The other night, my wife and I used a gift certificate we received for Christmas to dine at one of the national chain restaurants. I let her out at the door, so she could get our name on the list, and then parked the truck. When I got inside, several young folks were standing around, and we did the same. My wife nodded toward a young couple seated in the tiny seating area, and told me that she was going to get us a seat, but the young woman saw her intent and rushed over and sat down before my wife could get there. Nothing new; I see things like that all the time.
A couple minutes after I got there, two other couples came in, one probably in their 70’s, the other probably in their 80’s. They appeared to all be together. After giving the “hostess” their names, they stood there like the rest of us. I glanced over at those seated in disbelief. When I was a kid, boys were taught to give their seat to any female, and to older males. Even girls were taught to give their seats to older ladies and any pregnant woman. The oldest seated couple may have been in their 40’s. The other were all 30 or under. There were six of us “old folks” standing, and seven much younger folks seated. Three of the “youngsters’ were playing with their phones.
I wouldn’t have taken a seat anyway, but the three women were standing with some slight difficulty, as was the oldest man. I would have said something to those seated, but I would have embarrassed the other folks, so I didn’t. I guess the age of chivalry is long dead; or maybe its last adherents were standing there with grey hair. © 2013