April 2009 Archived
Podcast Now Available
Published: April 18, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Readers,

     As you might have noticed, for each entry on Chivalry there is a short list of recommendations meant to supplement each response.  Something I try to keep consistent across the board is providing a playlist of ten songs relevant to the question being asked.  Newly added to the site is the ability to "podcast" each playlist.  You can still stream the audio in your browser by clicking the play button directly above the track list.  But now, should you want to download the collection of songs into your iTunes, simply click "Subscribe To Podcast" in the upper right column. 

     I'd also like to thank everyone who has written in so far, I appreciate you sharing your questions and I hope that the answers have been helpful.  And to anyone looking to send in a question you can click on "Submit An Inquiry" to fill out a form and remain anonymous, or you can also email directly to: dearchivalry@gmail.com

     Looking forward.


Simple Correspondence
Published: April 9, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Chivalry,

    I am in love with my penpal.  We met several years ago, and then parted ways and have corresponded from opposite sides of the country ever since.  Our relationship has never been romantic - we've been friends, cheering one another on through school and work, love and heartbreak.  But really I've been head-over-heels for him since the day we met.  I have no idea if he does, or did, feel the same way.

    After going through a couple failed relationships, I find myself wondering if my penpal could ever be more-than-a.  He might be coming to visit me this summer and I'm thinking about telling him how I feel.

    Is there a way to tell him without risking our friendship?  Without pressuring or scaring him?  Is it foolish to even consider this when we live so far apart?  He is one of the best people I've ever known, and I can't stand the thought of making things strained or awkward between us.


Pining Penpal

Dear Pining Penpal,

    As I'm sure you know, you're not the first person to find yourself here.  So you can take comfort in the fact that you belong to a fairly large club of the nervous, the unsure, and usually, the wonderful, that countless authors and film makers have chosen to cast as their main character to tell a love story.  At one point, I was in a fairly similar place and I made the decision to just get it over with and lay my cards on the table.  And honestly, in the end it all paid off in the best possible way for me.  What's more, I can say without questions that I felt significantly better just for having gotten what I desperately needed off of my chest.

    First off, I'm going to venture a guess and say that if it has been several years and you've felt this way since the day you met him, then he probably has at least some idea of your feelings.  And on that note, if you say that you have no idea of how he sees you, then it's completely possible that he might feel the same way towards you with the same worries that you have.  This is what I hope can help take some of the pressure off that you seem to be worried about.  I know this can all be very nerve-racking and that you don't want to damage what you have if his feelings don't reflect yours.  But if you continue on like this, it's safe to say that things will stay right where they are, with no real chance of progressing to an even better place.  As far as making things strained or awkward, you could say that it in at least one regard, it already is.  If you've been holding something like this in for such a long time, then it's very hard for this to be a completely healthy relationship.  So I think in some ways you might actually risk your friendship more by not telling him. 

    I don't think I can give you a specific strategy for how to go about actually telling him, I think you're the only one who is going to know what to say.  But I can say you that you are definitely on the right path already.  In person is always the best way, and if he is planning on visiting you this summer, then your idea of doing it then is perfect.  Try and make your best effort to look forward to this, instead of stressing over it... I know, not easy.  And when you see him and the moment is right, and you finally let him know how you feel, be completely honest and try not to hold back too much.  If you feel the need to explain the concerns that you've brought up here, I'd say feel free to do so.  The more you get out what needs to be said, the better.  Lastly, try not to worry about the distance.  If it is meant to be, then things like that will work themselves out.  What's important now is to tell him how you feel, and see what happens from there.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck.




George McCrae - "You Can Have It All"
Lord Melody - "The Letter"
Parenthetical Girls - "Unmentionables"
Shelley Duvall - "He Needs Me"
Danny Guglielmi & Dena - "Out Of Nowhere"
Sandro Perri - "You're The One"
Atis Indepandan - "Let Damou (Love Letter)"
Camera Obscura - "Pen & Notebook"
Rachel's - "Last Things Last"
Koen Holtkamp - "You Mean The World To Me"