June 25th, 2020
In the 1950s and 60s, “going steady” was a teenage term for a relationship in which a couple committed to date each other exclusively. By the 1970s and 80s this practice had fallen out of favor.
I remember going steady for the first and only time when I was twelve years old. My friend Jim Johnston and I bought cheap I.D. bracelets with our names engraved on them and presented them to our girlfriends. When Jim told his older brother Scott about this, he scoffed and said we were “lame.” So we immediately broke up with the girls. Our commitment lasted less than a week.
In high school we often took our dates to the movies on weekends. One night was usually designated for the girls and the other night was reserved for hanging out with the guys. After we got our driver’s licenses at age sixteen we would double date in our parent’s cars and go “parking” in a secluded spot. Sometimes the cops would interrupt these sessions and tell us to leave.
In 2009, when I came up with the idea for the gag above, these teenage rituals seemed like ancient history to me. But I can still get nostalgic about my early romantic exploits.
Below is a Sunday page from 2006 in which Hi and Lois reminisce about their dating days.
Next week will be the last installment from 2009 in our Timeline series, so stay tooned.
– Brian Walker
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