Sunday, October 03, 2010
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. Cathy Guisewite, author of the "Cathy" comic strip for the past 35 years, ended the strip today with its main character getting pregnant.
I've had rather a fondness for "Cathy" over the years, despite its overall predictability. (I lost count of the number of strips that showed Cathy trying on swimsuits and breaking down in hysterics.) When the strip broke ground in 1975 it was in fact unique, rather resembling "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in that it dealt with the life of a single working woman. Her best friend Andrea was originally a strident feminist and was a prominent character in the early years, though she faded out later. Andrea got married years before Cathy did, promptly got pregnant and turned into an overachieving soccer mom - a piece of satire which further endeared me to the strip.
Irving was Cathy's off-again-on-again boyfriend for decades, doing all the things that women stereotypically accuse men of doing... yet somehow she hung on to him and they eventually got married. One plot I still remember with glee dealt with Irving gaining weight. One day he appeared in the strip back to his old, semisvelte self. Cathy gasped, "What did you do?"
"I skipped lunch and lost 25 pounds," Irving responded nonchalantly. Cathy responded with a shrieking, "AACK!" Women all over the country must have identified with that.
Farewell, Cathy, and may you have a stress-free pregnancy and tranquil motherhood.
...oh, who am I kidding? AACK!