Advice for determining whether a love interest is worth the time, and tips on how to mold your current partner into a decent person.
Alexandre’s conception of a gentleman is â€œnot defined by some old school notions like age or occupation or a code of dress” or â€œsome archaic definitions of class.” She emphasizes the importance of ignoring society’s version of the ideal man–tall, handsome, wealthy–and instead, seeking a passionate person (not to be confused with an arrogant loudmouth) who can appreciate life’s little pleasures. The ability to value life and hold nature in high regard are also important qualities, says Alexandre. She offers definitions of â€œgentleman” throughout history, providing examples of model men such as Jesus, Jimmy Carter and naturalist Galen Rowell. Her friendly tone lends the text a feeling of gentle familiarity, as if a close friend were offering advice, though her more political musings may not connect with some readers–after quoting from the legend of King Arthur, she says, â€œIt sounds to me like Arthur would be disappointed in the current rules of war. Remember Shock and Awe?” Nevertheless, Alexandre is a helpful cheerleader, encouraging readers to be proactive on dates by asking lots of questions. When entangled in an uncomfortable situation at home, use external examples of admirable behavior as guidance–though her own model may be somewhat dubious: â€œIf your man is rude, you may say how you admire James Bondâ€¦because he is always so tactful and kind, even before killing his enemy.” She also includes a questionnaire for men and suggestions for raising a gentlemanly son.
Certainly not revolutionary, but Alexandre’s light, practical tips and upbeat attitude show that she’s on your side, even if you may not agree with everything she says.