I had lunch today with a friend I hadn't seen for several years - three to be precise. We used to work together, sorta, and even though I didn't necessarily enjoy the work I'd look forward to it because he would make me laugh so hard I didn't care what we were doing, as long as I was being entertained. Today we started out serious, getting caught up on the last three years, but it wasn't long before the snide remarks, the witty retorts, and the silly puns started. The mischievous sparkle in his eyes hasn't changed. We had a good time, it was great to reconnect. As I was reflecting on it later, I realized there was a distinct difference than the guys I work with, than most of my other guy friends, but what... It came down to this: it felt really nice to be taken care of. Which sounds weird and has connotations of a type of relationship we do not have, but I couldn't think of another way to phrase it.
I had written a short "thank you"email to him for his time and for treating me to lunch. I mentioned I was still amused by the water incident.
Allow me to deviate for a moment and tell you about the water incident.
We were having lunch at a Thai place I had suggested because it was close to work and has this one dish that I really like. The place was unusually slow in business, maybe because it was almost 1pm. But as a result we were pretty much ignored. He finally did get the attention of one of the waiters (or was he a busboy?) to ask for water, the guy came over and filled up his water glass and his alone and left. Apparently I was being rationed water and since my glass was not empty yet I didn't deserve anymore. My friend is never at a loss for words or quipy retorts but as the waiter walked away I looked over at him and his mouth was literally agape, speechless and dumbfounded. So that's the water incident.
I immediately heard back from him wanting to be sure that I understood why he was upset; that he was not amused. He mentioned that a gentleman would always be upset by how I was treated. That was it! He was behaving in a gentlemanly manner. He was (is) a gentleman. I had forgotten what they look like, which is why I couldn't name it before. I'm starting to remember - 'Gentleman,' nice to see you again, it's been too long; there are far to few of you in the world. The feminist movement may have killed you off like big game hunters, but for me, I never feel more feminine then when I'm treated well by a gentleman.