Gentleman 10/5/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

She is my friend’s daughter. I have met her and did what I could to guide her on her path, but I don’t know how much I actually managed to accomplish. Now she is living in the Black Hills, the “Gateway to the West.” I can tell you a few things about her.

She is very bright, a lovely young blonde woman, and I’m certain that she believes that she is born in the wrong time. She has had many young men show interest in her, but she won’t hide her intelligence for them, and won’t settle for men who only want her for her looks. She graduated recently with several degrees, but the current job market being what it is, she had trouble finding a job. Currently, she is working for child a protection service.

I’m good friends with her mom, and I know she had trouble finding friends in college. She didn’t drink or smoke or do drugs since she was interested in working in law enforcement (well, frankly, and because I don’t think she was interested anyway) and was very focused on her academics. As such, she didn’t really fit in with the “party” group. At one point, I had assured her that once she graduates, she’ll find friends as serious minded about their career and lives as she was.

Apparently, she recent found a young man that, according to her mother, she is rather taken with. I’m told he’s a rancher, but the funny thing is that I’ve also been told that the women in the Black Hills area don’t like dating ranchers. Don’t ask me; I have no idea why. But my friend tells me that he is apparently quite the gentleman. What strikes me is what she means by this.

He seems to have an old-fashioned sense of how to treat her. When he picked her up for their date, he didn’t text her to tell her he was there. Instead, he actually parked the car and walked to her door, and when she answered he surprised her with flowers. This surprised her completely.

Her mother and I were talking about this, and how in our day (she’s about my age), this was simply what was expected when a young man picked up a woman for a date. Oh, maybe he didn’t always bring her flowers, but at least for the first couple of dates he would bring her something, and I even brought a few flowers for her mother if she was still living at home. That he actually walked to her door was not a surprise to my friend and me, but apparently it was shocking to her daughter. The reality is that her daughter thought texting was actually very nice, since a lot of men will simply honk.

Heck, we used to make fun about guys who would “slow down” so she could jump into the vehicle. Sitting in the driveway honking is not much better than that. My friend asked me how it is that dating has come to this.

In my humble opinion, I believe that part of the blame for this comes from women. I don’t want to tell anybody the standards they should or should not have; if this is okay with them, then that’s their choice, but the reality is that the standards are so low because so many women allow it to happen.

When I was about her daughter’s age, we always walked to the door to pick up our dates. Okay, to be fair, we didn’t have cell phones, so texting wasn’t an option, but we did have horns. I cannot imagine any woman letting me get away with not walking up to the house. After the date, we would always walk her to the door. She expected it, I expected her to expect it, and this was even without any expectations of being invited in or engaging in other physical activities. It’s just what we did.

Maybe I’m wrong. By today’s standards, texting, or even honking, seems to be the accepted standard, but should it be? And, by the way, who says that everybody has to hold to the same standard? And if a young woman, say my friend’s daughter, has old-fashioned standards, what should she do? If she tells him her expectations, he can decide if he’s interested in her to the point that he’s willing to abide to those standards. If she doesn’t tell him, it will give her an idea of if he naturally has the standards that she likes. I have no advice; she needs to do what seems best for her, but I hope she never lowers her standards. She deserves to be happy. And so do my readers, like you.

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