How many of us have gone to places that we would never go to – and have worn clothes that we would spit upon – and stayed up late and caught cold and made shrieking fools of ourselves – while we were courting?
Old fashioned term for trying to find someone who would sleep with you. Relic of the days when it was a difficult and dangerous thing to do. When you hadn’t the faintest idea what you were supposed to do, as opposed to now – when you haven’t the faintest idea what you are not supposed to do.
Courting was sometimes charming and sentimental, and sometimes damned hard work. It was always expensive, even when the objects of our affection were cheap. The happiest couples wanted to do it and did it well. The vast bulk did it because one did it, whether they really thought about it or not. The saddest cases were those forced by convention to court when they really wanted to do was read or write or just rack off.
There didn’t seem to be a set period for the activity, other than sometime between puberty and senescence. Most of us launched out during the late teenage years – heavy on hormones and light on thought. Some of us met while attending university – this was sort of a moderator for activity, if not for enthusiasm. When you had 3 to 5 years of study to complete even the most ardent souls generally avoided marriage – deferring it until graduation or expulsion. In the heyday of the contraceptive pill at least some of the pressures could be coped with, provided premises could be found. This was also the last period of time when bench seats in cars were available, but I cannot think what brought that to mind…
Was it all flowers and boxes of candy and flower corsages for the cotillion? No, thank goodness. There were some sensible hours spent as well. You could court in the movies for popcorn and watery orange drinks and in the library for a cup of coffee. If you were prepared to put up with her family you could court at her house and get Sunday dinner for free. Of course you paid for it in the end…
There was a certain amount of leeway given to a courting couple. They were not expected to be proper all the time – but there were limits to the improprieties. You could still be thrown out at midnight, and to tell the truth, it was sometimes a great relief. After 43 years of marriage I still try to sneak away, but generally now it is to avoid the dishes or taking out the garbage.