I’m not sure how many of you are aware of Sadie Hawkins Day. This has traditionally represented a fine time for the gentler sex to muscle up and grab the guy who’s been a little…reluctant. There’s an old riddle about why bachelors make poor grammarians (When asked to conjugate, they decline). Well, this whole Sadie Hawkins thing started back in 1937, with cartoonist Al Capp and his comic strip called Lil’ Abner.
A race would be run by all the eligible bachelors of Dogpatch. The slowest of this lot would be the first Sadie would catch, and by rules of the game, have to consent to marrying her.
For the record, Sadie Hawkins Day, 2019 falls on November 13th. This article, however is about Valentines Day, as it’s February. Or maybe not. Here’s what looks like an editorial from 42 years ago in the Lafayette Square Marquis. Check it out, and see if you pick up some echoes of Lil’ Abner. Here goes, verbatim:
Some residents of the Square have suggested that the Marquis initiate a gossip column in the interest of increasing the social flavor of this publication. The difficulty with that is twofold. First, the formalization of gossip seems somehow to destroy the spontaneity essential to the definition of the word, and publication of these juicy tidbits eliminates the inherent secrecy. Second, the kind of activity that most people around here view as gossip cannot be printed within the bounds of good taste.
BUT, in an effort to supply the residents of this neighborhood with some of the social stimulus necessary to a full and happy life and sometimes so missing in the neighborhood, the Marquis will, next month, begin publishing a series of “Most Eligibles”. To begin with, as most of the members of the staff are female, we will feature the “Ten Most Eligible Bachelors” in the Square, and will proceed during the coming months with Single Women, Male and Female Divorcee’s, etc., etc. We hope through this method to inform our residents of what is available socially on all sides, and to bring a little more spice to the local mating game. Please relate your suggestions and comments to either Cele Austermann or Barbara Geisman, and look forward to this exciting addition to the publication. It was signed by both Cele and Barbara, in addition to Cathy Sheehan, Jennie Rutter, Judy Taylor, Judy Anderson, Betsy Cook, Mary Dean Keyes and Marit Clark.
And so, the race was on. Fun to reconsider 1977. Saturday Night Fever and Love Boat and “two wild and crazy guys”, Nike with their new slogan, “Just do it.” and the general bonanza of living in modern times. It somehow felt like the old rules didn’t apply, and I guess that extended right into the work hard/play hard rebuilding of Lafayette Square by these young bohemians. I doubt there was a real “Sadie” among them, but certainly give them credit for seizing the initiative.
With thanks to Capp Enterprises, Inc. for the use of Lil Abner comic panels.