The death of chivalry, or . . .

If there’s one thing that died before its time, one concept that I wish had stuck around long enough for me to see, it’s the dead-as-dirt thing known as “chivalry.” If chivalry were still an important value to people, flirtation would consist of being loyal, respectful, generous and caring towards people we’re romantically interested in. In fact, if chivalry hadn’t just given up and died, the way in which we approach dating would be flipped right on its head.

For example, the whole “playing it cool” and “pretending you have no emotions” thing would go straight out the window. We could tell each other we like one another — even as friends — and we wouldn’t look stupid. The downside to this is that, while chivalry would require people to be honest about their feelings for one another, there would be far more people who would just exaggerate their emotions to the point of ridiculousness. This would get really old, really fast — then again, it would be pretty funny for the first little while.

Another thing that would change is the whole “bad pick-up line” thing. We would use real compliments instead of getting the attention of our romantic interests by uttering stupid remarks. Actually, scratch that. Chivalry would probably just spawn a new variety of bad pick-up lines. Even with chivalry around, we’d still have smart-ass drunks coming up with sexually nuanced, half-clever compliments to replace all the bad lines.

One thing that would definitely change for the better if chivalry were still around is that the sloppy drunk nightclub pick-up wouldn’t be one of the popular ways of meeting singles.

To be honest, I’m amazed this even works in the first place. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against drinking, dancing or just having a plain ol’ sloppy good time. I’m certainly not against doing all these things with the beautiful new “lady-friends” or “boy-toys” one may meet on any given night out. No, it’s more that I just don’t see the appeal of shouting bad pick-up lines at people over blaring music.

I mean, picking a mate based on how loud they can yell would make some sense if you were a lion or lioness. As humans, though, the ability to speak coherently should really play into the attraction game. If chivalry were still kickin’, one’s ability to compliment might actually be a major part of their sex appeal, and people would have a reason to learn to speak beautifully. But I’ll just keep dreaming, because nowadays all you have to be able to do is yell louder than the subwoofer. Seriously, will somebody please tell me why this is attractive?

Guy: (slurring and yelling) You’re fucking hot!
Girl: (yelling back) What?
Guy: (more yelling) I said, hey sexy, how you doing?
Girl: (the yelling continues) I can’t hear you. The music is too loud.
Guy: (turns head to side, pukes on dancing person)
Girl: (one final yell) You’re cute!
I just don’t get it.