This Week in History: Manners for Men

The original page of the newspaper when published (Photo Credit: Aliyah Williams)

Aliyah Williams


The following story was published by the Stroud Courier on Jan. 17, 1948.

Only critical style issues have been changed.

Men, this should be of interest to you, if you have any heart interests. 

In the first place, you should LOOK like something. This does not mean that you should spend a lot of money to try to accomplish this, but you should have scruples about your appearance. That sweater, an old pal in the locker room, is a liability on a date. Those sculptured socks may be collegiate, but they look terrible. There are conventions such as wearing coats, going in for manicuring of the simpler sort, and shaving, which must be observed if you are going around with girls. 

Girls like men to be conventional about their clothes. Good taste is especially important in sports clothes. An old clean linen shirt looks better than a tricky candy-striped one. 

If you are small, you needn’t try to make up for being short by being loud. 

In order to go over with a girl, it is important to be considerate. A girl likes a man who realizes she has preferences about radio programs, and about where she goes when she is out with him. A girl will think a lot of a fellow who seems to understand when something is important to her, such as telephoning her parents if she is delayed, when she has been told to be home at a certain time. 

Don’t act bitter about other fellows. That is the wrong move. Have you seen the sign that one fraternity hangs out during house parties? “To let – Wolf’s clothing.” You should be broadminded around women; that is one of the things they like you for. 

Acting mentally superior toward women went out with the silent movies. Patting the girl’s head and telling her the place has been empty for years gets you nowhere because it isn’t empty; it’s just as full of facts as yours, although they may be about different subjects.

Are you perhaps a little lazy and lacking in ambition? Girls like energy, and by this is not meant mere jitterbug pep. Whatever your ambitions may be a few years hence, take your girl into your confidence. She will be interested. Once in a while, pass up a date in favor of work. Girls look up to a man who doesn’t just sit around, who passes his courses creditably, who can keep a job; in short, a man who is going places. 

Don’t stay home for financial reasons. Money is an enormous help to a fellow, but it’s not so all-important as you may think. If you like a girl well enough, take her into your confidence, just once, about your financial situation. If it’s good, she’ll feel easier. If it isn’t good and she’s the right sort, she’ll cooperate. But don’t go to places where you can’t pay the bill. A girl won’t mind you being hard-up, but she hates to have it rubbed in. If you are short of cash, take her to the basketball game at school or to an outdoor band concert, or some such entertainment that doesn’t cost much, but is a lot of fun. 

While styles and habits have certainly changed, it is still fun to look back and see what norms within society were years ago!