Chivalry is dead. In fact, it's deader than dead, decomposed and regrown into skeptical rudeness and self-entitled attitudes.
It started yesterday. Mom had sent me to the store to pick up some ingredients for dinner, no problem for me. I'm supposed to get the ingredients, get home, and drive some over to my grandmother so that she has some dinner. The trip to the store is typical. In, out. No problem. Fastforward to the drive home.
I take a northbound left onto the highway and start homeward. About... 2000 feet from the store-turn off, there's a car in the southbound lane, sideways, partially on the shoulder in a snow bank, hazards blinking. Not clear enough? This car looks like it SPUN OUT! My first instinct is to stop, but there's oncoming traffic. I watch them, hoping someone will stop, or at least slow down. Thirteen cars, not. one. stops. Watching these people blow by the spun out lookalike is dismaying and makes my heart sink. Headlights in the last car in the line outlines the figure of a head, which is scary. If the driver spun out, they could be injured. This steels my resolve, I drive to the next stop light, take a left onto some side road, flip a uie, go back, take a southbound right, and pull up behind the spun out car. Get out, slam the door shut, run as fast as I can to the car. I reach it and knock on the window when I realize that the driver is ok. She looks up and immediately, her face lights up and she grins a very thankful grin. She gets out of the car. She ran out of gas and realized that she was sitting on E as she was headed home, thought to flip a uie and catch the southbound lane back to the gas station two turn lanes back. Her car puttered out mid-turn and the car died, barely getting her to the shoulder before giving up on her.
She spent 20 minutes, sitting in her car in 15f weather with no heat, trying to call people to come help, looking like she SPUN OUT, and people just.. drove by her. She couldn't leave the car because, oh hey, pushing it is a two person job and none of her contacts were available to help. She would have been stuck there if I hadn't stopped, because no one else was going to stop, until either a cop showed up, or her mom had finished the hour-long pilgrimage from her place of work to the city in which she lives. 15 degrees may be better than the negatives we've been having, but it's STILL below freezing. Why couldn't anyone stop?!
I mean, seriously. The way I was raised is to stop when you see hazards, to offer help, to be cautious but courteous with strangers, and remember that the way you treat stranded strangers should always be the same way you'd want to be treated. I was also raised in an isolated town, one that you must traverse a 36 mile long canyon to get to any big cities, one that has absolutely no cell reception. If you break down in the canyon, you're stranded until someone stops to help you. Period. Unless you walk the canyon, which few people choose to do. I was raised with the mentality that no cell reception means you are alone if you break down. Being alone and in an isolated canyon is not favorable. You are often stuck relying on people's kindness. It pays to be the one being kind, because if I ever broke down in the canyon, I would desperately hope that someone would stop to help or at least check on me.
When we moved out of our town, my mentality was changed. Cities usually have exceptional cell service. Cell service obviously means that people can take care of themselves, right? So we stop to help people less. I can understand this, truly, I can. This means that I won't necessarily stop and bug you if I see you pulled over. This doesn't, however, mean that I completely discredit you being broken down. Whenever I pass a car with hazards, I slow down and try to see what's going on. If something seems really wrong, I stop. If it doesn't, I press on and send my best wishes to the car I just passed. If I happen to have to travel back by the area in which the person was stopped, I always keep an eye out for them and resolve to stop and check on them if they're still there and in their car. Especially on cold days.
This, though, is just referencing to cars parked on shoulders with their hazards going. This is NOT talking about cars that are sideways, partially in the road, and not fully on the shoulder, which like I described, is what happened yesterday. The fact that these people passed a car like that just irks and unnerves me. The situation could have been infinitely worse than it was, and if it was? Would those people have had the sense to stop, or would they have mindlessly and rudely blown by, not caring? She was someone's girlfriend, daughter, friend, hair stylist. If she had been hurt, would anyone have thought to call the cops or check on her? I fear not...
At the end of the situation, a cop had come and checked on us. We ended up having to jump the car and get her more gas than she got when I originally took her to the gas station. I proceeded to follow her to the gas station to make sure she was in a safer place than on the side of the road, and we parted ways. But in the time I was with her? Not one other soul stopped. Not one. And that.. sickens me.
Chivalry is dead. It's deader than dead, decomposed, and regrown into skeptical rudeness and self-entitled attitudes.
Gotta story to share? Please do. I need to know other, helpful and kind people exist. People that stop to help when it's needed. Wanna join in? DO IT! Be angry with me!