Finding a husband can be a very tricky endeavor, especially in today’s digital world. Men, like never before, have so many options, distractions, and outlets through which to to impulsively reveal their often grotesque opinions (NOT ALL MEN lol) that finding a chill male partner seems almost more effort than it is worth.
That was not the case in the 1950s. Devastation in the aftermath of the Great Depression and World War II manifested itself through American overcompensation of rigid social structures—particularly when it came to race, class, and gender roles. Women were primarily mothers and homemakers in the decade leading up to the sexual revolution of the ’60s, meaning a woman without a husband was not a woman at all, but instead a cretinous drain on society.
Which is why women’s magazines focused heavily on dating advice. Recently, an article from a January 1958 edition of McCall’s—a monthly American women’s magazine that peaked at a readership of over 8.4 million in the early ’60s—has caught the Internet’s attention.
It is titled “129 Ways To Get A Husband” and IT’S SO GOOD!!! The article kicks off with a list of 13 places to find ~him.
Impressive, how every point advises women to fully and completely change their lifestyle and/or personality in order to become wife material. Take up golf! Become a nurse! Go to—oh, I mean, get a job at a—law school! And, my very favorite, sit on a park bench and feed the pigeons! Men love a pigeon lady, everybody knows that!
Continuing on, we have such helpful hints as “be friendly to ugly men,” “don’t take a job in a company run largely by women,” and “don’t be afraid to associate with more attractive girls; they may have some leftovers.”
We then pivot to ways “TO LET HIM KNOW YOU’RE THERE,” the first of which is to quite literally forget how to walk.
Then, once you’ve finally gotten him to notice you—by wearing a Band-Aid or buying a convertible—it’s time to LOOK GOOD TO HIM.
You know, let him tell you what perfume to wear, and sub out your glasses for contact lenses. Wear uncomfortable shoes and compliment him all the time! Don’t change your hair often, don’t cuss, and get a sunburn. Also, scrub your face.
Finally! You’ve found him at the hiking club. You’ve “accidentally” scattered the contents of your entire purse into the street and gotten him to notice you. You’ve refrained from telling him about your allergies and as a result, you look good to him. Now you land him! But how?
There’s a lot you can do, like renting out a billboard and posting your picture and phone number on it—but definitely do not be a pushover or repeat the mistakes of his exes.
The last 111-129 pieces of advice are “Wild ideas,” as in, “anything goes,” as in, “you got nothin’ to lose, ya spinster! Why not stand on a busy street corner with a lasso?”
Anyway, apart from stowing away on a battleship and the numerous, numerous tips on this list that would inevitably get a woman killed, these all seem pretty cool and smart and doable. Farewell Tinder, helllooooo new career as a toupee-maker!