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Growing more nervous as the minutes pass, he sets his items on the table and tries to adjust his tie. A lovely young woman wearing a long, elegant dress gracefully enters and stops a few feet from the young man, directing him to a chair.
In the other doorway stands the young woman’s mother and father.
They cordially greet the young man then retreat through the door, leaving it slightly ajar.
The young lady seats herself and the young man picks up the bouquet, clears his throat and … As he reaches to pick up the box, he remembers that his tie is still askew and he tries to fix it, dropping the bouquet in the process. Testing his slapstick comedy act for the local drama club?
This is quite different from the freedoms experienced by young people today.
In French Canada during the era of settlement in the 17th century, the luxury of free time to spend on courting didn’t exist.The colonial government penalized those who did not marry with prohibitions on hunting, fishing and trading–the very livelihoods of these settlers.There was no time for frivolity–practicality was of the essence.To court means to woo and to woo means to seek the love of another with marriage in mind.Imagine a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy sitting down to discuss their marriage plans.
Courting wasn’t something young people did merely for a good time; it was a serious family business proposition.