Chivalry Sighting

Locking your car doors is a good habit—unless, of course, you’ve already tossed your keys inside. Then you literally find yourself on the outside looking in, wishing you had thought things through a little more carefully. That’s exactly where I found myself last week. Before leaving work for the day, I had to make a quick trip from our office building to the other building on the property. It’s about a quarter mile round trip, so rather than hauling my water bottle, travel mug, and a heavy bag back and forth, I dumped them in my car as I passed and, out of habit, locked the doors. It wasn’t until I came back that I realized what I had done. I felt dumb. Really dumb. I don’t lock my keys in the car often, in fact, I think this was the first time in close to ten years, but still… So, there I was, a damsel in distress, staring through the window at the lock on the door—and that’s where chivalry came in.

locked door

I called my mom, but she didn’t have a spare key. About then, my manager found out what was happening. I told her I was going to call my sister to see if they had an extra key. My brother-in-law has been driving my other car, and I knew at one point I had a spare on that key ring. My manager’s first response was, “I’ll take you to your sister.”

That seems like a simple enough task, but here’s the thing, my sister lives 24 miles from where I work. We would have had to go nearly 50 miles just to unlock my car, but my manager was ready. She was ready to drive all the way out there and all the way back. When I told her that my sister might not have the keys, they might be with my brother-in-law who was at work—seventeen miles from where we were and in the complete opposite direction of my sister’s house—she was still willing to go.

Just then, I got a hold of my sister. She had the keys right there, and was actually headed out the door to come into town. She quickly offered to bring the spare key to me. Again, chivalry. Yes, she was already committed to make the drive before I called her because her errands were bringing her to the area, but she didn’t have to interrupt her day to help me. She could have said, “Yeah, I have the keys, but I was headed to pick up one of the girls’ friends for a movie. We can come by after the movie, or maybe you could find a way to meet us somewhere.” But she didn’t say that. In fact, there wasn’t even the slightest hint of hesitance, aggravation, or annoyance. She just said, “Sure, I’ll be there.”

It seems like a simple thing, maybe even insignificant, to bring a key to someone who has locked themselves out of their car, but it was huge in my day. I had a lot on my plate that afternoon, and none of it would have been done if I’d had to spend the afternoon trying to find a way into my car.

About the same time I was giving my sister a goodbye hug, my cellphone rang. It was my boss. She had already left the office, but she was calling to make sure I’d gotten help. Even though she had left early because she wasn’t feeling good, and even though it was a hot day, and even though her truck doesn’t have air conditioning, she was still willing to drive the fifty miles to make sure I wasn’t left stranded. She was still willing, just like my sister, to come to the rescue.

Chivalry isn’t always about dangerous, daring rescues. Sometimes, it’s just about the little rescues. The ones that save the day for just one person, which, unbeknownst to us, might just be saving the day for far more than just one. We never know what taking the time to do that one thing for someone else might actually be accomplishing in their life. Nor do we know what not doing it will bring about in their life. I’m certainly grateful for my two ladies in shining armor.

Have you had any chivalry sightings lately?

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