The Taming of the Shrew, Act II Scene i
Petruchio: I swear I’ll cuff you if you strike again.
Katharine: So may you lose your arms: If you strike me, you are no gentleman;
And if no gentleman, why then no arms.
So back in the day, a gentleman was expected - nay ~ required to have a coat of arms. Hence the reference above.
Question is prompted by a comment from the flist: “beneath it all, you are simply a gentleman. How sweet.”
While it is a fine thing to aspire to, I don’t always quite make it...
A gentleman opens a door for a lady. He also pulls out her chair when she sits down for a nice meal. A gentleman is polite. He never belches in front of a lady, and on the occasion that one slips past, always excuses himself. A gentleman always says thank you and please, and is attentive to all conversations. These are things that my mother and grandmother taught me to do.
Now these things in and of themselves are great. But certainly not the be all and end all to define gentlemanly behavior.
And so I was off on a Quest...
The internet is a great tool for this kind of quest. But it is all about how you ask the question isn’t it?
Found a lot of things that come from a religious context - which I believe holds the roots to chivalrous behavior, but in my opinion can be somewhat dated...But this may be because of my beliefs.
So I found a series of articles at AskMen.com - I used to frequent this site a bit - but must have gotten busy with other things - like life.
But there are a series of articles in the archives there that probably answer the question best. They are not about the embodiment of the Gentlemen, but more of a series of “how to” guides. Interesting stuff!
*As an aside there appear to be a lot of good things in the archives over there.*
The articles I’ve robbed are here:
Etiquette of a Gentleman, Etiquette of a Gentleman Part II and Etiquette of a Gentleman, Part III
Paraphrased from the introductory statement by author (of Part I) Michael Bucci
*BTW - My comments will be enclosed like this*
One only needs to take a quick glance around to notice that there are very few true gentlemen remaining among us. In times past, a gentleman was much appreciated and being gentlemanly was a noble thing.
*Ain’t it the truth*
Alas, things have changed in today’s society; some for the better and some for the worse. One thing that particularly irks me is the lack of good taste and etiquette most guys are guilty of at the turn of this new millennium.
Some basic good manners will go a long way...
*So we CAN be perceived as men of good breeding and taste - *grins* Some of these are pretty obvious, others may have gone by the wayside into obscurity.
- Always be polite
Even if you don’t like someone, there is no need to lower yourself to their level. Be polite and courteous; show that you’re the better man.
- Do not curse
Swearing is a big no-no. It shows that you don’t have the vocabulary to express your thoughts appropriately. Furthermore, it is always very crude and impolite to be vulgar.
*I need to work harder at this one, DAMMIT! *grins**
- Do not speak loudly
When you speak loudly, it raises the stress level among company. It always implies that you can’t reason with people and rely on “brute force” to get your point across. It also draws attention -- negative attention.
- Do not lose your temper
When you lose your temper, you are showing everyone that you can’t control your emotions. If you can’t even control yourself, then how can you possibly control anything else? Keep your cool at all times (it won’t be easy but it is worth the effort) and people will take positive note of your levelheadedness.
*Another one TexasT’s needs to work on!*
- Do not stare
Ogling someone is the equivalent of psychological aggression. You don’t want to intimidate people for no reason.
- Do not interrupt
Let people finish what they are saying before adding your comments. Interrupting others is a sign of poor etiquette and a lack of social skills. If you want to come across as egotistical, you can do so by constantly interrupting.
- Do not spit
A lot of men do this almost subconsciously. Spitting is very crude and not too pretty to look at. Do not spit in public unless you want to look like you were raised in a sewer.
- Respect your elders
In fact, you should respect *ALL* others as you would like them to respect you.
- Do not laugh at others’ mistakes
This is perhaps one of the cruelest things one can do. When you mess up, the last thing you want is for someone not only to bring it to your attention, but to ridicule you on top of that.
- Remove your hat indoors
This rule seems to have gone out the window these days. You should remove your headwear upon entering a building. Furthermore, never keep your hat on while at the dinner table. It reflects very poor etiquette.
*Between wearing a hat indoors and the boys who insist on wearing a cap back-ass-wards. TWO of my biggest peeves.*
- Wait for seating before eating
When sitting down for a meal, you should wait until all the guests are properly seated and ready to commence the meal before eating. Everyone should start dining at the same time; this is a subtle but very important rule.
*Subtle is right*
The Basics of Chivalry
Chivalry may be on life support, but it is not dead yet. Be one of the few to keep this flame burning for many years to come.
*Feminism not with standing, these should be expected, in my opinion. But what do I know?*
In Dealing with the Ladies
- Always open doors
This is perhaps the most basic rule of male etiquette out there. It is also one of the easiest to follow so you have no reason to forget it. Whether she is about to enter your car, restaurant, club, or anyplace with a door, you should always hold it open. If there are many doors, then hold them open one after the other.
*If she doesn’t beat you to it! *Grins**
- Put on her coat
Always help a lady put on her coat or overgarment. This is a simple but powerful action.
- Help with her seat
If an unaccompanied lady is sitting next to you, it is important that you help her be seated by pulling her chair out for her and gently pushing it back into place, with the lady seated of course.
- Give up your seat
If a lady arrives at the table and there are no available seats, you should stand up and offer yours to her.
*Or anywhere else for that matter*
- Stand at attention
Always stand when a lady enters or exits the room. This rule has been somewhat relaxed, so you can stand upon entrance but remain seated upon exit. Nonetheless, if you can do both, you should.
- Give her your arm
When escorting a lady (that you know) to and from social events, you should offer her your arm. This is a little more intimate, but serves well when walking on uneven ground -- especially if she’s wearing high heels.
- Ask if she needs anything
This is one that most guys already do, but helps complete the gentleman in all of us nevertheless. When at social events, make sure to ask the lady if you can get her something to drink (or eat, depending on the event). Show her that you care about her comfort and needs