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Carol Perkins: Lessons from Sadie Hawkins Day

A valuable lesson and a defining moment on Sadie Hawkins Day, when the object of Carol's affections "ran like a deer."
Next previous Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: My grandmother and her sister Annie

By Carol Perkins

When I was a freshman in high school, one of the clubs sponsored a Sadie Hawkins Day event that concluded with a dance in the school gym. Sadie Hawkins Day is rooted in the story of Sadie Hawkins, a character created by Al Capp in the comic strip Li'l Abner. Sadie, described as "the homeliest gal in the hills," was unable get a date; so her father, a prominent citizen in the town of Dogpatch, named a day after her to help Sadie get a man. On Sadie Hawkins Day, a footrace was held in Dogpatch so the women could pursue the town's eligible bachelors.

At school the rules were laid out that on the afternoon before the dance, the student body would be released to the football field at which time girls would chase boys and those that were "tapped" became the date for the dance. Feeling in charge and knowing the exact young man I wanted for my date, I set out to get him. The surprise came when I had run my little legs off after him while he kept running. I thought he was playing hard-to-get; he was playing run for your life.

Once on the football field, I eyed him and perhaps catching him off guard, I got close. That was the only time. We dodged in and out of all the other students, and although it was expected that the boys would not be caught easily, he ran like a deer. After about ten minutes of chasing and gasping for breath, I remember the exact moment the light came on. I stopped in my tracks and left the field to sit with my friends on the bleachers who refused to participate, claiming they weren't interested in the dance. Humiliated that they had been watching me, I said nothing. Thankfully, neither did they.

It wasn't long until a girl his own age caught him and didn't put up much of a "run" from her.

After a long time thinking about it, I wasn't upset that he ran from me; I was upset that I had run after him.

I got over my crush at that moment on the field and we went on to be friends. However, there are defining moments in all our lives and this was one for me. Never chase after a guy even if Sadie did because it makes you look like the "homeliest gal in the hills."

Carol Perkins, the writer of this popular CM Column, is co-host of Susan (Susan Shirley Chambers) & Carol (Carol Sullivan Perkins) on 99.1 The Hoss, regularly live at 10amCT, each Tuesday.

This story was posted on 2015-09-24 06:47:46
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