In 2012, the invention of Tinder changed the landscape of love, dating, and relationships as we know it. Gone are the days where flirting required real-life, face-to-face interaction and welcome to the age of virtual romance, where your next hook up is only one swipe away. As a woman who uses dating apps, it's easy to feel like a small disposable fish in an endlessly big pond of younger, better looking and more heavily photoshopped fish. I often wonder if courtship was really that much easier before online dating took over, or has the struggle to find good-quality men been one that women have faced since the dawn of time?
It seems so; a magazine article titled '129 Ways to Get a Husband' was discovered in a 1958 edition of American magazine McCall's. In what seems to be an attempt to help its readers find a husband, it lists 129 bizarre, sexist and possibly politically incorrect tips to point them in the right direction. I've decided to look into each one and see if they would work today and whether or not things have really changed all that much in dating over the past 62 years. Welcome to your weekly tip on 'How To Find A Husband: 1950s Style'. Here's Tip #2.
The 1958 edition of American magazine McCall’s, featuring '129 Ways to Get a Husband'
That's a lot of ways! Arguably too many. But beggars can't be choosers, so let's take a look at Tip #2...
Tip #2 Have your car break down at strategic places
Ok, so the premise of this tip is the assumption that you have a car — which I'm not actually sure many single women did in the 1950s. But we'll ignore that small technicality, and roll with it. So, you have a car to 'break down'. How does this one work exactly?
Essentially, what you're doing is turning yourself into a 'damsel in distress'...
Let's picture the scene. You get in your car, and open your GPS to type in the destination. So far, all you have is 'a strategic place'. What does that mean and where do you find it? Is it just the side of a road, like any good horror movie? Is it right outside a garage? Perhaps it's outside a gentlemen's club. Or maybe somewhere close to the financial district. What exactly is 'a strategic place'?
The classic 'damsel in distress' man-trap
We'll leave you to figure it out, but once you've picked one — somehow — all you need to do is to wait patiently, ready to strike your first willing victim. Because let's be honest, what male can't resist a poor helpless woman who needs saving... right?
Once you've spotted a potential husband, the acting begins
You've found a man who you hope will come to your aid. Well done! But how to make him come over to you? Well, turning on the waterworks is always a good way to get things going...
It worked! Well done! Next step... asking for help
Success! You laid out the bait and he bit. Because he is a man. And now that he's hooked, all you need to do is reel him in. But how does the modern-day lady play the damsel in distress without disrespecting her sense of female empowerment?
Playing a modern-day 'damsel in distress' requires a delicate balance
I would recommend resisting a little in the beginning. After all, you're a strong, independent woman who don't need no man. It's important to at least create the illusion that you could do it without his help. Thank him for his offer to assist, but politely decline.
But it's pretty easy to crack
But only a little though. Equally as important, is creating the opportunity for him to insist on helping you anyway, despite insisting that he doesn't need to. If he's husband material, he will do it.
Once you accept his help, you can assess if he is husband material
Here's where the second part of the test begins. He's already insisted on helping you, so you know he is kind. But the second, and possibly more important part of the test happens next. Does he in fact know, the inner workings of a car?
If he's not, it's thank you, next!
If he stared cluelessly into the open bonnet and doesn't know a car battery from the exhaust pipe, kindly thank him for his offer to help and go find someone else. You need a husband you can depend on in difficult situations, so this is the perfect way to find out if this is your guy.
If he is, let him know how much of a hero he is
If however, he demonstrates the manly aptitude of being able to fix a car despite not being a mechanic (even though your car is actually working fine), then you have struck gold. Hold onto him, ladies! He's a keeper. And he never even needs to know that this whole thing was a ruse!
Well done, you have completed the task of finding a husband!
So there you have it. It seems like Tip #2 for finding a husband still applies in 2020. Some things are timeless after all and it seems that playing the damsel in distress is one of them. Those of you single gals out there who were thinking of getting a car but weren't sure, I hope I've convinced you that it is very much worth your while. Tune in next time for Tip #3...