Monday, February 27, 2012

Leap Year and Bachelors

Men beware! February 29th, according to folk custom, is the day that women can propose to men. I've tried to research this tradition, only to be met with no real facts or documentation. Some sources say that it comes from the 5th century in Ireland. St. Bridget asked St. Patrick for a day that languishing women could ask their men to marry. After bartering, they agreed to once every four years. In the United States, it can be called Sadie Hawkins Day after the Li'l Abner comic strip. The women of Dogpatch in the comic strip could marry any bachelor they could chase and capture. This evolved into Sadie Hawkins Day dances, where women could invite the man of their choice.

Where am I going with this? Proposals. Marriage. Bachelors. Books. In books, who would I try to capture if I was running in the Sadie Hawkins day race?

I asked my library friends who they thought of when I said those words. The overwhelming immediate response was Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.  Mr. Darcy is a wealthy landowner who comes off as a snob, but has a heart of gold given the opportunity. The second response was Captain Wentworth from Persuasion. Wentworth is a loving, faithful man who believes that nothing should stop true love. I should mention that most of my friends are Austen mad like I am.

Other interesting characters such as James Bond, Rhett Butler, Dexter Morgan, Hamish Macbeth, Dirk Pitt, and Stone Barrington made the list. I should point out that these characters aren't necessarily bachelors for life - they have had on-off again relationships or were married at some point.
James Bond, the protagonist of the Ian Fleming series, is one of my choices. Who doesn't love a spy? And Rhett Butler. Oh man.  Rhett is a smoldering Southern bachelor that is a bad boy in comparison to Ashley Wilkes, who is Scarlett's obsession. If you haven't read Gone with the Wind, you are missing out. GWTW is one of my favorite novels of all time.It has it all - coming of age, war, betrayal, passion, and love. If you've only seen the film, you really should read the book - much more happens!

Dexter is an interesting choice since he is a blood splatter expert with the Miami police department.  Did I mention he was also a serial killer? Albeit, he only kills bad people, but talk about complicated. Hamish Macbeth, a Scottish police officer, is the main character in a series of mysteries by M.C. Beaton. He is described as having fiery red hair and long eyelashes. He is also an animal lover who takes great care of his pets. I've always thought you could tell how a man would treat a woman by the way he treats his animals. Woot! Dirk Pitt, adventurer at large, resides in Clive Cussler's novels. He is tall, with dark hair and piercing green eyes. He is a war hero, having been honored with the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart. Stone Barrington, a former policeman, turned lawyer, is the main character in a series by Stuart Woods. I would only chase him if I was up to the challenge of trying to catch a serial womanizer. Of course, that is my humble opinion, but read some of the books and see if I am wrong. In his favor is the fact that he is wealthy and can get you into Elaine's in NYC.

Lace up your running shoes and give some of these characters a try.

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