Post 88 Marriage Proposals Sixties style

 Only rarely these days will a young man be sufficiently old fashioned  to  ask a girl's father for permission to take her hand in marriage. 

It is understandable that fathers wish to interrogate those wishing to marry their daughters, not least to make certain they are financially secure.    The experience of a father of four daughters demonstrates this well. When a friend commented how much better off he must be now that all his daughters were married, he remarked   ‘Yes, it’s great to have my daughters off my hands. My problem now is keeping four son-in-laws on their feet.’

One young man complained of his inability to save enough money to contemplate marriage. ‘It’s not the cost of the car,’ he explained, ‘it’s the cost of all the accessories.’   ‘Yes,’ his father replied, ‘especially those with short skirts and blond hair.’

In these modern times, it is rare for a young man to formally ask a father for his daughter’s

hand in marriage but in the 50s and 60s this was an essential step. And it was a daunting experience.   Few young men when faces with a stern father felt brave enough to defend themselves but some did.  One response to a father's  'So you want to marry my daughter do you? What an impertinent question. Have you for one moment considered me and my family?' His reply was Sir, I have - but I love her and I'm prepared to put up with them.

Sometimes, if the father is aware of his daughter’s failings, his response to the young man might be very different, ‘Yes by all means marry her, but don’t ever come back to me expecting sympathy.’

Another father once replied. ‘Take her young man, she is exceptionally kindhearted and generous’. To which the prospective, but impecunious youth, replied, ‘I do hope that she has inherited that generosity from you, Sir.’

One hen pecked father with marital problems of his own, when asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage responded ‘You had better see her mother first.’

Sometimes, if a bun has appeared in the proverbial oven, (now that’s not an expression you hear these days)  a chat with her parents becomes a matter of necessity. ‘Do you think your Dad will say much when I tell him we’re going to get married,’ one boy asked his girl.        ‘I don’t know,’ the girl replied, ‘But I fancy he would if you told him we weren’t.’

Finally, a little tale about the wedding. The usher was showing people to their seats at a 1960s wedding. Are you a friend of the bridegroom?' he asked one particularly stern lady.   'No, I certainly am not' came the grim reply, 'I'm the bride's mother!'

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.

Quotations of the week

1) 'Here lies my wife; here let her lie

Now she's at peace and so am I'   

 John Dryden  1631 - 1700 epitaph; attributed but mot traced to his works

2)  The most happy marriage that I can imagine would be the union of a deaf man to a blind woman                             Samuel Taylor Coleridge  1772 - 1834               


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