Humor is important
Guisewite also picked up criticism from some women who thought "Cathy" had too many poor self-image issues.
"I feel like the character served a real function for women to keep a sense of humor about the small things in life and to be available for the huge things in life," Guisewite says. "It would have been glorious to have a character who lost weight when she said she would, wasn't taken down by the insurance lady or travel plans. But truthfully all of the little moments stop us. I think that the comic strip wouldn't have been funny as a confident character."
"Cathy" was always somewhat autobiographical for Guisewite, who jokes that the more humiliating the strip is the more autobiographical it is. When Cathy finally married her longtime suitor Irving, it was because Guisewite was in the thick of married life.
Now separated from her husband, Guisewite says she'd like to spend more time with her 18-year-old daughter, whom she adopted before marriage. She admits that desire to spend time with her daughter and her parents was a big influence on her decision to end the strip.
And just how will it end?
"I'm still writing so I don't know," Guisewite says. "But I am a happily-forever-after person. Cathy and Irving will stay together."
Angela Bryant Starke is a writer in Tennessee.