I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)
When I heard about this tempest in a teacup the first thing I did was put the phrase “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on my Christmas Card title. This song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 to be sung as a duet with his wife at parties. If the comparatively restrained adults of the greatest generation and the one before were adult enough to understand that the song implied a flirtatious game between consenting adults then you can only assume that the present-day adults must be pulling our legs when they claim outrage at this song. These are the same people who watch jadedly as their alleged entertainers twerk their carcasses across the stage and screen. This is a generation that will sanctify any form of abomination as their state sanctified privilege and parade it down the street frightening animals and small children in the process. These are people who ventilate their faces with rings and metal studs and treat their epidermis as if were an urban surface in need of a good coat of grafitti. Some of these folks are willing to castrate and mutilate themselves to satisfy a sense of ennui and we are supposed to believe that a popular Christmas song from the 1940s is too much for their delicate sensibilities.
Well I’ve got news for them. These people don’t have mothers and fathers who worry and pace the floor. In fact, most of their parents would probably be thrilled to death if they thought that their daughters were with a man at all and if he were a man that could be even nominally mistaken for a man from this song’s era they’d shake his hand and ask him to stick around for New Year’s Eve. The prospect of a normal heterosexual relationship that leads to marriage and children is becoming like some kind of UFO sighting, dubious and extremely rare.
The only consolation from this whole thing is the knowledge that these people are self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool and leaving the field open for people with a little bit of normal instinct to have a family. And for those people and especially for their parents, this song is a mild reminder that men and women have a dance that we go through to recognize each other. It’s as common in the animal kingdom as can be. Peacocks and roosters strut. Fighting fish flash their colors. Lizards find a prominent rock to sit on and puff out their throats. The females play hard to get and the males wheedle and sometimes snort at them. But it’s a dance that both sides recognize. And if any of the individuals in the population don’t recognize or know how to respond to the dance then they get left out and they disappear from the gene pool.
So good luck to anyone who listens to the outrage police and forgets why we have the dance. If you’re not on the inside then baby that’s when it really is cold outside.