Got a Bid to a Party

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, February 22, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this afternoon. We had church. Got a bid to a party next Fri.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

DSC07045The Baptist Church that Grandma attended is long gone. I think that it once stood on either the lot where the modular home is now or the vacant lot next to it.


Yeah! “He” finally asked you out.

I learned several things from this diary entry.

I learned a new meaning for the word “bid”.  According to the dictionary, one of the definitions of bid is “an invitation.” Does anyone use bid that way anymore?

And, (though I can’t be positive because of the way Grandma worded her diary entry), I think that I learned that the guy Grandma liked attended her church.

Sometimes I’m absolutely amazed how commenters on this blog have premonitions about future events in the diary before I do.

I never work very far ahead writing posts. Occasionally I get 5 or 10 days ahead—other times I’m writing them the day before they’re posted.

I’m writing this post two hours before I post it—and I’m amazed how several commenters realized before I did that the guy Grandma liked went to her church.

On February 15 Grandma wrote:

Didn’t get to Sunday School this morning as the road is not much broken. Felt quite vexed about it as I didn’t want to miss more than what I could possibly help.

Here are two comments that people made on that post: Allysonj wrote:

I wonder if she is eager to get to Sunday school because of the Valentine she missed earlier in the week – maybe the sender will be there.

And, Catherine wrote:

I also wondered if the reason Miss Muffly did not want to miss Sunday school was because of a “love” interest there…

Thank you– Allysonj, Catherine, and everyone else who takes a few moments to help me try to make sense of the diary. You’re awesome!

40 Responses

  1. Oh Sheryl I think Grandma’s world is now revolving around her new friend. He is becoming a very main character in your blog. :)

  2. On the use of “bid” to mean invitation: when I was in undergrad, sororities had “Bid Night,” which was the evening that rushing candidates found out if they were getting the formal invitation to become a Pledge to the sorority. Your formal “bid” meant that you had to make a final decision whether you wanted to join the organization. Once you accepted the offer, or “bid,” you officially became a Pledge of that particular organization, so you couldn’t pledge any other sorority. If the full members of any sorority you were rushing didn’t stop by your residence on Bid Night, that meant you were not being offered the invitation. If you were rushing multiple sororities at once, you had better know which one you most wanted to join, because accepting or declining was a one-time only affair, and all of the organizations made their bids on the same day.
    Not sure how many fraternities and sororities call it that, of how many colleges use the designation of “Bid Day/Night” to indicate such, bit this was the case at my school, which had a mixture of local and National Greek organizations on campus in the mid-1990s.

  3. Bid made me think of an auction. When you bid you are extending an invitation to buy. So, I understood the use of the term.

    Could you tell if she was excited by her handwriting? I know that some people show their emotion in how they write.

    • I’m don’t think so, but I’m not much of a handwriting expert.

      Hmm–This might be an interesting idea for a post. I’ll have to give it some thought. :)

  4. Brilliant. This is so exciting as it unfolds.

  5. I don’t use bid as an invitation. but, it fits from what has been described above.

    This relationship is getting steamy. :-)

  6. The plot slowly unfolds…great photo.

  7. In older movies I have heard the term: I bid thee to come. Is this beau possibly her future husband?

  8. I wonder if they sat together or just watched each other sing from opposite ends of the pews? I like to think of Friday night as our date night, so I guess Mr B bids me every week…LOL that sounds a little naught..snicker.

    • That does sound slightly naughty (but fun). :)

      Now that you mention it, I bet that they just watched each other from opposite ends of the pews.

  9. I have learned something new from Helena – the use of the word, “Bid.” Could the mysterious bid be from your to-be grandfather? The diary is really getting exciting.

  10. This whole series is so great! I was telling people about it last evening between scenes.

  11. Why does my pulse beat a little quicker when Helena gets asked for a date?!

  12. No “nothing doing” today! ;)

  13. […] crying out loud, how can nothing be happening when you got invited to a party yesterday?  The party’s on Friday—aren’t you thinking about what you’ll wear? . . . what you say? . […]

  14. I was out of town yesterday, and am just now seeing this post. I’ve never heard of the word “bid” used as an invitation. Exciting!

  15. […] party that she plans to attend on Friday (and mentioned on the 22nd)—apparently didn’t merit a second mention when she wrote this […]

  16. Very interesting to learn about the word bid.

  17. Now it gets interesting! Go Helena!!

  18. […] I’m so sorry. You were so excited when you got a “bid to a party” last […]

  19. […] dad should let you go to Sunday School. Your tonsillectomy was 5 days ago, and there’s a guy you like who goes to your church, and you’re looking really slender because you haven’t been eating much.  You need to […]

  20. […] wondering if Grandma’s handwriting provided an indication of her emotional state. For example on February 22 he […]

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