I pronounced the gentleman dead, but who killed him? I wish I could say it was Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with a candlestick, but the clues suggest it was less dramatic than that. It was likely a series of events involving numerous women that ultimately compelled the gentleman to commit suicide.
Let me first state the obvious: a man’s upbringing influences how he treats women. But the men in question are already grown, so there’s no point in dwelling on that. What role did women play in the slaying, and where do we go from here?
One day I overheard two men complaining about the tendency of women to “race” them to open doors. In their minds, if women didn’t know to let a man hold open a door for them, women also didn’t know how they should be treated in a relationship. With this in mind, and considering a few conversations I’ve had with men over the years, I developed profiles of the likely killers.
A woman may try to open a door before a man simply because she does not want to wait. We’ve been told to go for what we want. Most of us have careers, cars, houses – and not because we waited for someone to get it for us. And if she is impatient about opening doors, she is also impatient about dating. So she takes the lead because it’s hard for her to suddenly pump the brakes.
Ms. ‘I Don’t Want to be Disappointed’
This woman will not wait for a man to open the door because she secretly fears he might not. She expects little (and reaches for the door first) to avoid disappointment.
Ms. ‘I Don’t Want to Owe Him Anything’
This woman prefers a man not hold the door for her because she thinks there is an ulterior motive for every good deed. To ensure he doesn’t mistake her smile of thanks for something more, she opens the door herself.
Having come across some of these Misses, maybe the gentleman stopped holding open doors for women. And then he encountered….
Ms. ‘I Got This’
I once had a male friend visit me before I went out of town. When I started gathering my luggage, he frowned. “Can’t I get that for you?” he asked. Of course I didn’t want to carry my luggage; I was just used to doing it. Sometimes when a woman is not used to having a man around, she forgets to let him take care of her when he is.
Ms. ‘I’m Not Impressed’
Not all women are nice. Some will criticize a man’s car, job, outfit, and nosebleed Wizards seats – to his face.
Maybe then the gentleman figured there was not much that he could do for women. So he took the elevator to the top floor of his office building and walked to the edge. On the way, he saw….
Ms. ‘Grading on a Curve’
Quite a few former gentlemen become what I would consider “C” students. They’re not failing, but they’re not giving their best either. A good teacher never lowers her standards for a student. The syllabus clearly states the requirements for an A. If he wonders why he’s not getting the results he wants, she points back to the syllabus and his performance. If he wants more, he’ll do more. There are some “A” women who let men get by on “C” performances, but later complain that he’s not ready for the grade to which he’s been promoted.
She says she wants one thing, but does not act accordingly. She’s giving the man mixed messages by changing into each of the afore-mentioned women depending on the day.
Maybe it was his encounters with these two final Misses that completely confused the gentleman and led him to do the unthinkable. Standing at the edge of the ledge, he jumped.
There is no manual that says which actions are more “manly” than others, but chances are every man deems certain things his responsibility as a man. If it’s not hurting or disrespecting you, why not let a man be a man? If you take away someone’s self identity, they morph into whoever it is they think you want them to be.
In the end, it doesn’t matter who dealt the final blow that stopped the gentleman’s beating heart. He’s dead.
But since I’m a Christian, I believe in resurrection. Men who have neglected their gentleman duties can step it up, and women who have settled for less can demand more. If not, we can all join hands at the funeral and bid the gentleman farewell. But I think we all, women and men alike, would miss him.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.