Thanksgiving Dinner Report post below.
Hi there, Seraphic!
I teach French to little kids, and today this involved celebrating St. Catherine's Day by making taffy. Not being francophone myself, I had to look up the French Canadian tradition, and I noted that St. Catherine's Day (November 25) seems to have a lot connected to it with regards to single women.
Apparently her intercession has been invoked for the past 8 centuries by single women wanting husbands, with varying degrees of desperation. It also seems that unmarried women over the age of 25 were dubbed "Catherinettes" on St. Catherine's Day. Catherinettes would take the opportunity to send cards and treats to their fellow Catherinettes.
This made me think of your Operation Valentinus, and thought it would be fun to bring it up on your blog. Mind you, I suppose celebrating St. Catherine's Day in this way might be an unnecessary reminder of one's singlehood, and being dubbed a Catherinette might be somewhat scarring...I think it's a fun name, but then again I am still one year away from being a Catherinette myself...
Here is a link to the ever-so-reliable Wikipedia...read the sections on Canada and France: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Catherine's_Day
Anyway, I thought it might be something fun/questionably relevant to bring up on your blog tomorrow (or rather, today, since for you it must already be Nov. 25th!) I will not be offended if you don't bring it up though!
I did not know any of this, so I am grateful to my reader for sending this email. I strongly support the notion of Single women sending each other cards and treats to affectionately mark their shared Singleness. Sisterhood is powerful--when it really is sisterhood and not some men-are-scum-rah-rah political pose.
I am struck that a Catherinette is (or was) a Single woman who has had her 25th birthday. Some sort of black magic seems to be attributed to one's 25th birthday, which is absolutely bonkers from the point of view of a 40 year old. When I was 25, I was not very smart, but at least I had tremendously beautiful skin, no grey hairs at all and probably hundreds of healthy little eggies hidden away. You would think that, given the improvements in women's health, looks and life expectancy, we'd now go into a panic before our 35th birthday instead of our 25th, but no. Thirty-five is not-such-a-big-deal and twenty-five is woe-is-me.
Why this is, is less of a mystery the more you discover about the history of turning 25. But I think it may also be that adolescents are rather anxious and adult women rather less. You have the impression that your youth will be over when you turn 25, but then you reach 25 and 26 and 27 and realize it isn't.
If you don't have children, your youth can go on and on and on, which can be either good or bad. In my case it is good because I can hang out with twenty-somethings without them treating me like their mothers, but it is bad because in some ways I remain a feckless human being. I am sure I would be a better person if, like my mother, I did laundry every Monday and ironed it all until it was done.
Below this post is the Thanksgiving Report Post, so if you collected points yesterday, report them in the combox for that post. Meanwhile, happy Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria!