Missplaced chivalry and why you really cannot take me anywhere

A few weeks ago my friend Angela and I had an off night in Newport. Every bar we went to was either empty or we found ourselves being mauled by creeps. As a last-ditch effort we drove by a place we had been a few weeks before and looked in the window. Maybe it is old age, maybe the vibe just wasn’t right but the loud music and the scene we saw made both of us sigh in resignation. There was no way we were going to drag our cute selves through another painful cocktail. It was nearing 1:00am, we had one drink all night and frankly donuts sounded like more fun than anything we would encounter in that bar. So we stopped for what seemed like an innocent enough treat.

I am pretty sure neither of us had completely exited the car before we heard the voice of a man coming around the corner of the donut building. The windows had given him the perfect place to perch and see the comings and goings of this fine dining establishment.

“You want a cigarette?”, he shouted at us.

Angela and I were taken aback and were slightly speechless. Neither of us are ever, ever, ever  at a loss for words. We like words and are usually pretty shouty with them ourselves. It wasn’t that we had never been offered a cigarette before but something about his abrupt nature knocked us off kilter.  One of us declined his offer as we walked into the donut store feeling slightly bewildered. You know that strange sensation that you are living in the Twilight Zone? That was what the donut store felt like. I asked Angela if we were being punked.

The clerk came over and started getting our donuts together and as if on cue the Cigarette Dispenser popped his head in the door.

“They only take cash. Do you have cash? If not I have cash for you.” Now this was a first. Cigarette offers are one thing, but cold hard cash? For donuts? Now we were getting somewhere. I don’t think either of us even responded to him we were laughing so hard. As we walked back to her car I started figuring out his angle. This man is a genius. While the other dudes in Orange County had gotten all dressed up, headed out to uncomfortable, stuffy bars and dropped major bucks on drinks for girls that were probably handing out fake numbers like candy, this dude hung out in his Steelers jersey and bought the already drunk girls donuts. First rule of business is to keep overhead low, right? While we were entirely too sober for his ploy, I took my proverbial hat off to him. He might buy a handful of donuts that night but the laughs he brought to us were invaluable.

* * *

On a related note a man saved my life last night and I thanked him by throwing his prize away.

A small gaggle of girlfriends and I headed to our first hockey game of the season. I absolutely love minor league teams of virtually any sport and hockey is no exception. There was a hot dog stand and beer so we were all pretty content. There were vendors in the arena handing out little trinkets and I picked up a foam hockey puck to remember the night by. We were all shouting, laughing, and acting pretty silly. My friend Kirsten and I were freezing out tushies off because for some reason neither of us thought to bring a jacket. I am going to attribute the following tale to the fact that I was so cold that my thinking was slow, my action/reasoning ability was not at its peak due to my organs going into survival mode.  Yep, that is exactly what happened!

We had pretty good seats, not on the glass but close enough to see all of the action. The players were at the other end of the rink battling it out and before we knew it the puck was flying toward our teeth. In a flash, the guy sitting next to Kirsten reached out and caught the puck before it smashed our faces. It was pretty incredible. The arena staff came over to see if his hand was okay and we all laughed nervously about how much that would have hurt had he not saved us. The Lifesaver was pretty proud of himself. His chest puffed a bit as he told Kirsten that he had been to many hockey games and this was the first puck he had caught.

Shortly thereafter there was a break in the game and a pickup truck was driving on the ice. At some point everyone else had acquired these red foam pucks that they were throwing at the truck in what we assumed was a contest to win the Tacoma. The details are fuzzy but when I asked why we hadn’t received a red puck to throw someone handed me a black one and I chucked it toward the ice, missing the truck completely. There wasn’t a lot of time to process what had happened but when I looked at The Lifesaver and Kirsten their looks of horror told me something was amiss.

“You just threw my puck on the ice?!” The Lifesaver asked with a slight bit of disbelief in his voice.

“No, I threw my puck on the ice” I responded.

Kirsten just stared at me with a strange look of confusion, embarrassment, and amusement. She is going to make an excellent mother one day. That look told me everything. I had, in fact, thrown the man’s game puck back out to the ice. There is no better way to thank someone for saving your life than to smash his medal.

The horror washed over me in waves. I offered The Lifesaver my foam puck, I bought him a beer, we laughed, we cried… It was quite the topic of discussion for the rest of the night. I made a covenant that I would not participate in any more arena activities as I had proven that I could not be trusted.

* * *

Steve Harvey says in his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man that men are driven to do three things Profess, Provide, and Protect. For the women out there that say chivalry is dead, I say nay nay. Given the right circumstances, a man will risk the safety of his hand for the face of a complete stranger. And don’t forget, there is a man in Newport that has donuts with your name all over it. He will provide the cash for the donuts of your choosing. Bitches love donuts.

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