Today I was reminded, in a pleasant way, that chivalry is not dead, Gentlemen still exist, and they somehow turn up in El Marto Del Wal on occasion.
Purchased a wire kennel for the Fuzzy Pup today, since he's a Houdini and I haven't (yet) been able to locate the escape hatch he's using this time... Normally, if I'm not around, I put the pups outside to enjoy the day, which they think is just fine. However, with Fuzzy Pup going a-visitin, and I suspect likely a-courtin (what kind of schnauzer mixes will show up around here?) that's not really an option.
Mamaw, being a firm believer in the pup-containing powers of a baby-gate, purchased one for use in shutting the pups in the kitchen, on the tile, when no one was home.
I had my doubts, and after two attempts, this plan was abandoned.
First time, Fuzzy Pup found the gallon of canola oil that Mamaw had set out of tripping range near the nifty cart that holds her microwave.
His coat was nice and shiny, though.
Second time, Mamaw made a sweep to make sure that any containers not utilizing a mechanical closure (and twist-tops don't count, he got the lid off the gallon jug without damaging it's effectiveness) containing foodstuffs or other "interesting" stuff were out of pup range....
And he opened the flour-jar that takes a rocket scientist, two PHD's, and a mechanic to operate properly.
So, she checked on the price of kennels. Now, I'm not against kenneling dogs when you're not home. Farmdog doesn't require such treatment but she's a well behaved pooch and for most of her "oh, that looks really interesting/tasty/confusing/it's gonna eat me so I must destroy it first" days she was riding around in the car with me, not home alone.
A couple of times spanking her with a shoe (it was a cheap foam flip-flop, relax... it was like spanking her with a wet noodle) she'd chewed was enough to get the point across that her toys were her toys, and people toys were people toys, and never the twain shall meet. "Not Yours" causes her to instantly abandon whatever object she was investigating and look slightly guilty.
Fuzzy Pup, on the other hand, is in the height of his "everything is mine and I'll do as I please with it" stage... which is seemingly aggravated by his being a male and intact.
Or maybe it's a schnauzer thing, or a Fuzzy Pup thing. This is after all the same dog that heels pretty well perfectly off leash (if I can get that "no" or "leave it" command through his thick head to the full-stop point, he'll never have to wear a leash again) but will run and hit the end of a leash, with no provocation, mind you, hard enough to flip himself over backwards. Repeatedly.
I think he likes it.
Anyway, he's already half kennel-trained, if a little spoiled to being a free-range pup, since Bestest Friend, who gifted him to me (she breeds the fuzzy little critters) kennels her two bitches and her stud. They're house-dogs, no doubt, family pets, but they get crated when no one is home, and momma and pups are crated pretty well constantly until the pups are ready to start exploring. (Ample potty-breaks for momma, no worries, but Bestest Friend says that Fuzzy Pup's mom, anyway, will close the crate door herself if someone leaves it open.)
Anywho, back to the original point, we needed a crate. Local dept store had only a 20 inch model, not really what we needed, so Mamaw told me to get one at El Marto Del Wal.
Of course the things were on the top shelf, and of course someone had shoved a mangled box from the stack of the size up from what we needed over on top of the stack of the size we needed.
So Farmmom and I are standing there, pondering this situation, and I reach up to check the feasibility of getting the danged thing myself. No dice, I could take down the larger crate and then get the smaller one that I wanted, but that would necessitate leaving the larger crate sitting on the floor. I couldn't shove it back over onto its proper stack myself.
I am not a fan of creating more work for folks who don't get paid all that much anyway, not to mention the inherent rudeness of leaving the box sitting somewhere that it might be in the way of Grannie Goodcookies trying to get kibble for her beloved Pomeranian.
"Better get an Associate," I proclaimed sagely, and Farmmom and I both turned, only to spot a man that can only be described as a gen-u-wine Long Tall Drink Of Water perusing the treat aisle behind us.
He looked up, looked at me (5'7) looked at Farmmom (5'mumblemumble, but shorter than me) looked at the top shelf, and very politely asked, "Do you Ladies need some help?"
"Um. Well, we just need to get a kennel down, but I can't quite manage it myself so I was going to get..." (Not being one to impose, it didn't really occur to me to request his help. Frankly I was boggling slightly at being addressed as a lady while wearing a brown Queen of the Lake hat, orange hoodie, tahr-smeared Wranglers and beat-up Thorogood boots.)
"Which one do you need?"
"Um. The smaller one?"
And thusly he reached up (not near as much a reach for him as it was for me) and shoved over the larger kennel, retrieving, and placing in our basket, the one we wanted.
Me being me, I opined:
"It sure is nice to have tall people in the world!"
So, nice man with the rather spiffy hand-tooled(?) leather belt and the plaid shirt, if you assisted two women to retrieve a wire dog crate in El Marto Del Wal today, Thank You.
Frankly, you did a bit more than save us a bit of a walk to find whatever Pimply Faced Youth they had working the pet section today.
Growing up in a county where the standard used to be that a gentleman tipped his hat, cowboy or ball cap, to a female as she walked by, held the door in that understated sort of "I was standing here anyhow" way*, and generally assisted folks of both sexes wherever he saw a need, I've been a little discouraged lately.
See, our current Sheriff (whom I've ranted about before, I know, but trust me this one is a tiny one) not only doesn't tip his hat to us setters (he doesn't wear one,) but he declines even a genteel nod to acknowledge our presence. Or the presence of anyone, really. The finer points of Country Manners are lost on him entirely.
As a result, the Deputies have ceased such practices as well. Two Sheriffs ago, if a Deputy had failed to hold a door for a lady in the presence of the Sheriff, or if the Sheriff had even heard that the deputy had failed in his duty to be courteous and helpful to the residents of our fair county, said Deputy would have been quietly called into the back office and dressed down but good.
There used to be a belief that the elected officials, and their hirelings, should be good role-models to the younger generation. Strangely enough, it worked, to a certain extent. While the young males of the county did not routinely hold doors for their female friends, they did so for dates and elders. Things like that.
It seems lately that less of that kind of etiquette is being practiced anywhere, and it saddens me. Such niceties are the social lubricants that keep members of society from rubbing together too hard and starting to smoke.
So thank you, Nice Man. You've reminded me that there are still Country Gentlemen out there, who may not make grand gestures but make a habit instead of small gestures, with greater impact.
I feel better, being reminded.
* This right here is why I'm so awkward when a man quite obviously opens a door for me, or holds out a chair. It's always been such an understated gesture here, that it's a bit of a shock to realize that, hey wow, there's a guy holding a door for me! The understated nature of the door-holding does not, of course, preclude me from saying "thank you" as I pass, or at the very least offering a small smile and nod. Social lubricants, like I said.