When a gentleman notices that his female companion is carrying something heavy, he should offer, “May I help you with that?” The Nineties Woman is likely to say, “Thanks, but I can manage.” There is nothing wrong with his trying to help or her refusing assistance. By the same standards, a gentleman will make the same offer to another gentleman. Remember, it is important to be courteous to everyone, not only women.
A gentleman shows his sophistication in an elegant restaurant by helping his female companions take their seats at the table. This is one rule of etiquette which ought not be omitted, be–cause it is sometimes difficult for women wearing long dresses to sit and move their chairs to–ward the table. The man should pull back the chair from the table, then move it back under the woman as she sits down and push it forward if she readjusts her position. If the head waiter guides you to a table and pulls back a chair, he is waiting for the senior lady guest to sit in that chair. Even if the head waiter does assist the woman, her companion, if he is a true gentleman, will wait until she is completely seated be–fore he takes his own chair.
No self–respecting husband or boyfriend in American would stand idly by while his companion pays the bill at the register. That is the man’s duty. Only if he has been invited by the woman should he allow her to pay the bill.