Recently a reader asked what MY advice was on marriage. Interesting topic. What is my advice on marriage?
My answer: I m a fan. At least I am fond of MY marriage. I don’t have a strong opinion on yours. I don’t even remotely think of myself as an expert.
I am as surprised as anyone that I found a man who could put up with me for the past 27 years.
Still, I suppose when one has saddled a spouse with the nickname, Mr. Wonderful, there are bound to be people that think I consider myself an expert in the care and choosing of husbands.
In that vein, I also have been sent copies of a well-circulated c. 1958 article on how to catch a husband. Husband trapping being all the rage in the middle of the last century, I suppose.
The list is too long and varied to replicate entirely, but some of the highlights certainly are good for discussion.
Catching a husband
Here are some 61-year-old spouse trapping tips, circa 1958.
– Have your car break down in strategic places.
Okay, this sounds like a great way to end up murdered on a roadside to me. I suppose serial killers can be considered a catch to some gals?
– Volunteer for jury duty.
If your serial killer is eventually caught (see above), this could come in very handy.
– Be friendly to ugly men.
I am not sure what to say to this. How about just being friendly to everyone and not so darn shallow, Karen?
– When traveling, stay at small hotels where it is easier to meet strangers.
Again, I have concerns that most of this advice is more about how to go missing than how to trap a man.
Apparently marriage, or, alternately, a gruesome death via kidnapping and murder, were considered to be equally viable options for a single gal.
– Stumble when you walk into a room that he’s in.
We all know there is nothing more attractive than clumsiness, am I right ladies?
– Wear a Band-Aid. People always ask what happened.
Again, when did bumbling and bandages become a siren song to men? I’m concerned about any man who is overly attracted to this.
Frankly, Mr. Wonderful seems pleased when I can shake an injury off. Mild bloodshed mid-renovation need not slow down a project.
Slap some electrical tape on it and keep moving babe!
– Stand in a corner and cry softly. Chances are good that he’ll come over to find out what’s wrong.
How is this solid advice? Who are we trying to attract? This is likely to get you a referral to a therapist, not a proposal.
– Accidentally have your purse fly open, scattering its contents all over the street.
Sigh. So now we have someone stumbling, crying softly and scattering their belongings all over the street? Where are the men who are clamoring to snap this up?
– Don’t whine — girls who whine stay on the vine!
Despite all the tripping and sobbing and general malaise, you will want to stay upbeat! You like it this way.
– Point out to him that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men.
I’m assuming they mean in a conversational way? Otherwise, that just sounds like a threat.
– Sink at a fashionable beach at high noon!
Again with the near-death experiences. Why? Has this ever worked for anyone? If you actually faked drowning and met your spouse while doing so, please write to me. Immediately.
– Ask your mother to take in strange, male boarders.
Not content to risk her own life and limb, our husband-hunting heroine could also put family members at risk as well.
I don’t know how many females actually landed a husband with this advice, but we definitely need to check the post-publication murder rate.
– If he’s a fisherman, learn to scale and clean fish.
There exists in a photo album somewhere a photo of me at around age 23 posing holding up a fish. I’m beaming. You would think I LOVE fishing. I do not love fishing.
I did, however, love spending a day with a handsome guy with twinkling green eyes who did. Spoiler alert: we did get married.
Surprising to no one: I have not fished since. Take from it what you will.
In summation, fishing for a husband may have changed quite a bit since 1958, but in the case of that last bit of wisdom, I’m going to let this advice on how to land a man stand.
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