Whatever happened quaint dating? A guy picking up a lady, taking her out for a night of dancing, stopping by the malt shop on the way home, and ending the evening with a firm handshake. The good ol’ days! “Now they have an app for that!” said the nostalgic elderly person I was just channeling.
The modernization of a night out on the town may have evened the playing fields for men and women and loosened up the demanding etiquette young people of the mid-20th cenutry faced, but that doesn’t every dating tip from the 60+ crowd is worth throwing away. Take this instructional video from 1946, teaching high schoolers how to respectfully court one another. It’s full of applicable wisdom… delivered in detectably archaic packaging. Whether you take the advice to heart, the exploits of Jerry, Helen, Margaret and Frank — the bad-mannered know-nothing — are entertaining to watch.
Here are 10 gems of social guidance that your grandparents would wholeheartedly approve of:
“A girl shouldn’t make it difficult for a fellow to ask for a date. Fear of not being asked, or fear of being refused, can ruin our social lives if we let them.”
“Even with a dark business suit, so Jerry insists, the color of the tie should be conservative. Maybe Frank will buy a quieter pattern … show consideration for her.”
“Most girls are inclined to overdress … Simplicity is always the safest policy in ornamentation.”
“[Frank’s] wanting to blow the horn for Helen instead of meeting her parents is really not shyness, but a sign that his manners are weak.”
“Women are always introduced first and may choose to shake hands if circumstances warrant.”
“Meeting the parents is a minimal courtesy and as well as a pleasure.”
“The phone call is from one of those fellows who waited until the very last minute to try making a date. Jerry can laugh at this would be competitor.”
“It is not a mark of affection for a couple to try dining the entire evening by themselves. After awhile, they tire of their exclusiveness and then each one fears to hurt the others feelings to want to dance with someone else.”
“Jerry is becoming aware that Margaret and Frank aren’t having a good time. He brings the problem out in the open. Margaret and Frank are forced to admit their foolishness.”
“No, he should not try to kiss her on a first date. But he does ask her for another date soon …
Matt Patches is a writer and reporter living in New York City. His work has been featured on Vulture, Time Out New York, and The Hollywood Reporter. He is the host of the pop culture podcast Operation Kino.