Watching....

..... I don't know when it happened..... or really even why it happened.... but my trip to Chattanooga yesterday seemed to drive home the fact that the art of being An Escort is definitely a dying thing...

.... I must have laid eyes on ten thousand people whist strolling around downtown.... many were alone, of course.... single guys and gals jogging, riding bikes, or just generally making their way towards their hurried destinations....... and then there were the obligatory groups of soccer moms with their circuses of children in tow out to see the aquarium or the IMAX..... and even a few groups of UTC guys bopping around with youthful exuberance and oozing testosterone every time they whistled past a group of UTC girlies...... then there were the couples, too..... Moms and Dads out for a walk with their kiddies - shaved-ice & popcorn in their hands as they juggled toddlers......older couples, as well..... wandering up and down the bricked streets with crumpled street maps and flip-down sunglasses clad in their finest khakis with belts matching their shoes....... but of the couples, none of them were touching.....

.... at one point after exiting the museum, I nabbed myself a blueberry Slurpee and sat in the sunshine watching the river roll by......the temperature was mild enough yesterday that it wasn't a chore to sit in the sunlight.... I noticed one couple standing on the bridge, and they somehow stood out...

..... the young man stood by the railing with his left arm crooked horizontally.... his young woman pointed her left arm towards the water at a turtle bobbing in the waves just off shore... but her right arm?..... that spindly, adolescent arm that was so white against the blue of her sundress?.....the fingers of her tiny hand were laced delicately in the perfect angle of his elbow..... I sat there sipping my blueberry drink absolutely in awe of that young man.... almost to the point that I wanted to walk over and wish them a good day just so that I could get a better look at the two of them....

.... I didn't, of course, but I wanted to...... they walked on across the bridge after a while - strolling slowly.... and soon they disappeared off into the crowd..... her arm absentmindedly clinging to his......

.... The Missus found me after she finished in the gift shop, and we watched the world for a while.... she asked for a coconut-flavored shaved-ice, and I fetched one while she stood in the shade.... when we'd decided to head for the car, she walked to me and grasped my elbow..... without thinking at all, my forearm rose...... and with that, we walked down the hill from The Hunter Museum.....

... it was odd, I guess, but I felt more than a little self-conscious as we weaved our way through the crowd towards the car park..... and you know?..... I shouldn't have......

.... how is it that our world has ebbed from Escorting, to holding hands, to simply walking together when in public?....

.... I remember the very first time I went to the Marine Corps Ball..... my date showed up in her gown and my SSGT took one look at my 17-year old self, and said, "stand up straight, young man, put her hand here on your arm, snug up your white gloves, and walk proud. You are just a Marine. SHE is your lady tonight. Now, you be her gentleman."

.... and from that point onwards, that's just What You Do..... it's not a dominance thing.... it's a respect thing......

.... I couldn't help but wonder if most of the men and women that we passed by thought to themselves, "good god, will you look at that?..... what an utter chauvinist..... that poor woman!.... I bet he beats her when she burns his dinner!.... just imagine - in this day and time - a man dragging some poor woman around on his arm like he owns her!"......

..... whatever...... but I, for one, was proud of that young man on the bridge yesterday......

by Eric on July 19, 2009 | Bullshit (10) | TrackBack (0) | Ummm, Ok....
Bullshit So Far

Oh, my, I certainly hope that's not what people think! Because I am one of the ones holding on.

It's because I can't get enough of him and because I want to have that touch, that connection, that warmth that makes you so happy just to be beside, to be next to, to be in that aura of your most important person.

Bullshitted by Kath on July 19, 2009 09:00 AM

Weird. I'm a walk together or hold hands guy. The whole interlocking arms thing? It makes me feel grasped, and not in a good way.

Different strokes, I guess.

Bullshitted by smijer on July 19, 2009 09:41 AM

Since the day we met, Henry has always offered his arm, opened doors, and ladies first. We hold hands everywhere too, which probably provokes a lot of "ewww, old people and public affection!" moans from those who see us.
I don't care a fig. :)

Bullshitted by LeeAnn on July 19, 2009 10:24 AM

As infrequently as I get to see him, when I do, my paramour (who, not to do an old people gross-out contest with LeeAnn, is 27 years older than me) always takes my hand. Everywhere. I love it. Reaches out for me and all. Because he is so much taller than me and takes these great big strides when walking while I try to keep up with him, The Escort Arm thing is not so practical. Maybe I'll grow taller one day and we can work on it. So far, the only thing I manage do do is grow wider instead.

Bullshitted by Erica on July 19, 2009 11:23 AM

I do likes me some watching fish in Chattanooga.

Bullshitted by Sam on July 19, 2009 11:30 AM

Good Gosh, young man....what next? Will you be opening the door for her. Walking so she's always furthest from the curb when you walk down the sidewalk?
It ain't just a marine thing. Some of us were born in the by-gosh SOUTH, where chivalry once was as natural as breathing. Not to say the North didn't have the capabilities by any means.
Sadly, what we once knew as culture has, for some taken on a negative connotation.
Keep on taking that lady on your arm. Who knows who might be watching and learn a thing or two.

Bullshitted by kdzu on July 19, 2009 07:43 PM

32 years and we still hold hands. I really love it when he offers his arm, I take it and he squeezes my hand up next to his side. "Respect" is an amazing word that many people leave out when they think of "love," but it is an important part of love.

Bullshitted by Lou on July 20, 2009 07:26 AM

That's funny as hell. The girls and I were in Chattanooga Saturday. Went to the Children's Discovery Museum and stayed at the Marriot across the street from the Aquarium.

Bullshitted by Richard on July 22, 2009 06:48 PM

Nice.

Bullshitted by Michelle on July 23, 2009 02:22 PM

Sadly, you don't see that where I am from. *wry grin*

During my grandma's time, yes. But my generation can't escort a woman around to save there lives. I think it's an asian thingie....

Bullshitted by fiona on July 24, 2009 12:54 AM