The Origin of Sadie Hawkins Day OR The Frisky Sister

Posted on January 20th, 2010 in Fashion Information by

The Origin of Sadie Hawkins Day Or The Frisky Sister

About 1,500 years ago, a 16 or 30-something woman named Justus Grata Honoria was found flagrant d’ellicto with her employee, Eugenius, a steward\overseer\chamberlain\comptroller (upper management), by her younger brother, Valentinian III (CEO – West Division), and his escorts (mopes) in a palace located in Ravenna, Italy. Val got mad and took it out on Eugenius, had him killed (strangled, most say, by a mope), a factoid of absolutely no historic importance until you learn what this event set in motion.

But, first, back to the sex. Honoria and Eugenius mixing it up was not exactly what made Val mad. It was not a “dishonor my sister” thing. (If you were a mucky-muck, having sex with an employee was not politically incorrect at this time; indeed, having sex with just about anyone, your friends, their friends, your mopes, their mopes, your relatives, their relatives, your employees, their employees was okay as long as it wasn’t politically motivated.) (Val, in fact, did it all the time and his intention was politically motivated, not inherent friskiness. His management style was Manage by Humiliation and Furor, not Objective, so he had sex often with his employees’ wives and told everyone about it to besmirch their reputation and make everyone feel bad. Some say it was too much caffeine; others say it was stress because of the Scourge of God, who we’ll get back to later; still others say, he was just a snake.)

He didn’t want Honoria to mess around because he had gotten her a good civil service job in the government when he became CEO – West Division. Her job title was Virgin. Yes, this was a job in the 4th century in Rome and only noble born females could apply. (The thought process behind this job title was this: A woman didn’t need experience to fulfill the duties and responsibilities, she was born not knowing how.) Employees had immediate tenure, lots of benefits, lots of perks. The only drawback was you had to die to quit.

Word had gotten to Val in Rome that his elder sister, Honoria, was doing somebody else’s job with Eugenius in Ravenna and was pregnant. His chamberlain, Heraclius, who was in charge of Family Spying – Ravenna Division amongst his other duties, told him. Val set off with an escort to Ravenna. Upon arrival, he yelled at the sentries enough to make them stop sentrying and went right to Honoria’s bedroom. He watched them do the dirty deed for a bit, then had Eugenius killed by a mope (and Goar, too, who was Honoria’s chamber guard, a Nubian she had purchased a while back…you just couldn’t get good guards in those days)

Some say Val beat up Honoria either before or after he had Eugenius killed, but others make no mention of this sibling fight. I suspect he didn’t. He was labeled feeble, while he was growing up (It ran in the family.) and this condition continued all his life. Let’s say he didn’t beat her up, rather, he yelled and verbally abused her, because that’s what feeble people do. They use what they got.

Actually, they didn’t get along and never had even when they were kids. (Elder sisters were put on this Earth to trouble younger brothers, I think. It’s good for them, makes them strong men.) Their mother, Galla Placidia, a single parent since Val was 6, just couldn’t make them play nice, but she was a distant mother, truth be told, very busy with her political work and philanthropic work, a real volunteer type woman, not too good at nurturing. Their father, Constantius III, a good guy, hard worker, Chairman of the Board, died young, when the kids were toddlers, and they had had a tumultuous early life, moved from place to place after their father died, and were raised by slaves and servants, none of whom was given the duty of bridling Honoria’s ferocity or strengthening Val’s feebleness. The unspoken question is why was Val CEO, not Honoria, but we’ll get to that later.

Val allowed Honoria to get dressed and her slaves and servants cleaned up the mess that Goar’s stabbing (or shooting with an arrow, no body’s sure which, but in either case, Goar bled and Eugenius didn’t) made and took away Goar and Eugenius to where ever dead people were taken before they were buried. He may or may not have turned down her offer to stay, have a cup of Starbuck’s latest boutique blend, Black Apron Exclusive Aged Sumatra Batch #4. (I have this fact on good authority, Dear Reader.). I’m sure he yelled more. Then, he and his escorts left, went back to Rome.

A couple of days later, a bunch of folk arrived from Rome to spy on her and report back to Val. Their news wasn’t good. She was either in a tither or walking around slovenly and showing even more signs of pregnancy or all three.

He sent her a scroll terminating her employment at the Virgin Agency effective immediately or retroactively, no one knows which was more legal, at the time of the dirty deed or after the dirty deed or at will of the employer. Breaking and entering was the grounds for termination.

So, there she was 16 or 30-something, unemployed for the first time in her life, maybe pregnant and unmarried, maybe not pregnant, but surely reverting to ferocious behavior which could be treasonous words against her brother, the CEO – West Division. She called her Mother.

From a distance, her mother, Galla Placidia, told Honoria to stop yelling, opined that Eugenius hadn’t made a good impression on her the few times she had met him, stated a steward\overseer\chamberlain\comptroller and guard were easy to replace, in fact she’d call the Servants Slaves R Us place she saw advertised in the paper a couple of days ago, and said she’d talk to Val about a new job.

Which she both did and didn’t.

She told Val to wait a bit before he did anything because Honoria could be pregnant, not a good thing for Val’s CEO – West Division job, since Honoria was the eldest child and her children would take precedence over Val and his kids for the CEO – West Division job, the very reason Honoria’s former job was at the Virgin Agency. Val knew his Mother was a smarty pants and he listened to her advice all his life. In fact, that’s why he was set up to be CEO, not Honoria and not his Mother before him. Women in his family were given an honorary title “Augustus,” which was similar to Your Royal Highness, but not quite, but couldn’t be employed as a CEO. It was gender discrimination for sure, but that’s the way things were in Rome in the 4th Century time. So, Galla Placidia dealt in the background, her volunteer political hobby, the one that took up so much of her time, telling feeble Son Number One what to do and what not to do politically. If Honoria were pregnant and had a boy child, she would become the power behind the CEO – West Division, and Galla Placidia would be left with only philanthropic volunteer work to take up her time.

The “take one step at a time” approach made sense. Nepotism was normal in 400BC Rome and it turns out their (unfeeble) Grandfather, Theodosius, a previous Chairman of the Board, had set up a nunnery in Constantinople and called it Sisters of Theodosius (what else?). This would be a good place to watch and wait to see if Honoria was pregnant. If she was pregnant, the child’s gender would determine what to do next. If she wasn’t pregnant, she would have a new job, Nun, with immediate tenure, no benefits or perks (and she would have to die to quit, too), a good punishment for all the trouble she had made for him all their lives.

So Val called the Head Sister and told her a new Nun was arriving soon, and she complied, of course, and redid her organization chart. Either he or their Mother called Honoria (No one knows.) and told her about her a new job. She complied, too, but no one knows if she was willing or unwilling. I suspect she was unwilling, but couldn’t do anything about it. To sweeten the pie, he offered a relocation package, sent packers and movers (more mopes) to Ravenna and they moved Honoria to Constantinople.

Although Honoria was allowed to take her eunuch, Hyacinthus, with her and all her nice clothing and jewelry and pets to the Nunnery, about 1,280 kilometers from Ravenna (80 miles away), she did not adjust well. At orientation, she learned the new job entailed prayer, fasting, and lots of vigils. Celibacy was not too terrific, either, after what she had had with Eugenius. She may have been pregnant or may not have been pregnant. No one knows for sure, but some sources say she had a child that was strangled at birth, so we have to believe she had a male, if this is true.

She stayed there 12 -14 years, so I guess it took 12-14 years before Val was sure she wasn’t pregnant…remember he was feeble…or he got tired of the Head Sister’s calls complaining about Honoria’s annual reviews, which were lousy. He called his Mother.

Galla Placidia had been in the communications loop all along, receiving BCC from the Head Sister, and direct complaints from Honoria about the prayers, fasting, and vigils for the past 12 – 14 years, so Val’s call came at a good time. She came back from her distance, and said, “Okay, okay, nunnery’s not for Honoria, either. Frankly, Val, her resume stinks. First fired from Virgin, now laid off from Nun. We’ve got to get her some vocational guidance counseling.”

And so they did.

Galla Placidia called Bishop Milo, a friend of their family, who did counseling as a side line, when he wasn’t bishoping. He was a good guy, did counseling for barter, and had known the family for years. His barter was often to spruce up his bishopric, build a church somewhere or renovate a church somewhere, which, Galla, a wily woman, figured, could be paid from state funds, not personal funds, if Val and his bookkeepers messed around a bit with the balance sheet and put it in a foot note as a donation to charity, so the Rome’s SEC wouldn’t notice the dispersion of funds for their family’s personal usage.

Bishop Milo went to see Honoria in Constantinople and talked with her quietly, gave her a couple of standardized test to determine her strengths and weaknesses in the job market, a tight job market for professions and middle- and upper managements, although sales positions in retail were strong (Women, bless their hearts, were in a shopping mode.). All in all economic conditions in Rome and its environs weren’t so good. They were on red alert all the time because of a guy, Attila the Hun, nicknamed the “Scourge of God,” who was in Gaul (kind of France, kind of Germany at that time) and who shouldn’t have been there but was trying to be there because he wanted to take over this land and build his own empire and take the job title CEO of Everything in this World. Gaul was close to what eventually would be Italy, but was now just called Rome. Everyone was nervous.

Sales associate was out of the question for Honoria because she didn’t have the patience or discipline to zip, button, and snap women into their togas all day long, Bishop Milo determined, and she was too ferocious to manage a toga boutique or a toga franchise.

So, he reverted to his pastoral educational background and soothed Honoria with enough platitudes to get her to stop raving and concentrate on the standardized tests. It didn’t work, and he left.

On the ride back to Ravenna, he had an epiphany, and when he got home, he called Galla. “Your kid is a mess,” he said. “She’s 28 (or 30 or

Weder RSS noch Google Feed gefunden

42 or 44), too, shall we say, “Lively” to spend her life in fasting, praying, and vigils, too sophisticated for a Nunnery, and too smart to report to anyone. Marry her off and she’ll be some one else’s problem. Now, about my fee…”

Galla called Val and asked him if he knew of any nice, quiet guy who’s in civil service, dull as a stick, easy to push around, from a very good family, middle age, unmarried or never married, and probably impotent or just not interested much in doing the dirty deed.

“I know the perfect one,” Val exclaimed. “Flavius Bassus Herculanus. He’s a Senator, bores me to tears when he speaks, can’t play poker worth a damn, and is nicknamed Senator Whatever. He’s friendless, a real shlepper.”

It’s not surprising that not much is known about Senator Whatever, who eventually became Consul just because of his tenure in the Senate. I believe he must have been delighted to finally obtain some positive attention from Val, and I’m sure he agreed immediately to become engaged to Honoria because he was lonesome what with all his personality defects and one physiological defect.

And so, Honoria and Senator Whatever became engaged via a memo from Val, which said “Effective immediately, Herc, you are engaged to my sister, Honoria. CC: Honoria, c\o Sisters of Theodosius,” and Honoria hit the ceiling.

When she stopped levitating, she wrote her resignation letter and sent it to the Head Sister. Then, she began looking through her Filofax for networking contacts, finally taking her career into her own hands, you might say, while listening to the equivalent of 4th century CNN reporting red alert news about that Attila guy camped out somewhere in Gaul. She put the two together. She called for Hyacinthus, her eunuch, and asked him to find out where in Gaul that Attila guy was camped out. He was clever, although not clever enough to have stopped his castration, but still clever. He did his research quickly, and reported to Honoria. She gave him a ring of hers and some cash she had laying around and told him to go to Attila and offer him a deal: If he would rescue her from a life of marriage to Senator Whatever, which included killing Val and his kids and taking over his job, she would help him become CEO of Everything in this World. Then, she either packed up and moved back to Ravenna or stayed at the nunnery in Constantinople or moved somewhere else in Constantinople, nobody knows which

Somehow, Hyacinthus got through to Attila.

Attila was tickled. Even Barbarians have a sense of humor. Certainly, Barbarians appreciate chutzpah. In Hun country (vaguely Hungary), where he was born, women just didn’t do this. He probably rolled his small, deep-seated eyes, a characteristics of his that everyone talked about, scratched his flat nose, pulled the few hairs in his beard, rubbed his swarthy complexion, scratched in his large head, flexed his broad shoulders, paced around (He had nervous energy.), then offered Hyacinthus a snack (of human flesh, another characteristic that everyone talked about), and called an informal meeting to tell everyone around him what Hyacinthus said. They sat around and shot the shit for a bit, catching up on each other’s this and that.

Then, he went back to business and told everyone who wasn’t supposed to know certain things to leave, including Hyacinthus.

The “Damsel in Distress” notion was about 800 years away, so no one could attach this label to Honoria’s offer. And, because they were Barbarians, they believed damsels were put on earth to distress. What Attila and his guys did understand was the phrase, CEO of Everything in this World, exactly what Attila’s management objective was. They bounced around a bunch of ideas and Attila’s Spin Doctor came up with this: Let’s say that Honoria is offering marriage to Attila, not asking for rescue. If we follow that though line, then you know marriage comes with a dowry. A dowry can be a combination of money and assets. We get enough money from tributes. so, let’s go for assets…one half of Rome – West Division is reasonable.

Attila complimented him and called for his lawyer to draft a reply.

Then, he called Hyacinthus in and gave him his terse reply: Honoria, you’re my bride, effective retroactive to your betrothal to Senator Whatever. Bring me one half of Rome – West Division immediately. Attila PS What’s your sign?

Hyacinthus set off, back to Constantinople or Ravenna, sources are confused about where Honoria was at this time, but Hyacinthus knew. Attila sent a messenger to Theodosius, Chairman of the Board, with whom he had been doing business for years, (Paying tribute to Attila was a sideline of Attila’s, a way to get money and not have to use his hordes to lay waste to areas he could control.) and the guy Val reported to. Attila told Theodosius to tell Val to hand over Honoria, a new bride he had just taken, and one half of Rome – West Division as a dowry immediately.

Theodosius called Val and told him to send Honoria to Attila immediately, tell Senator Whatever he was no longer betrothed to Honoria, and to send Attila a great deal of money immediately to stop Attila from coming in person to collect the assets.

Val was hysterical and did what he always did when it came to Honoria. He got mad at Hyacinthus.

He sent a bunch of mopes to bring Hyacinthus from Constantinople or Ravenna to Rome and when Hyacinthus arrived, Val had him tortured and then beheaded him on legal grounds that he had participated in treasonous activity. That finished, he took a coffee break and called his Mother. “I’m gonna kill Honoria, too. You can’t stop me. She plotted treason.” he yelled over and over. Galla Placidia knew her son enough to know he wanted calming down, not sanction, so she calmed him down and he didn’t kill Honoria. No one knows exactly what they did next with and about Honoria because a lot of other stuff happened fast.

First, Theodosius inconveniently died, and Marcian was appointed Chairman of the Board. He decided on a new style of management with Attila and that style was “No, I won’t pay tribute anymore. So there.” So, Marcian was preoccupied with Attila and the Honoria thing fell by the wayside, put in his abeyance bin.

Attila got mad at Marcian and gathered a new horde to set off for Rome, traveling through what would become France eventually, and doing horrible things that Barbarians do. He got to Italy and did horrible things, but didn’t get to Rome. Close to Rome, two Senators, Avienus and Trygetius, went to Attila’s camp near the south shore of Lake Garda and negotiated something (No one knows exactly what, but some sources say money was exchanged. Other sources say the two Senators came and made some agreement that Attila may or may not have accepted, then plague broke out in the area, food ran short (When you rape and pillage and ravage, all the crops get burned up.) and Marcian’s army was seen coming down the road to fight, not to pay tribute.). Attila left the building quietly with his bodyguard.

To tie up loose ends, here’s what happened next:

Honoria married Herc and both died of boredom and old age. They had no children.

Val was killed at the instigation of Favius Petronius Maximus (who became Chairman of the Board after Marcian and who decided that Val’s killing of his colleague, Aetius, a very good employee and long time friend, was the final straw in a lifetime of lousy annual reviews). This happened while Val was attending a chariot race. The assassin’s name is unknown. His widow, Lucinia (or Licinia) Eudoxia, married Max unwillingly.

Galla Placidia died when she was very old while attending a Junior League meeting.

Attila died a year after his retreat from the Rome of a nose bleed on his wedding night.

The Origin of Sadie Hawkins Day OR The Frisky Sister by BARBARA NELL