Gentlemen volume I

20 Nov

I was born and raised in some of the deepest points of the deep south. New Orleanian by birth and Mississippian by genealogy and raising. As you know, I now live in Texas. And in spite of my homesick tendencies, I am enjoying Texas more every day. And as you also all know, I am divorced. Unmarried. Unattached. Curious about what makes some men good and some less so.

I was talking to a gentleman attorney-friend about a month ago, and I described someone’s behavior. I said that I was shocked, because that is just not how men act in my family. This gentleman said “No, that is not how real men act, period. It’s not just your family.”

I have decided that I will do a series on gentlemen I have known. Not in any kind of kiss & tell fashion. Please! I have been married for the past 16 years and I hardly remember anything before that. I mean Gentlemen that I have known in the strictest sense: Who have I known that are gentlemen and what qualities make them so? I could go on for weeks in this series.

There’s my boss and his predecessor. My other boss, who is less PC, but loads of fun – for someone approaching 80. My friends’ husbands – the tall and inspiring Coach Guy. Warm, inclusive and wise Brad Haralson, attorney at law. The talented, housecall-making Dr. Wehner. Mows-my-yard and fixes-me-a-drink Rob Rainey. The brilliant wine connoisseur James Dusek. Charles King, who upon hearing that we are stopping by, cuts up a chicken and fries it so that my children can have lunch. As a side he prepares home fries and the biggest skillet of gravy you have ever seen. These dishes are for the children. The adults are having homemade chicken teriyaki. Apparently chicken was on sale at the grocery store. Guy Choate, who tracked down my missing dog.

And so many of the really good defense lawyers. One of them sexually harrassed me today by telling me that I had cute legs. But when you’ve worked with someone for 14 years and he’s from North Carolina and graduated from the Citadel, is it harrassment or just a really sweet compliment from a gentleman? There is no question in my mind. Besides, I was wearing my “Texas Independence” boots to get myself into the trial spirit, and I don’t think he could help himself.

But I am just getting started in this series. I have a date in a few days with an elderly gentleman from Memphis, and we are going to reminisce about WWII and being a pilot and home and other things. He is 94 and I met him on Veteran’s Day. It just occurred to me that when your gentleman-friend is 94, you don’t want to set the date too far in the future. I may have to think about moving it up.

I think that saying a man is a gentleman is a very high compliment. I get the feeling that in my generation, being gentlemanly is a forgotten art. I have learned a few things about dating lately that really surprised and frightened me. I haven’t dated in 20 years, so I suppose I am going to have a lot to learn. Don’t worry – I wouldn’t dream of not telling you everything so you can live vicariously through me. That’s what divorced friends are for.

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