College is Strange

What I Learned

Some of you are already aware that I, along with all other first- or second-semester ABC students, had the opportunity to visit the Creation Museum last week. We left Thursday morning, got to the museum in the afternoon, had some sessions, crashed at the houses of some people from a local church, went back to the museum bright and early Friday morning, had some more sessions, walked around the museum, and left Friday afternoon. It was all wonderful. I loved the lectures we heard, especially one with like marine biology or something like that–though I must admit that those chairs were a little too comfy for good concentration, especially as tired as we were. I got to re-visit some exhibits I saw with my whole family and Mr. R in 2008 and relive some memories. (Turtle tank, anyone? Or “Let’s-take-another-photo-in-which-Jon-looks-like-he’s-being-eaten!” Good times.) I got to see some new exhibits–the insectarium was sweet. I got to ride for ten hours with a vanful of super cool people and have amazing fellowship In Christ. I got to visit the museum’s petting zoo and pet a camel. It was just a really great time.

Beyond all this, however, there is one specific thing I learned which I feel is worthy of sharing with you. Due to the nature of this lesson, I am going to supress some names for privacy and all that good jazz.

Friday afternoon, we said goodbye to our new camel friend, loaded back into vans and buses, and hit the road. After about an hour or so, we stopped for supper. The People In Charge had previously distributed a sign-up list of available eateries, and I had elected to go with the other girls in my van to 5 Guys, home of “The Best Burger A Man Can Eat”–which review rather perturbed some burger-loving women among us. We pulled up chairs to one of those really high tables, squoze in, and started trying to eat these massive (and delicious, I might add) burgers while still retaining a shred of ladylikeness. Some of us had more success in this area than others. Partway through our meal, I ran out of ketchup. Anyone who has ever been in my company when I am eating french fries will understand this statement. To remedy this dastardly situation, I descended and went to get some more.

(I should probably throw in here that we six were not the only ABC students who had chosen to patronize 5 Guys on this return voyage. Just behind us, a large group of young men filled a long table and were eating with gusto. They had offered to let us sit with them, but their table was looking pretty occupied already and we were happy in our exalted position.)

So I got some more ketchup and made my way back to my lofty perch. Approaching, I noticed one of the young men from the table behind us also drawing near. Using my oh-so-intelligent and logical brain, I immediately deduced that he was making his way up to the counter, and thus politely refrained from seating myself in order that he could pass through the tables easily instead of being forced to squeeze through the rather crowded area. My Mom just taught me to be nice like that. Plus, it was easier for me to wait.

Now, let me also tell you that this young man is one of those guys who is always grinning–not in the “Isn’t it a beautiful day? I’m happy to be alive and to be God’s child!” kind of way, but the “I know something funny that you don’t know” kind of way. But not necessarily mean like that. Just mischievous, I suppose. You would understand if you saw him. Anyhow, as I stepped back in order to let him pass, said young man also drew back and indicated me to sit. Polite, of course, but very nonsensical. It would be so much easier for him to just go and then I could clamber up and rejoin my group. Thinking thuslywise, I said something generic like, “Oh no, you can go,” though of course I don’t remember my actual words because it wasn’t that important at the time. The young man in question, however, seemed determined not to go through until I had sat. He pulled out my chair, pointed it toward me, and told me to sit down. I used my eyebrows to express the fact that I felt this was not a good idea, and also verbally informed him that I was not  going to sit down and have him spin the chair in a complete circle. So he pointed the chair back toward the table, but still told me to sit down.

Fine. This was getting ridiculous, and I just wanted to eat french fries with ample ketchup. I sat down–or up, rather. It was, as I have mentioned, one of those really fun very tall chairs for use at really fun very tall tables. Then it got awkward, because the aforementioned young man started pushing in my chair like gentlemen used to do for ladies. Ha! he’s never seen me eating french fries or he would know I’m not a really a lady yet. It was kind of him, but have you ever tried to move a very tall chair in which someone is reposing? The balance is a little sketchy. Also, we were fitting six girls and all their food at a table meant for four, tops. As I felt myself in danger of toppling–and dramatically taking the entire table of french fries, fat burgers, and lime Cokes with me–I hastily said, “Uh, that’s fine, thanks.” (Or something like that. Remember, I didn’t have anyone record this interaction, so I can’t say for certain.)

The young man returned to his seat at the table behind me.


I thought all this was about our paths accidently crossing and politely arguing who was going to be in the other’s way. Why did he just…go back to his seat?

I made a puzzled expression. “Ummm…what was that about?” I murmured to my tablemates. They looked equally bewildered by the exchange and could only shrug. I glanced over my shoulder at his chair. He noticed. “What?” he queried.

“Ummm….what were you doing?”

Cheeky grin in hand…(wait. That’s not right. You know what I mean.) With his trademark cheeky grin (much better!), he responded, “Just showing you that chivalry isn’t dead.”

“Oh,” I responded vaguely. “Thanks.”

I turned back to my now completely-ketchuped french fries. Chivalry may not be dead, I mused.

But it can also be just a little…creepy.


5 thoughts on “What I Learned”

  1. I was waiting for the bit where you spilled ketchup all over! But it is a good story without that. Perhaps in order to show that chivalry isn’t dead, some young men could be trained to go get the ketchup for you! There’s a bonus points idea!

  2. Do you mean that a young man actually got out of his seat just to pull out your chair! There are gentlemen left in the world! This is not creepy, I am very impressed. And chivalry with a cheeky grin . . . . I too, however was waiting for the dastardly ketchup explosion, or for you to trip and fall or fall out of your chair. None of this happened so all is good, and you got chivalry too.

      1. Sounds creepy… I’m all for chivalry, but that might be a little over the edge.

        I agree with Pastor Brown. I was waiting for the inevitable, you go, no you go dance ending in a collision with ketchup involved. Glad to know you were saved a ketchup catastrophe 🙂

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