I don't know if this has been answered already, but I guess I'll give it a try. This has been wandering around in my head way before I joined this site, but now that I'm here I can finally ask people that I can trust about this question.
Here's the gist: From what I've been reading about on the weather earlier, this week is bound for some nasty rains. And yes, I'm in a school. My biology teacher is relatively old and he knows several things about doing things the old-fashioned way and the use of common etiquette back in the day, and I've even read up on his so-called "etiquette books".
I guess you can say that I'm sort of working on the ways of becoming a true gentleman. I really don't like the school I go to. It's full of snobs and obnoxiously loud people who degrade the school property and write "F.U." all over the benches (quite like Catcher in the Rye), and people who happen to have a penchant for just being a total dork, honestly. There are plenty of nice people there at my school though, believe me.
But that's besides the point. The thing is, if I see a girl who usually walks home but forgot her umbrella, how can I ask her if I can walk her home, or something along those lines? I don't want it to come off as awkward or like, weird. I just want to be a nice guy here without sounding like a dip-stick. There's this girl that's been constantly catching my eye lately and my last class is right next to the parking lot, and we sometimes cross roads when I walk to the bike racks. She does have a car, so she does head to the parking lot. Let's say she didn't bring her umbrella or something, but I brought mine. How do I ask her if I can walk her to her car or something?
Say something along the lines of this:
"Hey the weather outside looks pretty crappy and I noticed you don't have an umbrella with you. Do you mind if I walk you to your car?" Be sure to have your umbrella in hand so she can clearly deduce your intention. You don't want to ask her with your hands empty because that could indeed be taken the wrong way. If you ask politely and in a way so she understands your intention you should be set- and don't take rejection poorly. I believe that most women your age (high school, correct?) aren't accustomed to such manners and may mistake it for something else; in other words, they may be taken aback by you just merely asking to walk them to their car. Therefore, don't take rejection personally and try again later.
It seems to me that you have a crush on this girl (the one you want to walk to her car). If so, you'll have to be more bold in hitting on her if you want to eventually land a date with her. Walking her to her car isn't bad by any means, but if you want to get to know her better and get her on a date you have to step up your game. But I digress. Good luck when the rains come and hopefully you'll get a chance to walk her back to her car.
Thanks a lot for the info. It feels so good to finally get that question out there - I would've asked my Bio teacher but - eh, that would've come out awkward, if you know what I mean. I'll keep your advice in mind and I'll add "stepping up my game" to the checklist of things to do on the progression to manhood.
Reading this post put a smile on my face and reminded me of a moment in high school when I was a real douche. It was pelting down and I was walking home with an umbrella. This girl, that everyone at school was making fun of us liking each other (even though we didn't) didn't have her umbrella. I decided that moment not to share my umbrella for fear of what others might think from it. So I left her to walk in the pouring rain...
The consequence of my decision almost 10yrs later, still serves as a reminder for me. From then on I decided I could never ever let myself do something so against my values that till now, and forever, I will be the best gentleman I can make myself be.
So anyway to your question and as D.J has outlined just have your umbrella in hand and ask her if she would like to share your umbrella. I would also probably have the umbrella open and take a step out into the rain and then turn to her as she waits.
If she says no, then her loss right? she doesn't get to go to her car without getting soaked. Also don't let the reactions/rejections from others stop you from being the gentleman you want to be. I once held a door open for a teacher so she could go in first and she gave me the most weirdest look like I had done something wrong. So just know that you do it because you know it is right and not because you want to show off or impress others. Then their reaction won't matter or hurt so much.
Hope this helps mate and good luck!
Richard from Romantic Missions
Thanks a lot for your great advice, Richard.
Sorry to hear that you've got some regrets, but it's nice to hear you've made a good pledge in regards to being the best gentleman you can be. If she does say no, then yeah - I'm perfectly cool with it and I respect her decisions.
I will definitely keep your post in mind. Thanks!
Refreshing post man. Good for you.
Being a gentleman is always the best route. You don't have to memorize Emily Post or anything like that. It is just about being considerate to others. You might get some comments from others, but don't let it stop you. Having manners and class is always great.
As for the girl, don't over think it. Trying to work out witty phrasing can inadvertently turn a kind gesture into a bad pick up line. Keep it simple and honest.
"That rain is really picking up. Want to share my umbrella so you don't get wet?"
Nothing complicated. Not setting it up as some "line" also will make her less likely to be uncomfortable so that walk can include some nice conversation. Just be yourself and let her get to know you.
The more simple you make it, the better your chances of not tripping over your tongue. Lord when I was that age, how I could screw up asking what should have been such a simple question because I got so hyped up, so nervous and tried to say too much.
I sure know how that feels. That happened to me several times during sixth grade when I could barely even look at a girl without getting nervous. I'll keep your advice in mind about making it simple - thank you.
I agree with you - manners and class will always remain forever, though it's commonly overshadowed by "being a jerk", especially in schools. I don't see how girls could like those kinds of people, but if it's their preference, then - you know, I'm cool with that.
I also agree with you on the "simple and honest" part. I never had a liking for witty one-liners and always found them to be corny. I'll definitely say something along those lines (the example you wrote). I'll remember to keep it simple and to just be myself - the most important part. Thanks again, Chuck.
These guys know what they're talking about! The only thing I would add is go ahead and set yourself 3 things to talk about beforehand on the walk. There is a page on this site talking about conversation or being a good house guest; and one thing is on the way to a party is be sure to think of things interesting to talk about. Otherwise it'll get awkward. Just think of some basic things to say and she might take the conversation. I think it's very important to learn the art of conversation (something I'm working on) and if she lets you walk her have something to say and when she talks listen. That'll be more impressive than anything! Best of luck; my friend!
Hey there, Nicholas.
You're totally right; these guys sure have experience and I'm sure I can rely on their advice - yours too. I've read up on numerous articles beforehand about being a good house guest and having good manners in general, and I've already started thinking about what kind of conversation I'll be striking up if she does agree to let me walk with her. I'll remember to listen when she talks and not to overstep my boundaries. Thanks for wishing me good luck! Thank you Nicholas.
All this angst over something that hasn't happened...
You have a couple of problems here, first, you're manufacturing situations in your mind which will likely never happen. Your plan to talk to a girl is hinging on a weather forecast? What are you going to do when the situation you've planned for never occurs? At best you'll be stumbling and fumbling trying to improvise. At worst you'll convince yourself the opportunity never arises and you'll wander through life pining for some girl wondering why blah blah blah. When really you're talking yourself out of it for whatever reason.
Second, there are no manners in America. Not in the way you're thinking anyway. Those old time etiquette books are nostalgia for something which never happened to our people, mostly it's nostalgia for Edwardian England. Our culture is set up to deny individual help when offered. Even those on the dole will consistently deny help from others. You won't get very far if you ask someone if they need your help. Your best bet is to just tell them you're going to help them. See someone struggling with something heavy? "Let me help you with that." See someone with their hands full trying to go through a door? "Let me get that for you." See a girl about to step off into the rain without an umbrella? "Share mine." This is America, we only accept help when it's forced upon us. Unlike some other cultures I've run into where you damn near have to beat a guy down in order to convince him your offer to help out isn't a blood oath and he really doesn't need to serve your family for the rest of his years.
Don't make shit up to be a hero. Most of life is pretty boring and modern, liberated, independent, 21st Century American women don't need to be saved from a few water drops.
All this negativity over something you really don't have to be so negative about. But I'm not here to pick a fight. I respect your opinion and it's totally fine with me.
You could very well be right with me "manufacturing situations" in my mind, which probably is the case, but can you manufacture a statement in your mind that says, "I'm going to die eventually" and expect it to not happen? I don't think so. Also (in regards to your examples), things that involve people struggling with someone heavy, or someone with their hands full trying to go through a door and especially a girl that is about to step off into the rain without an umbrella - all examples that you've stated do happen, in America and all overt he world. There are times where you'll eventually see someone that's going to need help, and in my opinion I think it's rather good-mannered to give aid whenever possible, unless they personally ask they don't need it. Everyone needs help eventually. Not everyone's a complete loner or if they feel they don't need help from anybody (though I'm not calling you one).
So yeah, the possibility of a girl about to step off into the rain without an umbrella is bound to happen someday in my lifetime. You said it yourself. In regards to your second point, I do think there are manners in America as there are in every other country in the world. People think it's rude to shake with your left hand rather than your right. Some think it's rude to shake hands with working gloves on. And any other example in which certain sets of individuals think it's rude to do something they consider as rude, could add to those two examples. I don't know if it was the way you were raised or if it's your damned opinion, or if it's from your own experience that America has no manners, but I believe the world as a whole does, including America as well.
And no, I'm not making up shit. I'm no hero either, and me denying that I'm a hero doesn't make me a hero in the least. I'm just a high-school student that doesn't want to be an immature, half-wit snob all my life like many people that I go to school with. I'm sure you probably had to put up with some of those people in your school career as well.
I'll keep your words in mind. Thanks.