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A Sadie surprise

Liz Harter | Friday, November 9, 2007

Today is the anniversary of the first-ever Sadie Hawkins Day Dance at Morris Harvey College in 1938. A dance to which, traditionally, girls ask boys.

Now, I’ve been at a single-sex educational facility for seven years. It’s an amazing atmosphere but, like all things, it has its perks and its drawbacks.

Sadie Hawkins Day is one of its drawbacks – if only because every day is Sadie Hawkins Day when it comes to finding dates to dances, formals and events.

Sadie Hawkins Day has been on the books since 1937 when Al Capp ran a ‘Lil’ Abner’ comic strip in which Sadie Hawkins, the unattractive daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins, one of the residents of the town of Dogpatch, participated in the town’s first-ever race where girls pursued the town’s bachelors in hopes of literally catching a husband.

If a girl were to drag one of the bachelors across the finish line by the end of the race, that man would then have to marry the girl.

The overwhelming positive feedback that Capp received from the comic was so great that he decided to run the strip annually in November.

There is some contention as to whether Sadie Hawkins Day actually occurs on Nov. 9, as some say that it occurs on Nov. 13, and others say that it is Nov. 17.

Capp actually weighed in on the controversy in 1952, saying that it had become his responsibility to put Sadie Hawkins Day in the comic strip annually.

“It doesn’t happen on any set day in November,” Capp said. “It happens on the day I say it happens.”

Therefore, I can choose which one of these days I would like to celebrate the holiday. And because I’m writing the Inside Column for today, I choose today.

Since 1938, many schools and organizations have held Sadie Hawkins dances.

Unfortunately, my single-sex institutions were not two of them.

I have always wanted to actually participate in Sadie Hawkins Day but have never had an event to ask a guy to.

That is not the case this year.

This year, Sadie Hawkins Day and the Saint Mary’s junior formal fall relatively close to each other. Close enough that I can actually participate in the day’s events since it gives a fair amount of warning to make plans for the dance.

So I’m going to do it.

I’m going to get caught up in the spirit of the day.

No, I’m not going to go out and find myself a bachelor to drag across a finish line and force him to marry me. Instead, I’m going to do one of the gutsiest things I’ve ever done in my life.

Hopefully I don’t face plant after sky diving from a plane and taking a chance with this one. … But Matt of the saxophones, will you go with me to the Saint Mary’s junior formal?