Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Date Line, 1957

Thirteen Points Along "The Date Line"

The Date Line: Facts & Fancies for the Girl in School, by Jan Landon, as it appeared in the November 1957 issue of Good Housekeeping.

#1 Boys in bottles.

Boys in bottles are a flash fad in Kansas... to get a pickled effect like this, girls back the picture with cardboard, brace them with clothes-hanger wire, and float them in colored water... others just paste glossy prints inside the bottle with rubber cement -- either way is pretty eerie while it lasts.
Ya think?Amazingly, the photo of a bottled-boy is credited to Dare Wright. (I have a huge crush on Dare Wright and her works-- so does Slippity-Do-Da.)

#2 All the, er, cool girls are doin' it...

That outgrown game, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, is roaring back in a new Southern version" "Pin-the-sideburn-on-Elvis." !.....
I wonder if it continued with fat-Elvis too? Girls in the south, who were learning to deep-fat-fry any and all foods, must have continued to love Fat Elvis, right?

#3 I don't think I've ever been so embarrassed to be from Wisconsin...

In Wisconsin they say the girl's "got him drafted" when the boy's hooked...
How cheesy.

#4 I'm beginning to suspect this groovy knowledge isn't for "the girl in school", but for her parents... Like some sort of "how to understand your teenager" and "learn the lingo" advice column.

"It's been a hunk of heaven, but I think I'll jump for earth," means the party, evening, or romance is over.
#5 Of course, every school girl wants to know how the ultra glam college girls are wearing their sweaters...

#6 For the cool girl in school, tips on making an autograph belt. Ingredients are as simple as the sideburn-pinning-girls are: a plain, wide leather belt and press-on gold-leaf.

Next they giveth, then taketh... A crafty idea and then an equally crafty insult.

#7 First a DIY tip for using clothesline rope, painted in bright enamel paint to make "un-run-of-the-mill" necklaces for "medallions". Take that crafty tip and choke on it.

#8 Don't like that insult? How about this insult then: "Your mother must have bought you with green stamps!" It is the latest insult. (It may seem weird for a ladies' magazine to give insult tips -- but what sort of person actually takes such advice?)

#9 This next one makes me feel better about being a cheesy Wisconsin girl; at least I'm not from Texas.
Every rooter pops a blown-up paper bag at the kick-off of special games at Amarillo High, Texas

#10 But still, Texas girls are less icky than these girls...
Right after the Chicopee High, Mass., teams wins a big game, girls beg boys for, of all things, the chin straps of their football helmets... straps are prized collectors' items, hung like trophies on bedroom walls.
Hey, don't say, "Of all things," because heaven knows a sweaty chin strap worn by a pimply lad is leagues better than other straps -- begged for or not.

#11 This next bit features "grab-bag evenings", heh heh. Oh wait -- it's not quite the snarky fun it sounds like... The 'grab-bags' aren't ugly girls after all.

"Grab-bag evenings" eliminate squables on group dates in St. Louis... instead of arguing about restaurants and movies, they put ads of all possible choices in two boxes, one for movies, one for restaurants -- everybody goes to the spots drawn by a blindfolded girl.
And that's how Muffy ended up blindfolded in the back of Dale's dad's Buick. Honest.

#12 Little black books weren't enough...

"Fix-up files" are made by Midwest girls to simplify arranging blind dates... they're wallet albums of their girl friends' pictures with statistics and interests listed on the back for the benefit of inquiring boys...
Those 1957 Midwest girls were slutty, pimping their friends; I feel even prouder now.

#13 More fashion advice you need to take -- like a slap in the face:

#14 Yup, a bonus.

An endearing twist in envelope inscriptions is being revived in the Midwest... on letters to girls, boys add a phrase above the address so that it reads like this:

Oh, how I
Miss Sandra Smith
64 Middlefield Rd.
etc., etc.,
Gawd, no wonder those boys needed help soliciting dates.

Then again, maybe that "Oh, how I" was code for something.

#15 Don't complain -- you need more tips on how to understand what your peers are saying to you:

"Face in the crowd" is new for someone who'll pass with a shove...
I need that translated, actually.
If you have "the rare disease," you haven't had a date for ages.
No comment. Hubby makes me keep this PG-13 and I think that line is rife with enough innuendo as it is.

Well, as the cook kids say, it's been a hunk of heaven but I think I'll jump for earth now.

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Blogger SlipOfAGirl said...

OMG! Dare Wright! I know it's silly to be so giddy over that photo, but I am -- I am!

February 21, 2008 3:43 AM  
Blogger DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

...although it was a long time ago, I do remember being a "boy"... and if much of this was going on when I was a lad, I'm extremely frightened...

...well, except the "Pin the Blubber on the Old Fat Elvis"... that I can respect.

February 21, 2008 5:59 AM  
Blogger Silent-Porn-Star said...

This is amazing! I'm so envious -- and I wish I had the wallet albums and even the chin straps!

February 21, 2008 8:02 AM  
Blogger Dane Bramage said...

Wow, that was a couple of years before I was born. I though young people today were bizarre. I guess young people of all eras were bizarre, except my era :-)

Thanks for visiting my T13 13 More Answers to the 100 Questions Meme

February 21, 2008 8:05 AM  
OpenID said...

This was great. I just love this... chin straps?! We have come so far.

February 21, 2008 8:53 AM  
OpenID fullbodytransplant said...

Sweater guards. The mind reels.

February 21, 2008 8:59 AM  
Blogger FrogDogz said...

I find it's best to take your 'boy in a bottle', and then artfully arrange him on a shrine that also holds his chin strap.

All the cool girls are stalking their boys these days!

February 21, 2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

OMG!! And we thought we are snarky today! That's hysterical!

(but not nearly as great as your line about "that's how Muffy wound up in Dale's back seat. Honest!" Man, that was precious. Shoulda come with a beverage alert!)

This has me convinced that yes, times have changed for the better.

February 21, 2008 12:04 PM  
Blogger bart said...

I did all of that and more. Make fun of it if you want, but today, I control an empire and still get dates with lots of girls in those stretchy pants. Rare disease, indeed.

March 28, 2008 4:57 AM  

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