Dear Alana Germany, today you delivered an essay on the NPR show Day To Day about the death of chivalry in your 21-year-old peer group, and babe, lemme tell you, I'm not generally your oracle if you're looking for a rosy view of the future of kids today, but this is one thing that will get better. I, too, was raised by a dad who sent my mom flowers at work every week and addressed her with pet names like "E.J." — stands for "Earthy Joys," natch — only to spend my first five years of dating dudes who learned their manners from West Coast hip-hop lyrics. But chivalry survived Dre, and it will outlive Joe Francis also. School is just one of those hostile environments that never gives it a chance to grow. And then you leave. And the thing about the stubborn persistence of traditional gender roles is: you are wayyy more likely to date a dude who's significantly older than you than those boys calling you "Mami" on the street are to land a "cougar." Eventually they look around and realize all the girls they fucked in college are dating thirtysomethings, and for awhile they'll just be sullen and pissed off about that, attributing it to thirtysomething dudes' superior dining choices and real estate and other synonyms for "money." And then.
Then, they'll meet one of these thirtysomething guys at work — not one of the real good ones, just one of those single thirtysomething guys who "relates" better to younger dudes and enjoys deluding himself into thinking he's somebody's mentor. Well, that guy doesn't have any money either. But he totally has chicks! What's his secret? Chivalry. It's fun, free, it gets you laid and as a bonus, totally makes dudes feel superior to one another. Just ask Tracie! (She's dating a 22-year-old.)