That’s What She Said: A detailed history of dating
- Dawn Dumont | July 02, 2019
It's summer and in summer, a young man's mind turns to outdoor patios and getting drunk with the boys so it’s up to the ladies to turn that man's eyes back to romance and running slow-motion through fields of flowers and whatever else happens in tampon commercials. (What's up with the white pants, tampon commercials? Your product is good but why you got to tempt fate with those white pants?)
Modern dating is all about awkward exchanges on different phone apps. And it’s daunting because you know that each person you are talking to is talking to about twelve different people on three different apps just barely managing to keep their lies straight.
It's a frustrating way to find a partner which is why I think we should harken back to a simpler time when your choices for a boyfriend was the guy next door and the carney drifting through town.
I found an article from 1958 from a ladies magazine. It was titled “129 Ways to Get a Husband” which was the only option for women back in the day since there were few jobs or opportunities for women. So, it was either get hitched or live in a chicken coop behind your brother's house (something one of my aunt's did. Although technically it wasn't a chicken coop when she was living there).
Some of the advice is practical – "be friendly to ugly men." The ladies magazine didn't pull any punches with that piece of advice; not "less-than-handsome" or "pleasing-to-his-mom", just straight out of the gate – ugly. You got to kind of admire that bluntness. Tip number three is be friends with "more attractive girls; they may have leftovers." This definitely works. Beautiful women are magnets and you can be the fridge that they stick to. I'm not sure the science is right in that metaphor but let's move on.
The next few tips are in the area of what I call "strong hints." Like the comment that when "you see a handsome man, take the time to point out that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men." Saying stuff like that will give your crush the message, "Marry me or you will die." However, I would like to point out that in studies of happiness, married men rate high in happiness – the only people who rate higher are single women. Go figure.
There are a series of tips on how to get a man to notice you: "Stumble into rooms that he's in." – Why? So he thinks you're always day-drunk? I guess that's sort of attractive to co-dependent men. "Wear a band aid. People always ask what happened." That is true. They do ask and then they wonder why you are prone to injury and then they wonder if its because you're always day-drunk. "Don't tell him about your allergies." That's some great advice right there - let him find out about that peanut allergy by surprise – surprise I'm going into respiratory distress! Here's a doozy: "Accidentally have your purse fly open, scattering its contents all over the street." I wouldn't bother with this. I do this once a week and I haven't met anyone but I have lost a lot of twoonies.
Now for those really tough cases when you've just got to have this man. There is one super special recommendation that I would file under, "Desperate enough that it just might work." The advice is to: "stand in a corner and cry softly at a party. Chances are good that he'll come over to find out what's wrong." I mean, how could he not? Who doesn't want to spent an entire party with the girl sobbing in the corner?
As you can see from the tips, dating has always been a crap show. And we should all take comfort in that.