Post 75 Tales of 'courting' in days gone by!

In modern times it seems to me that when a young man asks a girl for a date, he expects her to be stork-proof and willing to stay for breakfast.    But before the pill, free love and flower power, things were very different. Courting was a sedate affair; relationships progressing far more slowly than is the case today.   

And parents used to oversee any developing romance more closely than they do now, not wanting their offspring to waste their lives with an unsuitable partner.
  In particular they felt protective towards their daughter – dreading that she might get into ‘trouble’ (meaning get in the ‘family way’ as we used to say).

In those days, parents used to worry when the amorous couple occupied their living room late into the evening.    What were they up to? Was it safe for them to retire to bed whilst the boyfriend was still on the settee cuddling their daughter?

One anxious father popped his head round the door and asked, ‘Do you know what time it is?’  The young man immediately bolted much to the annoyance of the girl.

Truly I only wanted to know the time because my watch had stopped’ the father later explained to his irate daughter somewhat unconvincingly.

 One anxious mother shouted down from her bedroom ‘doesn’t that young man know how to say


  ‘Doesn’t he!’ replied Mary from the darkness of the hall. ‘Well I should say he certainly does’.

Once an angry father roared from the warmth of his bed, ‘Look, I’ve no objection to you saying goodnight to my daughter for two hours on the doorstep, but for God’s sake, take your elbow off the bell-push.’

How times have changed.   These days a daughter is likely to keep her father at bay as long as possible though she might confide in her mother.  Modern mothers can be a source of useful advice based on their own experience such as ‘If you should have a quarrel with him, whatever you do, don’t give in.   It’s important to start as you mean to go on.’

One modern father protested that his daughter hadn’t brought her young man to meet him, to which the daughter calmly replied, ‘he said he did meet you once and there was nothing about you to which he objects.’

It once happened that the mother had already met her young man before the daughter chose to introduce him to her.   Your face seems familiar to me, have we met somewhere before?’ the suitor asked. 

her mother replied sternly, ‘We met this morning, on the tube; You were sitting and I was standing - all the way from Liverpool Street to Leytonstone.’

Quotation of the week

‘I was very much the traditionalist. I went down on one knee and dictated a proposal which my secretary faxed over straight away.’

                                                                        Stephen Fry and Hugh Lawrie

I acknowledge that many of these observations on courting in days gone by are those of John AYE whose humorous thoughts on a variety of subjects are well worth reading.

For details of Peter’s novels and collections of short stories search ‘Peter Sykes’ on Amazon Books