Is chivalry dead? No, but …

… there are times I’d love to jerk a flippin’ knot in some people!

I am flat-out worn out tonight. As I noted over the weekend, I was wrapped up in rearranging/reorganizing my home office for a good bit of Saturday and Sunday. It had gotten too cramped and a couple of pieces of storage furniture (a 5/600 CD holder and a small bookcase) had to go. In order to do this I had to shift around tons of CDs and books to my other, bigger bookshelf, and I also had to consolidate at the same time, and movce furniture. I got rid of probably 300 CDs and 100 or so books, mostly hardback.

All of these items were, of course, upstairs, and needed to be transported downstairs. I had to snag some plastic crates in order to bring everything down piecemeal. All total, I had three heavy plastic crates, two big paper mall shopping bags – also full, and a CD storage unit with 5 or 6 shelves to go with it. Ended up not getting rid of the small bookshelf.

It was quite a chore to get everything downstairs, out of the house and into the car (to give to Good Will), but I did it – in large part thanks a hand truck I borrowed from work. Keep in mind I have three “steps” to go down to get to the car. There is the step right outside my front door that leads to the front “porch” area, there is the step that leads to the walkway below the little porch area, and then there is the curb step that leads to the parking lot. I managed to get everything into the car in three trips, but they were eventful balancing acts.

What irked me was that I saw my neighbor’s b/f sitting on the couch by the front window, looking out of it – he saw me and waved … as I struggled to get the three heavy crates in my car. Did not get up, come outside to offer to help or anything. I rarely ever ask for help for most heavy duty things I do around the house, unless it is something I absolutely know I cannot handle, but I was obviously in distress and could have used a hand.

To top it off, when I (stupidly) tried to pick up the big bag of CDs to shift them to the front seat to make room for a few more items in the back seat, the bag busted and several of the CDs went sprawling into the parking lot. As I was picking them up off the pavement, I looked at my neighbor’s window and saw that the guy was still staring. Not only that, but another neighbor was outside getting something out of his SUV and witnessed the bag busting but continued to talk on what must have surely been an important call on his cell phone. He gave me a sympathetic look. I wanted to slug him. He went back inside before I had a chance to act.

Finally, I got everything into the car – including that massive CD storage unit, and went to Good Will, where the nicest young male employee got upset with me for trying to unload the car by myself. I drove back to the house, feeling good about what all I had gotten accomplished in the last three days. Once I got home, I went back in to grab the handtruck to load back into the car. That thing is somewhat heavy and difficult to load if you don’t put it in the car just right. Wouldn’t you know but the same neighbor who was on his phone earlier just happened to come outside again while I was trying to get this thing into the car and once more he did not offer to help at all?

I know I’m not the only gal this has happened to. I’ve talked to female friends before about the fact that it seems like more and more there is a certain selfish mindset that exists today – and it’s not just with men. More and more it seems like to me – based purely on anecdotal evidence – that people are less likely to volunteer to help others today than they used to be. 10, 15 years ago situations like the ones I described earlier didn’t happen here. But my gal friends and I talk about it often – men don’t open doors as much for women as they used to, women will sell their female co-workers out if it means getting a job promotion or praise from the boss, etc. I realize some of the former comes from men being confused by rabid fems who make any polite gentlemanly gesture sound like a horrible crime, and the latter comes from the desire to be competitive in the job market, but that’s still no excuse for basic common decency.

I have noticed this more with the younger set (under 30 crowd) than the older set. I’ve read studies that talk about how the younger generations tend to be more self centered than previous generations, and didn’t want to believe it was true, but the more you see it with your own eyes, the more undeniable it becomes. I’ve got other male neighbors, friends, and co-workers, most of them my age or older, who wouldn’t hesitate to help someone they saw struggling. Same same with female friends and neighbors who are in my age range or older. But the younger crowd? Not always a guarantee.

I hate being pessimistic, but I fear it’s only going to get worse, what with the younger generations scarily wanting to be “servants” to government more so than being courteous, helpful, and respectful to their fellow average Joes and Janes.

Your thoughts?

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