I questioned myself. Am I old fashioned? Am I a snob? No, not at all. I simply realized so many people lack social grace. So many don’t understand chivalry, both men and women. What is chivalry? Let’s define before we delve further:[su_quote style=”default” cite=”” url=”” class=””]In days of old when knights were bold, Anglo-French speakers used the word chevaler (an ancestor of our word chevalier) for a knight or horseman. By the 14th century, English speakers had adopted the slightly modified spelling “chivalry” to describe their own well-armored, mounted warriors. Nowadays, when we say that chivalry is not dead, we are alluding to the high standard of character and conduct typically associated with gallant knights. If you trace “chevaler” back to Late Latin, you’ll find that it derives from “caballarius,” which is also the ancestor of another term for a daring medieval gentleman-at-arms: “cavalier.” – Merriam-Webster[/su_quote]
Note the phrase: “Nowadays, when we say that chivalry is not dead, we are alluding to the high standard of character and conduct typically associated with gallant knights.” Now keep that in mind.
It’s first important to share an anecdote to get my message across. This anecdote is both sad and surprising but actually happened to me. It’s also the primary reason I will always be courteous and a gentleman whenever possible.
Evening. Las Vegas. Skybar at Waldorf-Astoria. I’m seated in my favorite booth, immediately at the right of the entrance at Skybar. I like to sneak away and have tea and appetizers and enjoy the view. If you haven’t been to Skybar pay them a visit, if you’re visiting Las Vegas, add it to your list of places to visit. I’m enjoying my appetizers and a glass of scotch when a blonde and a brunette pass my table. They’re bound for a table at my far right, back of the lounge, against the windows. I look up from my drink and I’m speechless. They’re so well put together and elegant. Perfect skin, couture dresses and shoes, I swear, so sharp if they fell they would cut their legs off. I smile. They smile. I glance once or twice and think, Hell, why not, I’m done for the evening soon, I’ll send them each a glass of champagne and call it a night. The glasses reach their table and they thank me from afar – CHEERS! Outstanding, this night ended well. I stand. Adjust my blazer and pocket square, wave farewell from afar to the ladies, and proceed to leave. The blonde woman raises her hands in confusion? “What gives?” Perplexed, I walk over and say hi, she responds with “You weren’t going to stop over? Not even to introduce yourself?” I respond, “No. I thought you looked smashing and wanted to send you a drink. More people should take such time with their appearance.” I smile coyly. This is where things go wrong. Very wrong, and in an unexpected way.
She responds: “Does that work?” Does what work??? “Your strategy of sending a drink then feigning not being interested.” I pause…for a long time. I pause… “It wasn’t a strategy, rather, my appreciation for how beautiful the two of you are.” Her friend rolls her eyes. “Let’s just forget about it…”, I turn to leave, she says: “Hang on.” She grabs her purse, removes a business card, writes her phone number on it, and says “Call me later.” Smugly. I was floored. I had just been reprimanded for a pickup ploy that I didn’t even use! Needless to say, I discarded the card on my way out.
Sarah Stefanson in her article “How To Send A Woman A Drink At The Bar Like A Gentleman“, (Business Insider, 2013), says:[su_quote style=”default” cite=”” url=”” class=””]Sending a drink over will definitely provide you with an easy icebreaker. From there, it’s up to you to form a connection and get her interested in you.[/su_quote]
Well…what if the objective isn’t an ice breaker? If I buy a round of drinks for everyone at the bar, which I’ve done, does this mean I want the phone number of everyone at the bar? Of course not. What if the gentleman is simply jet-setting playboy (an unflattering term for some time) having a good time? They work hard and play hard. However, that “playboy” is dead, and perhaps the gentlemen too. Steve Garbarino, in his Wall Street Journal article “Death of a Playboy“, says playboys:[su_quote style=”default” cite=”” url=”” class=””]…embodied elan, impeccable taste, extreme discretion (regarding money as well as sexual conquests), and general good-natured bonhomie. To hear those who knew them tell it, they were captivating one-man shows, room-holders who, when they had everyone’s attention, often put others before them.[/su_quote]
I would like to think of myself more of a jet-setter then a guy using a drink strategy to get digits on the sly.
We’re all busy people, etiquette school is rare for many, and social grace is so rare these days. However, spotting chivalry or elegance isn’t that difficult. Men, stop thinking it’s okay to simply invade a woman’s space. Don’t interrupt with “Hi, I’m [whoeverthehellyouare]”, show a little class and discretion. You don’t have the right to interrupt, you don’t have the right to assume she wants to talk to you, send a drink and test the water. Ladies, when a man sends a drink, give him the nod, and let him introduce himself. If you’re interested, you’re in luck. If you’re not, let him down with class and grace. If he sent the drink, simply because he’s a fun charmer who appreciates your beauty, as in my case, let him leave and ask the manager who the guy was that sent the drink. Don’t be rude and don’t be crass, perhaps he’s simply having fun. Life is short, enjoy those that appreciate one another without judgment.
Business Insider. (2013). Stefanson, S. (2013, January 10). How To Send A Woman A Drink At The Bar Like A Gentleman. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-send-a-woman-a-drink-at-the-bar-2013-1
Wall Street Journal (2011). Garbarino, S. (2011, September 29). Death of a Playboy. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111904836104576556990154842856