Thursday, 7 October 2010

Please Tell Me Chivalrous Males Aren't Just Romantic Fiction??

Yes this is a grotesque picture!! And you may be wondering what it has to do, if anything, with chivalry let alone books. I promise I'll get there. I was trawling through some old photos the other day and came across this beauty, taken long before I was ever blogging. Just looking at the picture had me seething because it reminded me all to vividly of what I can only describe as one of the worst book buying experiences I've ever had. So I thought I might share it with you.

I go out book buying to replenish stock for my online store about once a fortnight. Normally this involves going directly to peoples homes in my local area. Quite often I am purchasing large libraries of second hand books that require packing into boxes and transference into my van. I will acknowledge that for the most part the clientele I see are older men and women who I would never expect to help me with heavy lifting. What I do expect is for 30-something males, or females for that matter, to at least offer assistance. Given the following experience, I am clearly delusional.

Last year I frequented the home of a local male in his 30s who appeared to have all four of his limbs. His house was built on a very steep incline and after much wheel spinning I succumbed to the realisation that I was never going to get my van up the driveway. I went through the usual transaction process of buying books, packed them into boxes, and then proceeded to start carrying the books down to my van, wrongly assuming that said 30-something male would grab a box or two himself. For 30 minutes I lugged over 800 books up and down the driveway. It was hard yakka, including at least 30 steps, and a slippery driveaway on a 45 degree angle. Not once did said male offer a helping hand, but he graciously watched me, keeping up a running commentary that included me falling arse over tit down the driveway with a box full of books. The result = above photo.

One would think that after incurring the above injury said male might come to my rescue. Wrong again!! He proceeded to watch as blood poured out of my hand and then handed me a dirty rag. Would you be shocked to know that despite still having 10 boxes to carry down to the van, said male still did nothing? By this time I wasn't. So me and my chundered finger stoically finished the job, eyes glazed over in fury, and drove home.....totally bemused. My only consoling thought was that I had the strength not to cry through the whole ordeal. My husband was horrified when I told him the story. I even considered taking him on a drive-by the clients house to demonstrate the sheer ludicrousness of that god-awful driveway. One year on, my finger has healed, and I now sport a scar reminiscent of a sailing boat that will forever remind me that chivalry, not to mention plain old good manners, are definitely taking a nose dive in the 21st century. Thank god I'm married to one of the good ones who still understands the concept.