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How to Get--and Keep--a Husband

August 30, 2007 |  6:43 am

1957_0829_constance

Aug. 29, 1957
Los Angeles

If it's true that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle, then author Kate Constance wants every salmon to have a Schwinn. She's written a book on the subject, "How to Get and Keep a Husband," which is being serialized in the Mirror.

Part 4 is the installment I've been waiting for, because Constance finally addresses the male part of the equation. It's not pretty, dear fish, because now that you're ready for a bicycle, the task is to pick the right one. And, between us salmon, it's not easy. There are lots of bad bicycles out there!

This is what to look for so that you get a 10-speed and not some clunker, because if you're wasting time with that old beater bike, some nice beach cruiser is getting away!

Or as Constance says: "Many lovely girls have suffered damaging emotional upset because of long and fruitless romances with men who selfishly monopolize their social time, driving away other possible suitors, yet never get around to proposing. The effect upon a woman's ego can be pitiful."

"Remember -- there are thousands of single male delinquents in our country who are shams foisting their spurious attentions upon women whom they have no intention of marrying." [Ouch!! It hurt my fingers just to type that--lrh].

How do you pick a bicycle? Ask yourself: Is he fish-worthy?

1957_0829_beck021. Is he a cheapskate? We're not talking about Mr. Constance, who "practically popped with gratitude" when Constance suggested an economical night on the town. No, Mr. Tightwad asks you out for a late date so he doesn't have to spring for dinner. Ice cream and a drive are more his speed. Even worse: "He never sends flowers or candy or a book but borrows good literature and even the evening paper!"

2. Does he blow his dough? Mr. Easy Come, Easy Go is just as bad as Mr. Tightwad, Constance says. He can't be cured, "and the woman who ties her destiny to him is taking a very long chance!"

3. Is he a boudoir bum? You know what I mean, dear fish. This is the bicycle that will take and take and take and never come across with an engagement ring. Mr. BB doesn't want love, he doesn't want marriage and he most certainly does not want children, Constance says. Mr. BB always has "some hopeful female on the string to give him all the sexual attention he wants. She yields to him in the hope that their physical relationship will foster enough love to induce him to propose.

"Poor, foolish female!"

4. Is he a perfectionist? Mr. Perfect is always frustrated because nothing else in life--especially you, dear fish--is perfect. Is the furniture a bit dusty? A sin! Is the seam on your stocking crooked? Even worse! Does he correct you when you mispronounce words? Run like the wind!

5. Is he, errrrrr, uhhhhh, ummmm gay? Of course, this is 1957, so Constance phrases the question a bit differently. Is he "abnormal?" "A type sometimes harder to recognize than you may believe," Constance says. "Some are highly social and give the outward appearance of being good marriage prospects, but never carry a romance forward toward marriage. They like to escort pretty women in public as a social shield.

"Men of this type are selfish cheats taking up a woman's valuable time and arousing false hopes in her heart.

"How can a woman discern the truth in a situation of this kind? If such a suspicion enters her mind, she might enlist the services of another, trusted man friend. Usually men can recognize telltale characteristics forever hidden from a woman's perception."

6. Is he Jack Daniels' best friend?
Maybe you can work a miracle but why handicap yourself, because Mr. JDBF is going to have lots of other problems to go with the drinking.

Here's some bikes worth riding:

1. New and not broken in yet. If you're a young fish, getting a young and inexperienced bicycle is the best, "so you can grow and build together"

2. The old, carefully maintained bike. You may need to be patient, dear fish: "Even if they have become set in their ways, a woman's love and patient guidance eventually can lead them into the broadening path of family life."

Sometimes the older bike is good because he's already housebroken, Constance says, at least if he's a widower. But the man who has been divorced several times, "is not a matrimonial prize."

Some final thoughts: "A woman must overlook age, physical appearance and small faults in favor of character, dependability and kindness."

[Note: In case there is any doubt, let me add: As with the horoscopes, this is for entertainment purposes only.--lrh]

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