Relax.

It’s called chivalry.

A gentleman should always hold the door open for a lady.

A gentleman should offer his jacket if a lady gets cold.

Is chivalry dead? Not unless the woman kills it. I can open the door myself, thank you. 

The person that gets to the door first should hold the door open for the following person.

Regardless of gender, anyone that wants to give up their coat for a someone that is cold is simply a nice person. Or maybe they’re just hot.

It’s a new era. The 2017 etiquette for men has new rules.

One rule, really.

Flowers are always nice.

No, forget the flowers.

The one rule: never say the word relax. 

I take that back – you can say relax to the brand new mother of your child when you hand her a gift certificate to a spa. “Here, you’ve been up all night. Go relax.”

You can say it on the beach as the waves pull your lover’s feet into the ocean. “You want to grab a slice of pizza and relax on the beach?”

You can say it inside a hot tub in the mountains as you hand your lady a glass of wine. “Here, I thought this would be even more relaxing.”

Hell, I don’t care, you can say it while you load up the kids in the car on a trip to the grocery store on your own. “I’ll run to Target with the kids. Sit here and relax.”

But the second you have an angry woman in front of you – you better start agreeing with whatever nonsense she’s spitting at you. Agree and talk about it later. Trust me. You do NOT – I repeat – you DO NOT utter the word RELAX. See also CALM DOWN. If you include the arms motioning downward, they will be kicked back up.

I will light the town on fire and tell a female cop I discovered arson because I was told to RE-LAX. Oh, hell no. Where’s my torch.

This isn’t a post about Scott and me. This is a post about a little girl finding womanhood.

Scott told Kate to relax.

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This adorable photo from the Daddy/Daughter dance shows a reserved 5th grader and her father. And then there’s the 2nd grader, chugging her childhood down her throat because the same father told her to relax.

Kate wasn’t even angry at Scott when it all started. She stomped in our room that morning and showed up next to my side of the bed with her arms crossed.

Kate: I’m mad at Emma.

Me: Just cuddle with us and ignore her.

Kate: No! Mom! But Emma…

Scott: JUST RELAX, KATE.

I felt a fury ignite in my stomach. It passed.

Kate: NO, DADDY! THEN I’M NOT GOING TO THE DANCE WITH YOU TONIGHT!

Scott: Fine, I’ll go with Emma.

Kate: I don’t care. You won’t be going with ME.

Kate stomped out of the room.

Scott: What happened to her?

Me: You told her to relax when she was angry. She’s me now.

Kate felt the fire inside her at age seven. It’s the fire every woman feels when a man tells her to “relax” or “calm down.”

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I had a chat with Kate woman-to-woman. I reminded her he did get her a corsage for the evening. Flowers are always nice. And he would love to have a date on each arm for the night. She must forgive his words. 

She agreed to go to dinner and the dance with Scott.

It’s called chivalry.

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Next year, she’s flipping off the camera.

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