01/03/2013 03:48 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2013

Is Chivalry Dead?

With Valentine's Day the next major holiday on the calendar, you may believe that you are on the hook for something expensive or fattening. I know the merchandisers of America sure hope you believe that you need to go out and spend some big bucks to show how much you love your life partner. lease don't believe everything they tell you, or everything you think.

Last night, my husband delivered a love poem to me, bringing me to tears in seconds. He had obviously put much effort, care and pure love into his simple ballad. But then again, from the day we first met almost eight years ago at age 50, he has always had a way with both words and chivalry. So what exactly is chivalry and, by the way, should it be dead?

Chivalry is defined by as: "the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor and dexterity in arms." The Free Dictionary adds to these qualities: "bravery, honor and gallantry toward women."

What do you think of "gallantry toward women?" I was raised to expect no gallantry simply because I was a woman, but I have to say I rather enjoy being treated special, call it what you will.

Perhaps I feel this way because none of the men I knew when I was younger ever treated me in any way that I would call chivalrous. Generally, in college and in my twenties and thirties, none of the college-educated men I knew did much of anything to make me feel that I mattered a whole lot to them.

Enter Mike at age 50. We met through, the product of various divorces and other midlife crises. Before we met, I did wonder a bit about the fact that he hadn't finished college. He instead received his education and training through the Navy.

But one thing I knew from the moment I met Mike was that he had a unique style and a great appreciation of women. Was it the way he first polished up his truck to come to meet me, and then brought me a large bouquet of flowers? Whatever it was, I felt respected. even enjoyed the way he would make a special effort to open my car door first, before he got in himself.

Mike eventually told me his mother was a very special woman and she had taught him to respect the many ways women make the world a better place. How a man like this made it all the way to age 50 without a wife was a mystery to me, but I solved that problem quick!

I can only say I so appreciate feeling special, needed and loved every single day of the year, call it what you will!