Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sadie Hawkins Day and All Male Weddings

On the list of books I'll never write is one about two strange role reversal customs that spread through the country in the fifties and sixties. Alas, I remember them well!

Sadie Hawkins Day was a much anticipated activity each year at my high school. Originally a part of Al Capp's Lil Abner comic strip, this yearly event was based on a character who was so homely, no man would ever select her to be his wife. Realizing the dismal prospects, her father rounded up all the eligible bachelors in Dogpatch and under threat of a shotgun, forced them into a race. The slowest runner would be caught by his Sadie and she would marry her prize.

From the time it was originated in 1937 to the years when I was in school it had evolved into a major social event. Girls invited boys to be their beaus for the one day, unheard of in a society where (proper) girls could NOT ever call boys on the telephone. Ever. Except the week leading up to this momentous day, that is. The inviting came after much discussion between saddle-shoed, poodle skirted girls whispering and giggling in the cafeteria line. Pity the poor boy who was picked by a less than adorable girl. More than that, pity the poor boy who was never picked. Talk about role reversals!

On Sadie Hawkins Day morning, the girls labeled their selections with signs or hats or matching costumes, and made them off limits for all others. The day ended with a dance. Fun for all, right? Looking back, I'm sure the boys dreaded the day. (That thought never occurred to me until now, by the way!)

So the Sadie Hawkins Day boys grew into men and faced yet another dreaded custom. The All Male Wedding Fund Raiser.

Here's a lovely "bride" waiting to walk down the aisle at the school auditorium. What personality type was able to do this all in the name of charity? The former class clown, that's who! Maybe even the one who wore the crown at the Sadie Hawkins Day dance.

Of course the production took a gaggle of class clowns. Who would pay to watch such foolishness? An auditorium full did. 

In this politically corrected society, these customs have faded into a blip on yesterday's radar. Life was simple once upon a time back when no one thought to take issue with either custom. I'm wondering what customs we do now will be looked on with dismay by our future generations!

Catch of the day,


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