Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bachelors: Lock Yourself In and Don't Answer Your Phone until 12:01 Tonight

For today is Leap Year Day aka Sadie Hawkins Day which was created by cartoonist Al Capp, who wrote the strip "Lil Abner." In the strip, Sadie was considered the ugliest woman in the hills. By the time she reached 35, her father was desperate to get her married. So he organized a race -- "when Ah fire this shotgun..." where eligible bachelors took off running with the women seeking a husband right behind them. If she caught one of them he HAD to marry her. Possible earliest reference to a "shotgun wedding"?

But: Capp put the day for women to literally chase men to catch a husband on November 15, 1937. Today a lot of people celebrate Sadie Hawkins Day on the first Saturday in November instead.

"St. Brigid's Complaint" is a variation. Supposedly St. Brigid complained to St. Patrick about the length of time it took for a man to propose and magnanimously, he said, "Okay - on the 29th of February, the ladies can propose to the men!" Alert Readers will note this means one time in four years...

But this theory has been proven to be dubious as the event occurred in the 5th century, but wasn't actually used until the 19th.

In Greece, one in five couples believe that marrying on that day - or even year - is bad luck and postpone the event.

In Denmark, if the gent declines the honor, he then must pay the poor woman 12 pairs of gloves. You know that's an old one! No one wears dress gloves today...

Today, it's all changed. Just think of "The Batchelor." It's on every WEEK!

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