chantal-loves-vintage-paul-newman-2After being confused, appalled and annoyed by the various items on this list I determined to write my own guide to being a gentleman. After all, as a romance reader I am well versed in what it takes to turn the average guy from a typical dude into a dreamboat.

  1. A gentleman never denigrates an entire people and the place where they live. A true gentleman knows that every people and place have something to offer the world and critiquing Puerto Rico on a public list is in poor taste and ungentlemanly behavior. Lizzie Bennet would be appalled!
  2. A gentleman does not kiss and tell. Can unsnap a bra with one hand? Wow your date with that skill, not the internet.
  3. A gentleman is as at ease in jeans and a tshirt as he is in a tweed suit. Gentlemanly behavior is not limited to a well-dressed moment.  A gentleman wears his swimsuit and sandals with the same confidence he would exhibit when wearing an Armani.
  4. A gentleman is friendly with those who choose to wear lavender socks and realizes that those that do can also be gentlemen. Perhaps I am wrong – I sincerely hope I am – but this seemed like a slam against Nathan Lane’s character in The Bird Cage (who wore pinkish purple socks) and also against gay men in general. For shame!
  5. A gentleman turns his mobile off during a date (unless he has a sick mother). A gentleman knows that a vibrating pocket is as annoying as a shrill ring. Unless he is a cardiovascular surgeon or in some other way needed for a possible emergency he turns the phone off while at a social event. And he never ever says, “Hang on a minute,” while he checks his phone instead of being present in the moment.
  6. A gentleman carries groceries or other heavy bags for those in need. A gentleman never saves his good manners for those whom he wishes to impress. He always offers help to those he sees in need.
  7. A gentleman doesn’t need to be reminded to end a relationship face to face. A gentleman gives all the people in his life the benefit of face to face conversations and confrontations when discussing a difficult issue.
  8. A gentleman sincerely enjoys pets and children. Knowing that these are groups who can spot a phony a mile away, a gentleman knows how to unwind enough to be the kind of companion a dog or a child can genuinely be happy to see. He never employs tricks when with either group as he knows this is the opening line to a story which ends with his humiliation.
  9. A gentleman never judges another’s dietary habits. Whether a friend is embracing a low-carb lifestyle or has chosen to go vegan a gentleman is supportive of their choice.
  10. A gentleman knows that gentlemanly behavior is not a skill set but a question of proper behaviors. A true gentleman might not be able to ride a horse or sail a boat and he may never encounter a gamekeeper. He will however walk whatever path he is on with generosity, goodwill toward all, a kind nature, decent table manners and the ability to laugh at himself.

In conclusion I’ll leave with you what one of our staff members said, ” a gentleman is not going to be such a class-conscious, denigrating, elitist knobhead that he’d feel the need to promulgate that narrow kind of value in a stupid tweedy magazine, where, let’s face it, he’s preaching to the choir until it gets picked up by media outlets. ”

So what do you think – what constitutes a gentleman?

–Maggie Boyd