Dating Advice from 1958

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

There seem to be way too many men today who’d like women to return to the ‘50s – before women got all uppity and decided they deserved jobs and bodily autonomy and the right to wear pants while a robot vacuumed!

If we’re going to time travel to make a bunch of old men happy, we should toss aside our Tinder, Bumble, or Gluten-Free Singles apps (a real app) and look for love like it’s 1958. I picked that year in particular because I found a 1958 McCall’s magazine article called “129 Ways to Find a Husband”, which is filled with AMAZING suggestions for women looking for Mr. Right!

Of course, if you were looking for Ms. Right in 1958, I guess there was only one suggestion – electro-shock therapy.

So, if women are ready to spend all their time barefoot, pregnant, and in some throwback’s kitchen, these tips may be just the ticket. My snide reactions are in parenthesis.

  • Be nice to everybody. They may have an eligible brother or son. (In other words, your standards should be so low that any unmarried man will do as long as he’s related to an acquaintance.)
  • Get lost at football games. (It will help if you also get very drunk at football games and maybe paint your boobs in team colors.)
  • Read the obituaries to find eligible widowers. (Finally, a reason to wear your little black dress!)
  • Sit on a park bench and feed the pigeons. (I mean, what guy isn’t attracted to a woman mumbling to herself and possibly carrying bird flu?)
  • Get a job in medical, dental, or law school. (Stick to “receptionist” or “file clerk.” You don’t’ want to appear smart enough to get through life on your own.)
  • Don’t take a job in a company run largely by women. (Still not much of a concern, right ladies?)
  • Change apartments from time to time. (I’ve always relied on this technique more as a way to escape guys rather than attract them. My last ex still thinks I’m in a loft down by the river.)
  • Carry a hatbox. (I’m on board with this. You can carry so much more in a hatbox than in your purse. And if you fill it with weird stuff, stuff like a ventriloquist’s dummy, a broken flute, half-finished ransom notes and five unmatched socks, think of the awesome conversations you can strike up with weirdos who might be your potential mate on public transit.)
  • Wear a Band-Aid. People always ask what happened. (Because “Hey, girl! You got a pus-filled wound under that bandage?” has always been one of my favorite pick-up lines.)
  • Attend night school. Take courses men like. (Sign me up for “Airplane Maintenance” and “Understanding Women for Beginners.”)
  • Don’t be afraid to associate with more attractive girls. They may have some leftovers. (Assuming you like your men secondhand and perhaps carried around in Ziploc baggies or their environmentally sustainable equivalent.)
  • Stand in a corner and cry softly. Chances are good that a man will come over to find out what’s wrong. (More likely, he’ll rush out of there as soon as he can find the door. And as a word of advice from someone who has been there, a man attracted to your crying is frequently a man who will relish making you cry.)
  • Wear high heels most of the time – they’re sexier. (Also, when you finally take them off when with a guy, he’ll probably interpret that look of sheer joy on your face as an orgasm.)
  • Make a lot of money. (Yeah, if the 61 years between 1958 and today has taught us anything, it’s how much most men like to be out-earned by women, on those rare occasions we’re actually paid what we’re worth.)
  • Get a sunburn. (What’s a little skin cancer when you’re happily married and can share a silver health insurance plan instead of the bronze one on your own?)
  • Find out about the girls he hasn’t married. Don’t repeat the mistakes they made. (You’ll probably find those mistakes include talking about themselves, having their own interests, dressing in comfortable clothing, owning cutlery, and preferring to live in the present.)
  • Let it be known in your office that you have a button box and will sew on bachelors’ loose buttons. (Oh, I’ll sew your buttons on, all right, but maybe not where you want them.)
  • Practice drinking with your women friends first. (Hell, once I’m drinking with my women friends, I don’t need a man.)

Or, hear me out here: we could just all try to live in this decade (before it’s over) and be ourselves and see who likes us for that. It’s an odd concept, but it might just work.


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