I knew I was in trouble when it asked “do you either play bridge or dance really well?”

You know what we all like? And need?

Excellent dating advice.

Remember a billion years ago (FINE, it was like a little less than two years ago) we talked about dating advice from 1938? And it was mostly “don’t get drunk” and “wear a brassiere” and “don’t get too familiar with the headwaiter?” And THOSE were really helpful tips, right? I mean, I know they’ve saved me from a TON of terrible situations over the last almost-two-years. Shut up, they might have. You don’t know my life. I might very well be having all KINDS of torrid affairs I don’t talk about on the interwebs.

SIGH FINE, if I was having a torrid affair, I’d probably at least drop hints about it on the interwebs. Or I’d be in a better mood or something.

So today I found ANOTHER super-helpful dating advice article, and the first thing I thought (well, after “YAY THESE’LL BE HELPFUL FOR ALL MY TORRID AFFAIRS!”) was “well, because you’re such a humanitarian, you need to be sharing these tips with the blog-people. I mean, keeping them all to yourself would be a total dick move, yo.”

So, let’s discuss dating advice from 1949!

Now, since this is 11 years after the LAST dating advice, it’s BOUND to be better, right? And also, 1949 is the year Amy’s Dad was born, so probably this is the sort of thing he grew up with. AND, this advice is from ESQUIRE, you guys. If there’s any magazine you can trust about dating advice, it’s Esquire. Right?

Oh, shit, this is going to be bad.

This is from a questionnaire so ladies of 1949 can make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex. Let’s see some men from 1949, so we can see what we’re getting.

Hmm. OK, I can work with this.

Hmm. OK, I can work with this.

Oh. Yeah, ok, this is nice. OK. Yep.

Oh. Yeah, ok, this is nice. OK. Yep.

A-fricking-dorable. 1949, you're doing alright. Is that all you've got for me?

A-fricking-dorable. 1949, you’re doing alright. Is that all you’ve got for me?

Oh. OH MY. OK. OK, 1949, you win. YOU WIN SO HARD.

Oh. OH MY. OK. OK, 1949, you win. YOU WIN SO HARD.

OK, so now we know what we’re playing for, ladies…oh, shit. Wait a minute. I’m being totally exclusionary. Some of my lady-readers like ladies themselves! They will like to know who THEY are playing for. I feel like a heel. An absolute louse. (Like that? I’m getting you in the 1940s mood with the lingo.) Wait just a minute.

Good, right? Sorry I forgot about you, ladies. I'm making up for it. Wait til you see.

Good, right? Sorry I forgot about you, ladies. I’m making up for it. Wait til you see.

Prettiest eyes ever. I love this woman, no joke.

Prettiest eyes ever. I love this woman, no joke.

I like young Marilyn before she started looking like life was wearying her.

I like young Marilyn before she started looking like life was wearying her.

OK, I ended with a princess. I made it up to you for being an inadvertent sexist, right? Good. Sorry. Love your faces.

OK, I ended with a princess. I made it up to you for being inadvertently exclusionary, right? Good. Sorry. Love your faces.

OK. NOW we know what we’re playing for. Let’s see how we get these lovely ladies (and gents) to fall crazy head-over-heels for us, what do you say, ladies? Great! Here we go! HELPFUL TIPS!

Do you bring the names of other men into the conversation to give yourself a sought-after appearance?

Don’t. This may give a man a sense of inferiority — he is uncomfortable with you, and soon drifts away to someone else. It may make him wonder how much talking you do about him.

Um. OK. So our first tip is don’t talk about any other men, ever. Shit. Some of my best friends are men? So I…just shouldn’t mention them? Like, ever? But what if Andreas tells me an awesome sciency thing, or BFF make me laugh and laugh about something? Hmm.


(I think it’d take more than name-dropping to give me a “sought-after appearance.” Heh.)

Do you wear clothes that make you a little more up-to-the-minute than the other women in your set?

Good — provided your taste is reliable and that the clothes suit you. Men may rant about the “crazy hat” but they swell with pride when their lady companions arouse admiring stares.

I…am confused. Do I need to wear a crazy hat? I own two baseball caps, a wool beret, a reversible fishman’s hat that keeps the sun off my face, and some winter beanies. Are those crazy enough? What if I pinned a brooch to them? Or tied some yarn to them or something? I sure do want my man to swell with pride. Yes. Yes, that’s a euphemism.

I am SO wearing this shit on my next date. I WILL BE SOUGHT-AFTER! By carnivores!

I am SO wearing this shit on my next date. I WILL BE SOUGHT-AFTER! By carnivores!

If you are asked to get another girl for a foursome, do you pick one obviously less attractive than you are?

You are unwise to do so. Get the most glamorous girl you know, and both men will be pleased.

Wait a minute. When did I agree to have a foursome? I don’t even remember to agreeing to a THREESOME. You can’t just spring a foursome on someone, 40s man, even if you are Brando. And where am I getting this ugly girl to fill out our foursome? This whole scenario is troublesome. (Also, I’m pretty sure, no matter how attractive the girl I get is, both men are gonna be pleased. We’re having a FOURSOME, yo, that’s like the BEST THING EVER for a 40s man. They don’t have porn on-demand on their computers like men today do.)

What? The foursome is referring to a DATE? Oh, well, man, I misunderstood THAT, now didn’t I? Carry on.

Do you make a point of building up other women, even those you dislike, in discussing them with a man?

This is sound practice. But don’t put it on so thick that it sounds like a line.

Well! Sound practice! Good show! Pip pip! Righto! And heavens forefend I rehearse what I’m saying so it sounds like a line, right? Wouldn’t want to sound REHEARSED on my date. But I do have to remember all these tips. But don’t sound rehearsed. SO MUCH TO REMEMBER. *pant pant pant*

Do men marvel at your capacity for holding liquor?

A great mistake: it gives you a fast reputation and runs into money — the man’s money — besides.

I am sitting here thinking about how much liquor I can hold. I’m thinking probably two or three bottles per hand? Like, if I were to hold the necks of the bottles.

Oh, DRINKING the liquor? Well, shit, wouldn’t want a fast reputation. I’m not Lightning McQueen. And OH NO! Wouldn’t want to spend the man’s money! I mean, he’s got to rent the hotel room for our hot foursome later, I suppose, needs to save his simoleons and such.

Look, "Esquire," I found your totally classy liquor store!

Look, “Esquire,” I found your totally classy liquor store!

How many comfortable chairs are there in your living room?

At least two, I hope. No man can fall in love unless he has a chance to relax and he can’t if either of you sits bolt upright.

“No man can fall in love unless he has a chance to relax.” Huh. Is that a rule? Well, THAT’S what I’ve been doing wrong? I have NO chairs in my living room! I have ONE COUCH! And four kitchen chairs, but one is broken and Dad has to fix it! Oh, well, no one’s ever going to fall in love in my non-love-conducive living room. THIS IS THE WORST. I need to go buy two beanbag chairs or something so I can gets me a MAN, yo.

What about this? Think I should get a couple of these? Could a man relax on one of these?

What about this? Think I should get a couple of these? Could a man relax on one of these?

Do you keep men interested by hinting that later — not tonight — you’ll be really demonstrative?

This is a low trick and one that a surprising number of men see through at once. If you kiss a man, it should be for your own pleasure and not to reward him.

A SURPRISING number! (But not all of ’em, so keep going, ladies, you might get a dumb one!) “Hey, honey, this date was the best, even though you kept talking about foursomes and wouldn’t buy me a drink and hate my kitchen chairs. Let’s do it again. WHOA NELLY! Get offa me! But maybe NEXT time, we can…hang a towel rack. If you know what I mean. And I think you do. What do I mean? Oh, I have this towel rack I need help hanging, but also maybe we could have all the sex afterward.”

I have to say I’m surprised 40s Esquire gives shit one about your pleasure, though, sincerely.

Do you make things easier for a man by suggesting that he climb into a car first, if he’s driving, or by asking him not to stand up when you come into the room?

This is an error — men know that they are supposed to show these signs of consideration to a girl and they respect her more if she takes them as a matter of course.

Just shut up and let him treat you like a lady, baby. Don’t mouth off. UGH. What the hell is WRONG with you?

Do you ever embarrass a man by telling him he’s good-looking or has big muscles or is too, too intelligent?

Try it! Almost any man can stand almost any amount of flattery, however obvious, without embarrassment or surprise.

“You’re too, too intelligent. No, seriously. TOO TOO INTELLIGENT. I’ve never met anyone like you. What? You’re not surprised? Or embarrassed? What if I told you you’re smarter than EVERY MAN IN THE WHOLE WORLD? Still not surprised? Not even a little embarrassed? Hello? Are you…honey? HONEY? Oh, shit, I think my date’s dead, this is just the worst. Where am I going to find another one of these?”

Do you knit when you are having a cozy, fireside evening with a man?

For some reason, men hate to see a woman doing anything with her hands when talking to her. Undivided attention is best.

I can think of something a man would like to see a woman doing with her hands while talking to her.

OMG, you guys are DIRTY. I of course meant making him a sandwich. Get your minds out of the gutter!

Do you either play bridge or dance really well?

If not, take steps to correct this at once. You’re better off if you do both well, but one talent is mandatory.

Oh, fuck. I dance like I’ve been electrocuted and card games with too many rules are the worst. I get so bored. I have a lot of talents. Can I substitute one of those? I choose “making sarcastic asides at the other numbskulls playing bridge or dancing.”

Are you so beautifully groomed that you make an average man feel like a lout when he takes you out?

Fine. Men are extremely critical of any imperfection in a girl’s neatness. If he feels like a lout once, the average escort will take pains to be better-dressed himself the next time.

I don’t think any man has to worry about this with me. No, sincerely. I’m lucky if I get out the door without my clothing being crooked, stained, or ripped somewhere strange. And my hair…well. Unruly. Just so, so unruly. Come at me, louts! I’m available!

Do you, when you have first met a really attractive man, clinch your future acquaintance by some polite variation of “Come up and see me sometime”?

It often helps out on the occasions when the man is too shy to make the first advance himself.

Aw, shy tiger. Don't be afraid! TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL!

Aw, shy tiger. Don’t be afraid! TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL!

Hmm. Polite variation. What about “you are pretty, I would like to kiss your mouth with my mouth?” or “Do you like popsicles? I ALSO LIKE POPSICLES LET’S GET MARRIED FOR ALL OF LIFE?” I mean, for example. Also, “too shy” is often “disinterested,” so don’t confuse the two. Best of luck with that and all.

Do you keep your friendships warm by chatty calls to your men friends at their offices?

This is fatal.

By “friendships” do you mean “relationships” and by “men friends” do you mean “boyfriends?” Why are you being all coy all of a sudden?

And if I call my fella at work, is he going to put a hit out on me? I don’t like the sound of this “fatal” thing.

Teach you to call your guy at work to see how his day's going.

Teach you to call your guy at work to see how his day’s going.

Do you use artificial conversation gambits like “What movie would you choose if you had to see it every week for a year?” to start talk with a shy dinner partner?

A very good plan — someone has to start the conversation and a question like this can keep it rolling for quite awhile.

This can also backfire. What if the guy says Fried Green Tomatoes and nothing else? Well, first, you’d be all, “WHAT?” because it’s 1949 and that shit doesn’t exist yet. But then you’d be like, “why’d he say that?” and “what a weird choice!” and “do you think he’d pay if I ordered a vodka tonic, or would that be fatal, too?”

Do you save yourself wear and tear by not troubling to entertain men bores?

A grave mistake. Bores have their uses since a clever girl can practice her conversation on them, with nothing much to lose. Besides, they often have attractive friends.

True story: I thought this said “man hores” and I was like “HA HA FUNNY TYPO FOR WHORES!”

Hee, “men bores.” Also, this is the worst thing. Just the worst. A., you’re practicing conversation on some poor boring sap who thinks he has a chance to grope up under your crinolines? And B., you’re using him to get to his less-boring friends? Even if his less-boring friend is Brando, that shit is MEAN, yo. You’re never going to be invited to the foursome now.

Do you suffer from indecision when ordering dinner or drinks in a restaurant with a man?

This maddens them — learn to make up your mind rapidly.

This “maddens” them? What, are they going to throw a chair through a window, Hulk-style?



I often cannot decide if I want chicken or fish or shellfish or something vegetably and it takes me a while to decide. If my manfriend/man hore can’t wait for me, he can go off and be fatal all by himself. Too many choices makes me think I’m making a mistake.

Also, I thought I wasn’t allowed to order drinks because that meant the man was spending his simoleons?

This is the worst.

This was spectacularly unhelpful. What have we learned?


Except that people from the 40s were pretty hot, because black and white photos make everything better.

There are tips for men at the bottom of that post. I can totally talk about the tips for men tomorrow. Oh, shit, wait, no, Mom’s here tomorrow, and she doesn’t care for blogging. Monday, then. What do you think, men, need some super-helpful dating tips? You’re probably going to get ’em anyway, just letting you know, but I was making it look like it was a democratic process.

HAPPY SATURDAY! I am going to bed because tomorrow is work and mom and dinner and play and I will no doubt at some point get overwhelmed and need to cry in a bathroom. Because reasons. Won’t THAT be fun! Hooray for visiting family!

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

24 responses to “I knew I was in trouble when it asked “do you either play bridge or dance really well?”

  • elaine4queen

    I would fail that test.

    Too much shit to remember, and I like to take my time over a menu.


  • sortaginger

    Sorry, I read the bit about offering for them to climb into the car first and immediately pictured “The Dukes of Hazzard”.

    Did I miss the “way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” bit?

    You can have Brando, I’ll take Gregory Peck. *sigh*


    • lucysfootball

      There was no food advice! I guess they didn’t want you to cook for them? Hmm. Strange.

      Peck is wonderful. No question. Atticus Finch? *swoon*

      Ha! DUKES OF HAZZARD! I loved Luke. I’m a brunette girl. Blondes aren’t for me.


  • becomingcliche

    This may be the best post in the history of blog posts. I even emailed it to my sister.

    I can hold more liquor than you can. I can hold a bottle of tequila under my chin, and two more in my armpits.


    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, that’s good! You might be a hit now, but in the 40s, you’d be a total downer. DON’T HOLD TOO MUCH LIQUOR!

      (Yay, thank you! I’ll dig into the man’s advice probably Tuesday!)


      • becomingcliche

        Don’t tease me! *marks calendar and waits impatiently for Tuesday*


        • lucysfootball

          I really meant to have SOMETHING up for tomorrow but I have utterly no get-up-and-go. So, hopefully tomorrow night I’ll have time to blog again. This weekend was EXHAUSTING! This is why people don’t have overnight visitors very often, I think! (But I had such a great time, so it was a win overall – can’t really complain!)


  • franhunne4u

    I can think of something a man would like to see a woman doing with her hands while talking to her.
    OMG, you guys are DIRTY.
    I am not a guy, but I have to plead guilty here too!


  • The Waiting

    The 40s were scary! I’m glad I dated in the 2000s when the only dating tip I had to remember was to dump the guy if he made a reference to monster trucks on our first date (and there was a lot of leeway with that tip.)


    • lucysfootball

      If a guy made a reference to monster trucks on our date, I would start laughing, and I don’t know that I’d stop. I have a lot of bad date stories, but monster truck mentions tops them all.


  • Corvidae in the Fields

    I liked the part about sharpening your conversational skills on the bore, as he might have more attractive friends. I’ve crossed paths with some very boring people, and can say from experience there is no skill training there. It goes along with the saying “you only get better by playing a better opponent.”

    Also, all my attractive friends are taken. GOTCHA SUCKAS!


    • lucysfootball

      I have to agree with that. What are you learning from conversing with the bore, how not to fall asleep while talking? Seems like a foolish thing to be learning, honestly.

      A lot of my attractive friends are NOT taken! Wait, by saying that, I’m implying I’m a bore. I’m so not. I’m a joy in conversations because I’m both random and sarcastic. I’m randcastic.


  • poetlandia

    Here’s my problem: If you’re sharpening your conversational skills/wit/whatever on the bore and then you end up with his snappy, good looking friend, is the bore the one you’re going to have to find a really good-looking date for and will he be included in the foursome?

    To borrow a phrase of yours, this seems worrisome.

    Also worrisome: in the ’40s I would be considered a masculine degenerate. On the other hand, apparently men were considered smarter than women and so that would cause confusion because would I be smart or not?

    Quandry, right?

    (This post of yours had me laughing out loud. Bridge and dancing? Um, no and no.)


    • lucysfootball

      The 40s (other than the hotness factor of the celebrities) seem to be a weird time. I say we avoid them altogether.

      I don’t want a foursome with the bore. We’d all fall asleep and he’d do heavens-knows-what with us. Urgh.


  • Mrs Fever

    “Bores have their uses since a clever girl can practice her conversation on them, with nothing much to lose. Besides, they often have attractive friends.”

    Who are likely *also* bores. But hey! Much more fun to “embarrass” an attractive bore… Especially while admiring his muscle… (Awww, shucks. No, really. I’m just average.) During a foursome…

    Which is likely to *also* be boring. Unless, of course, bridge-playing and sandwich-making are on the agenda. THEN, of course, it’s a whole ‘nother story.


    I do love me some retro romance. Thanks for the snort-chuckle(s). ;)


    • lucysfootball

      Ha! Yes, seriously, who’s to say the bore doesn’t have similarly boring friends? Birds of a feather, and all that…

      If the whole night is bridge-playing and sandwich-making and bore-entertaining, sign me up for the loony-bin. No thanks. Even if young Brando was involved, I’m out.

      You’re welcome! Thank you for reading!


  • An Embarrassment of Freedom

    I can only imagine what it must have been like in the 30’s when my parents got together if that was the advice for the 40’s. Something must have been right because I was born in the 50’s.
    ( Just sayin’…Paul Newman, whatever era..overall winner…. even over young Brando.)


    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, I didn’t think of young Paul Newman! “Cool Hand Luke” Newman. YES. I’d have ordered quickly at a restaurant for young Newman. For sure.

      I’d have been terrible in old-timey dating situations. Hell, I’m terrible NOW. I can’t imagine if there were real RULES.


  • grrgoyl



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