Peppermint Patty: I Cried and Cried and Cried
Unrequited love is a common theme in the Peanuts Comics and is one that I have previously explored on this blog. We know that Lucy loves Schroeder, Sally loves Linus and Charlie Brown has a crush on the unseen, unnamed and utterly unattainable Little Redhaired Girl. But perhaps the saddest unrequited love stories from the comic is that which ran in late June 1972. It was the series of strips where the usually self-confident Peppermint Patty came face-to-face with the Little Redhaired Girl with the intention of thumping her and then something surprising happened:
Here we have a usually self-confident girl, who is funny, unashamedly herself and talented at sports reduced to tears by the realisation of who she is not and never can be. I really feel for her in this series of comic strips. She knows that Charlie Brown can never love her, when he is so hung up over a girl who represents a supposedly ideal feminine beauty. Fortunately Linus, the most spiritual member of the Peanuts gang is on hand to offer some advice:
And that's really it. The advice Linus has to offer is that while Charlie Brown may not be attracted to Peppermint Patty, it does not mean that someone else won't be attracted to her in the future. Of course, there has been all kinds of speculation among Peanuts fans about Peppermint Patty's possible relationships (the most common one being that Peppermint Patty and Marcie are meant to represent a lesbian couple,) but this particular story remains one of the saddest moments in the strip.
I agree, Schulz really had a way of understanding what it meant to be human and to have insecurities, fears and misguided beliefs.