known you. Deuces. I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone get in the way of my friendship with Kendal Ann because deep down, I still always thought there was something even more special between us.

What I didn’t know was that throughout all of college when we knew each other, is that she had a huge crush on me. Me, being the guy that I am, was completely oblivious the whole situation. Kendal Ann graduated a semester earlier than I did and before her graduation, she confessed it all to me. It was so cute. I had absolutely no idea. It was so cute and it made me wonder even more about “us.”

Kendal Ann lives and works in the Washington DC area. When she started working there, I always told her that one day, I was going to take a trip out there to see her. I had never been to DC before and I’ve always wanted to go – but that wasn’t the best part about the trip – seeing Kendal Ann was the best part obviously.

But, it never happened. Not at least until June 20th, 2013. I was living and working in Knoxville, Tenn., and it had been too long since I had seen her last. I told her what weekend I was coming, bought tickets, and got a ride to the airport. I love flying and I always (usually) make friends with the person sitting next to me. I remember when I landed and was walking out of the terminal; I was so nervous. I was all clammy and I had butterflies in my tummy. It was silly, but I liked it.

Then, I saw her. Walking towards me. Big smile on her face and she waved. As we walked towards each other, I was overwhelmed with happiness. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to date her; that I wanted to make the distance work and that I wanted to cross that bridge between best friends and a romantic couple.

The weekend was perfect. I didn’t want to leave. As I was going through security, I saw her walking away. It made me sad. After I got back to Knoxville, I told her everything. How I felt, what I wanted to do and that I wanted to try the long distance thing. She was skeptical about the whole thing, but we each made pro and cons lists and told them to each other. It meant a lot to hear her take on the whole thing and I assured her that things would work, even with the distance between us.

And so, we’re doing the distance. It’s tough. But it’s worth it. Kendal Ann and I are years in the making. Sometimes, things happen for a reason. This is one of those times. I’ve never been happier. It’s amazing. It’s incredible. It’s perfect. I’m so lucky to be not only dating my best friend, but to be dating a girl who is perfect for me in so many ways.

“Distance never separates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad, because I miss you, I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.”

Throughout our history, we’ve experienced so many firsts. She was there for my first tweet. She showed me around DC for my first visit. I went to my first aquarium with her. I could keep going, but you get the idea. I can’t wait for more and more firsts for us.

So there you have it. Our story as told by me. I love it. It’s a love story, but more importantly, it’s our story.