Friday, August 8, 2008

Doctors Recommend You Lose Your Marbles

Inside The Family Physician, by Dr. Herman Pomeranz & Dr. Irvin S. Koll, 1954, comes this exercise to strengthen your feet. (Or so it says; the whole section is a set of incredulous health & beauty moves for women, including the old 'slap under your chin' exercise).

It directs you to:
Scatter marbles about floor and try to pick them up with your toes. Curl toes around marbles, hold them for a few seconds. Alternate feet. Do this for about five minutes.
Nowhere does it say to remove the marbles from the floor, which isn't very safe, Doctors. Tsk tsk.

An old ex of mine would have been excellent at this. He could pick a pencil up with his toes and write -- as in long to-do lists & full-length letters. Creepy.

...But, he did have beautiful, shapely legs, as attested every Halloween with his cross-dressing costumes. (Yeah, I think we know why he's an ex; no woman wants her man to draw more wolf-whistles for his legs than she can get.) So perhaps a lady could do well to improve her toe dexterity.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teen-Age Know-How From 1946

From my collection of etiquette books, a few pages from Your Manners Are Showing, by Betty Betz (1946).

First, how to be a proper street walker, for him and her.

Don't tell naughty jokes!

I'm not sure if this last one is to say that eating while walking in public is rude (who hasn't eaten an ice cream cone thus?) -- or is a warning to ladies to satisfy her man at home...

Charmed? I'm sure; but find your own copy on eBay.

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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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