Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (10)

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How many of you can remember when you went on your first date, or experienced your first passionate kiss? Wasn't that an extraordinary moment?

While today's public exhibition of passionate love making on the television screen leaves little to the imagination, it is interesting to learn about how the early days of courting was displayed in Colonial America and later.

It was alleged that the couples who were courting would have the use of a six-foot long wooden tube, called a "courting stick" to whisper sweet nothings to each other under the careful supervision of their parents. How exciting! Now it gets better. Another early English custom practiced in America during the 1630s was called "bundling." This was when the couple that was courting would get into bed together, he in his small clothes and she in her petticoats, where they would have their privacy of conversation, kissing and holding each other. Oh, let me not forget to mention that there was a bundling board placed by the girl's careful family between the couples as a precautionary measure . Because it was so cold in the small colonial houses, this was the only way the couple could keep warm and have some sort of privacy, even though the girl's family would also be in the same room clustered around the fireplace.

"To spunk up" a girl, was to fondle her, make love to her, and this expression was known in the 1840s. The term "spoon" was used in the late 1850s, which meant when one nestled against one another spoon fashion, as to keep warm, make room for others in a family bed. etc. "To mash" in the 1860s was to flirt, or try to attract a girl's attention, , which later was replaced by "to make a pass at," in the 1920s. . "Lovey-dovey" was used during the 1870s referring to the billing and cooing stage. Actually after the Civil War chaperoning began to decline, and young couples were able to "walk out together,", without supervision, so probably this was considered as "dating" during the 1870s. Nineteenth century couples were given many opportunities to speak, walk and meet together alone. This was acceptable in the northern part of America but not in the South. When a young man would come A Courting after his young lady, it was not unusual for the family to leave them alone in the parlor giving them many moments for their intimacy of affection. Also by the 19th century it was taken for granted that love was essential for a good marriage, and courtship was the manner in which both partners learned whether or not they shared that feeling. Although having a chaperon was not widely practiced in the United States, at the end of the nineteenth century prominent upper-class families expected it.

Another term which came about in 1881 was that of "Lover's lane." This pertained to a secluded walk or lane where lovers could be by themselves. For the more modern times like the 1930s it meant a secluded road where the couple would park and neck. In 1900 when a girl wore her sweetheart's fraternity pin, she was considered engaged, whereas in 1935 it meant that she was going steady.

Courtship or dating began to change when the 1920s rolled around. Kissing and fondling were no longer "necessarily preliminaries to marriage, but could be indulged in for their own sake, for fun or sociability."

The term "necking" which is a display of passionate caresses, leaving visible red marks on the neck, and referred to as "hickies" was used between the 1920s into the early 1940s. By the 1920s girls were known to say "they were going all the way, and men were already calling condoms, rubbers." Back in the 1940s it was very common to see a guy driving with one hand on the steering wheel of his car while he had the other arm wrapped tightly around the neck of his date. This was called the "necker's knob. So from the 1950s, while nice boys and girls were necking, others were having sex. Circa 1953, women began to use an oral contraceptive labeled the "birth control pill."

so there you have it............a little bit of history about A Courting We Will Go!

Contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net

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