He ain't coming. I have been telling myself that for very many years. However my heart still believes. It's the years of conditioning with tales of damsels in distress and knights on white horses. And then there is Disney. Who turned the knight into real pixel flesh and animated blood and bought him to life on screen.
He was charming and handsome and he rode a horse. All swoon worthy features. He rescued the princess from clutches of evil witches, mean step mums, ugly beaus and threatening dragons. To top it all he was usually an heir to a throne, rich, well groomed and displayed impeccable manners. The complete package!
I always wondered how this knight in shining armour knew where to find the princesses in peril? Did he have a sixth sense which guided him towards the maiden that needed his assistance? Or a control room fixed with CCTV cameras? (OK scratch that, it's just plain creepy). May be he had an army of elves who reported to him on the damsels in distress and their vital statistics. Because he probably needed some means to shortlist, else he would be stretched like private bankers today are.
Whatever the selection criteria was, what followed was always the same. He scooped the princess in his arms, put her on the horse and rode away into the moonlight. He took her to his palace, put a crown on her head, gifted her a wardrobe of gorgeous gowns and a few hand maidens to help her wear the gowns. He always kissed her on the lips with his arms around her teeny-tiny waist. And he had a magical twinkle in his eye when he looked at her. And naturally, they lived happily ever after.
I was a reasonably sensible girl and never believed in the 'happily ever after' charade. Life can't be all lets-wear-pink-gowns-and-blue-tuxedos- and-waltz-every-chance-we-get party all the time. Get a reality check dudes! However I never could shake up the knight in a white horse fantasy. Actually the horse could be black too. Am not fussy.
But yes, I am old, and old fashioned. I still admire chivalry in a man. I don't need him to open doors for me, or pick my grocery bags. But it's nice when he does it. Just like he should not expect me to cook for him everyday, but I would love to cook for the one I love. It's not about gender labels and cliched expectations, it's simply about little gestures that make the other person happy.
Yes women today are capable and able to do anything men can. I won't belabour that point. However there are times when it is reassuring when a man comes to the rescue.
When you have been waiting for 40 minutes for a cab in the rain, and the person ahead of you turns back and offers to share his cab. Or even better, lets you have his cab. In the Singapore cab situation, the latter is simply asking for too much though.
You are standing in a long supermarket cashier queue with one bottle of Vitamin Water (citrus flavour in case anyone's interested), the gentleman in front of you let's you go ahead. He receives a charming smile in return of course. And if he is handsome and does not wear a ring, you can can slip him your number at the back of the receipt.
You are struggling to project your fabulous presentation from your MAC, it's so reassuring that a guy can fix it before the IT person turns up.
I am not saying that women can't do all of the above. In fact in most cases, it is women who have come to my rescue in many such situations.
So I ask you, where have all the gallant men gone? And when did they turn into such whiny self obsessed spoilt brats? Or venture to the other extreme and become henpecked yes-men with a lower standing than house pets?
Most men today whine and whinge more than teen drama queens. Or they are simply callous and egoistic and are completely incapable of seeing anything beyond their self-groomed reflection.
May be its just my ill luck. Or may be I appear to be the type who needs no help. Or perhaps, you have to ask to receive. And asking for help has never been my strong suit.
He ain't coming. I have been telling myself that for very many years. However my heart still believes. There is a knight who does not need to be asked. He simply knows when I need him, and he will appear. And he will make things easier by simply making me smile when I am about to cry. Make me laugh when I am going to lose my cool. And hold me tight when I am going to crumble.
That knight won't have a horse, or many riches. He won't be capable to slay dragons or capture forts. He will just be my personal knight who will share some of my troubles and allow me to take on some of his, which I would be more than glad to do.
Till then there's Ryan Gosling and my dreams...