The Sadie Hawkins Challenge: Make him yours
“Nowadays you can’t even tell a girl you like her,” my guy friend lamented about the ironic state of modern courting while we jogged next to each other at the gym. “Unless maybe you text her.”
I nodded in whole-hearted agreement, thinking of someone I’d like to tell but thinking better of it. It would just freak him out if I were so…direct. Maybe I’ll start “liking” everything he posts on Facebook. Better yet, maybe I’ll post that “All Your Life” video from The Band Perry (“I just want to be the only girl you love all your life!”) on his Facebook page. Eeek! No, that would be WAY too obvious. Hmmmm…how about if I say hello to him the next time I see him?
My four-year-old niece would beg to disagree. Yesterday I was her designated wingman at the roller rink as she flirted shamelessly with an older man (he a blue-eyed eight-year-old with a wicked backward-skate). My job was to escort her around the rink so she could keep up with him. Mostly she feigned dramatic falls and fluttered her eyelashes helplessly at him until he helped her up. Sometimes she just reached out and pushed him over and then laughed at him when he fell down. The rest of the time she just hotly pursued him, chasing him down, catching him and grabbing his hand as they skated off side by side until she fell (oopsie!) again.
Seriously, how could she be more obvious? But he loved the attention, slowing his pace and hanging around patiently (all while I craned my neck and looked out for cute single dads). When we headed to the side of the rink to take a break, she patted the spot beside her on the neon-patterned Cherry-Icy-drizzled carpet. “Come sit by me,” she commanded him. No beating around the bush here. She liked him, and they would be together.
Why can’t it be that easy? Why do we grow up and build walls, act all hard to get, play games? When do we unlearn how to say, simply: “I like you”?
The good news for us is that it’s Leap Year. Leap Year means Leap Day on February 29, and Leap Day is Sadie Hawkins Day. Sadie who? Why, our girl Sadie Hawkins was a 35-year-old “spinster” in the 1930s comic strip Li’l Abner, and the “homeliest gal in all them hills.” Her father, desperate to find her a suitor, declared “Sadie Hawkins Day” and hosted a foot race, where Sadie chased all the local eligible bachelors until she caught one, kicking and screaming, and made the unlucky fellow her husband.
Since Sadie’s first race, each Sadie Hawkins Day, spinsters everywhere (such as myself) get to do the chasing and the catching. Granted, in this modern age, we gals shouldn’t have to wait for a lone day each four years to do the asking, but it’s nice to have an excuse.
If you tend to be on the shy side, like me, or if you have someone in mind but just don’t know how to let him in on it, or even if you’re the homeliest gal in all them hills (and I suspect you’re not), this Sadie Hawkins Day, heck, this Sadie Hawkins year, take the Sadie Hawkins challenge with me.
Suspend your irony, restore your sincerity and summon your courage. Put away your smartphone, log off Facebook and look him in the eye. Ask him out. Tell him you like him. Chase him. Feign a fall in front of him if you have to. Push him down, for heaven’s sake. Grab his hand. Make a place for him beside you, make a place for him in your life. Make him yours.
Go on. What do you have to lose?
The specter of heredity has lurked in the darker corners of Cheryl Perkins’ mind for as long as she can remember.
Her mother died of colon cancer four years ago, and nearly all of the women on her mother’s side of the family had hysterectomies between age 45 and 50 because of cancer diagnoses.
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