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Cathy, 8/2/04

Comics readers across the world were stunned when Cathy of Cathy accepted (apparently on accident) her long-time beau Irving’s proposal of marriage earlier this year. If you’re like me (and if you’ve stuck with this blog for this long, I’m assuming you’re at least a little bit like me), your first reaction was “Oh please God, let this be the end of the strip! Please! PLEASE!”

Cathy has long defined itself by being centered on a single career woman, and, more specifically, by tapping into every ugly stereotype of career women, or for that matter women generally; her grating, monomaniacal obsessions endear her to absolutely nobody I know, or, for that matter, to any of the other characters in the strip. But now that the strip’s raison d’être — namely, Cathy’s unique and fascinating status as a single female — will be no more, surely we can all breathe a sigh relief as she and Irving and their dogs ride off onto their honeymoon and the strip’s space is taken over by a newcomer.

That is, unless the strip continues, exploring Cathy’s neurotic reaction to marriage, family life, and potentially children. Hmmm … that is rich humorous territory — plus, it’s material that’s almost never explored on the comics pages! It’s sure-fire comedy gold!

On a more personal level, I’d like to point out that I’m getting married next year and of course am in the midst of the wedding-planning process — and thus for months will see that process vomited back at me in a most unappealing way in Cathy. Thank you, Gods of the Comics!

Bonus fact: Universal Press Syndicate’s Cathy site includes a number of (significantly out-of-date) character bios, including this extremely convoluted one for Irving: “Cathy’s on-again off-again relationship with Irving is currently ‘off,’ but judging by their history together, it’s unlikely that he won’t reappear to stir up the relationship waters once again.” I think we’re all glad that he beat the odds against his not reappearing once more.