A few years ago, Ben and I decided to eat at Freddy’

s. It is a hamburger place.

After we ordered, I went over to the pop machine to fill up my cup. A man who looked to be in his 40s was ahead of me. He stepped aside, motioned toward the pop machine and said, “Ladies first.”

“Well, thank you!” I exclaimed. His kindness had taken me by surprise. “That’s nice of you.”

“My mom and dad taught me how to be a gentleman,” he replied. “I also was a marine and fireman, and they teach you how to respect a lady.” I thanked him for his service.

The kind gentleman in Freddy’s took me back in time. I was the only woman working in an office with six men. Unlike him, my male co-workers treated me in an ungentlemanly manner on numerous occasions.

Sometimes my secretarial job forced for me to lift items that were too heavy for me. While I was struggling to pick up a heavy item, I noticed several of those men looking over their cubicle walls at me. Not one of them got up from their desk to offer me some help. In my opinion, chivalry is as pertinent today as it was years ago.

The incident that really got to me was when the shipping and receiving department literally dumped some huge boxes in my office area. Our company had bought a lot of office supplies from a company going out of business. I tried moving the large boxes, but they were too heavy for me to lift. I had to get them moved, because they covered nearly all of the floor space in my office.

I was hoping one of the men in the office would lend me a hand. It never happened. I was fuming inside. “You can actually sit there and not offer a lady some help,” I thought.

When I glanced at my watch, I knew the men in the machine shop would be going on break in a few minutes. I decided to ask one of them for assistance.

It was a summer day, and the shop was stifling hot. I knew the heat took a toll on the men. I asked a machinist if he would help me. “Sure,” he said without hesitation. He came inside the office and quickly moved the boxes to where I needed them to go.

I thanked him for his help. “No problem,” he sincerely replied. I felt bad because his ten-minute break was almost over, but he didn’t seem to mind. I wondered if the men in the air-conditioned office felt guilty for their ungentlemanly behavior.

Recently, Ben and I went to a farm store to buy softener salt. Ben’s bad back was bothering him. He requested some help loading the 40-pound bags onto the pickup. The cashier paged over the intercom for a load out.

We went outside to where the salt was piled and waited, expecting a male employee to come out. Instead, a woman employee came out to load the salt. “No, I won’t allow a woman to do a man’s job,” Ben told her. Being a gentleman, he loaded the ten bags himself, and he paid

the price.

I’m thankful our two sons have followed their father’s example of being a gentleman.

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