Before there were DMs in which to slide, women needed to get creative when it came to finding a husband. And by “get creative,” we mean follow 129 super-specific “how to find a husband” tips McCall’s magazine collected in 1958.
According to the magazine, in 1958, there were 16 million unmarried women over the age of 18 and assumed “the vast majority of them would like to be.” And that these women “are sometimes alarmed by statistics that show there are only 12 million unmarried men on which to pin their hopes” (and whom, McCall’s, is publishing these statistics? Hmm?)
So, they decided to “try a technique called brainstorming” and gathered sixteen people to come up with ideas on just how to find a husband.
The original article recently went viral when Kim Marx-Kuczynski shared it on her Facebook, and unlike Paul Rudd, it hasn’t aged well. The full how-to list is below. We recommend reading it with friends. While drinking. Which, coincidentally, is actually close to one of the tips. We’ve also pulled out some of our personal favorites. All you need is a hat box, some fishing tackle, and a nursing degree.
We’ll keep an eye out for our wedding invitation!
8 How to Find a Husband Tips That Just Do Not Seem Like They Would Work
We clearly would’ve been spinsters in the ’50s, because we do not understand how these tips could be effective.
“2. Have your car break down in strategic places.”
Got a whole ton of time to waste? Just pull over, pop open the hood, and detach a few hoses. What’s a AAA membership for if not to fund your “damsel in distress” routine?
“19. Get lost at football games.”
We’re not sure how you get lost in a circular stadium with numbered sections. Have your friend drop you off blindfolded and spin you around a few times. Hopefully you’ll stumble over an eligible bachelor, or at least into the soft pretzel stand.
“33. Carry a hat box.”
Surely he’ll think, “Wow, this is a woman who owns a lot of hats and is going places… with a lot of hats.”
“40. Stand in a corner and cry softly.”
We’re not sure this is the best way to meet someone for several reasons, but it’s been part of our daily routine since March! Now where’s that ring?
“47. ‘Accidentally’ have your purse fly open, scattering its contents all over the street.”
Waiting in the DMV line to replace your lost driver’s license is the perfect way to spend time together. For your second date, gaze into each other’s eyes as you wait on hold with your credit card company.
“119. Ride the airport bus back and forth from the airport.”
What’s the goal here? Are we hoping somebody will eventually have to offer us an extra ticket to their all-inclusive vacation?
“129. Don’t marry him if he has too many loose buttons!”
You know what they say about a man with loose buttons! No? Actually neither do we, but this one had an exclamation point, so it’s probably important.
7 Tips That Are Just…Yikes
Our intuition is telling us nah.
“6. Read the obituaries to find eligible widowers.”
There’s nothing we love more than a rebound relationship or dating someone who isn’t over their ex. Better yet, just camp outside your local funeral home so you can see if your future hubby looks good dressed in black.
“12. Become a nurse or an airline stewardess. They have very high marriage rates.”
Getting a husband is as easy as two years of nursing school and $10,000 in student loans. Perhaps you’ll meet someone who just impaled himself while trying to cut an apple with a steak knife!
“56. If you look good in sweaters, wear one on every third date.”
Ah, the old “look good 33% of the time” trick! Wear a burlap sack on the other two dates. It’ll keep him guessing!
“58. Get a sunburn.”
Lure him in with your lobster skin, then romantically hold hands during your next dermatology appointment. Was that mole there before?
“62. Don’t tell him about your allergies.”
Tease him with your upper thigh by showing him where to administer your EpiPen as your throat closes up.
“67. If he has bought you any accessory or trinket, wear it.”
That Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt he brought home from Hawaii will go with everything.
“110. Point out to him that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men.”
For extra effect, tell him this while you’re sharpening a knife on a stormy night.
5 Tips We Actually Don’t Hate
Not going to lie, we can get behind these ideas.
“10. Take a bicycle trip through Europe.”
Well, okay, but that’s going to seriously cut into our husband-hunting time. Might have to hook up with a sexy Austrian to make ourselves feel better. But that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make!
“21. Get a job demonstrating fishing tackle in a sporting goods store.”
It’s the perfect place to hook up. If he doesn’t appreciate that pun, he’s not the man for you.
“50. Practice your drinking with your women friends first.”
We’ve been doing so much practicing. So. Much. Practicing.
“91. Don’t be a pushover when he’s trying to make a date.”
We pick the poke place or the date’s not happening.
“111. Go to Yale.”
What, like it’s hard?
Now for the Complete List of 129 Ways to Get a Husband
You’re welcome. Also, sorry.
Where to Find Him
- Get a dog and walk it.
- Have your car breakdown at strategic places.
- Attend night school–take courses men like.
- Join a hiking club.
- Look in the census reports for places with the most single men. Nevada has 125 males for every 100 females.
- Read the obituaries to find eligible widowers.
- Take up golf and go to different golf courses.
- Take several short vacations at different places rather than one long one at one place.
- Sit on a park bench and feed the pigeons.
- Take a bicycle trip through Europe.
- Get a job in a medical, dental or law school.
- Become a nurse or an airline stewardess — they have very high marriage rates.
- Ask your friends’ husbands who the eligible men are in their offices.
- Be nice to everybody–they may have an eligible brother or son.
- Get a government job overseas.
- Volunteer for jury duty.
- Be friendly to ugly men — handsome is as handsome does.
- Tell your friends you’re interested in getting married. Don’t keep it a secret.
- Get lost at football games.
- Don’t take a job in a company largely run by women.
- Get a job demonstrating fishing tackle in a sports store.
- On a plane, train or bus don’t sit next to a woman — sit next to a man.
- Go to all reunions of your high school or college class. There may be widowers there.
- Don’t be afraid to associate with more attractive girls; they may have some leftovers.
- Go back to your home town — the wild kid next door may now be an eligible bachelor.
- Don’t room with a girl who is a sad sack and let her pull you down to her level.
- Get a part-time job in a convention bureau.
- Change apartments from time to time.
- When traveling, stay at small hotels where it’s easier to meet strangers.
- Learn to paint. Set up easel outside engineering school.
How to Let Him Know You’re There
- Stumble when you walk into a room he’s in.
- Forget discretion every once in a while and call him up.
- Carry a hat box.
- Wear a Band-Aid — people always ask what happened.
- Make a lot of money.
- Learn several funny stories and learn to tell them well — but make sure you don’t tell him more than once.
- Walk up to him and tell him you need some advice.
- Dropping the handkerchief still works.
- Have your father buy some theater tickets that need to be got rid of.
- Stand in a corner and cry softly — chances are he’ll come over to ask what’s wrong.
- Don’t let him fish for your name next time you meet. None of this “guess who” stuff.
- If you are at a resort, have a bellboy page you.
- Buy a convertible — men like to ride in them.
- Learn how to bake tasty apple pies. Bring one into the office and let the eligible bachelors taste it.
- Laugh at his jokes.
- If there’s a wallflower among the men you know, why not cultivate them?
- “Accidentally” have your purse fly open, scattering its contents across the street.
How to Look Good to Him
- Men like to think they’re authorities on perfume. Ask his advice on what kind you should wear.
- Get better looking glasses — men still make passes at girls who wear glasses — or try contact lenses.
- Practice your drinking with your women friends first.
- If you dye your hair, pick a shade and stick to it.
- Wear high heels most of the time — they’re sexier!
- Unless he happens to be shorter than you are!
- Tell him he’s handsome.
- Take good care of your health — men don’t like girls who are ill.
- If you look good in sweaters, wear one on every third date.
- Dress differently from the other girls in the office.
- Get a sunburn.
- Watch your vocabulary.
- Go on a diet if you need to.
- When you are with him, order your steak rare.
- Don’t tell him about your allergies.
- European women use their eyes to good advantage. Practice in front of a mirror.
- Buy a full-length mirror and take a good, long look before you go and meet him.
- Change the shade of your stockings and be sure to keep the seams straight!
- Get that fresh scrubbed look by scrubbing!
- If he has bought you any accessory or trinket, wear it.
- Use the ashtray; don’t crush our cigarettes in a coffee cup.
- Polish up on making introductions; learn to do them gracefully.
- Don’t be too fussy.
- Stick to your moral standards.
- Don’t whine — girls who whine, stay on the vine!
How to Land Him
- Show him you can have fun on a cheap date — but don’t overdo it.
- Don’t let your parents treat him like a potential husband.
- Ask your parents to disappear when you’re entertaining!
- Double-date with a gay, happily married couple — let him see what it’s like.
- Tell his friends nice things about him.
- Send his mother a birthday card.
- Ask his mother for recipes.
- Talk to his father about business and agree taxes are too high!
- Buy his sister’s children an occasional present.
- On the first date tell him you aren’t thinking about getting married!
- Don’t talk about how many children you want.
- If he’s a fisherman, learn to scale and clean fish.
- Don’t tell him everything about yourself at the start. Hold something in reserve.
- When you’re out strolling with him, don’t insist on stopping at every shop window.
- Don’t tell him how much your clothes cost.
- Learn to sew and wear something you have made yourself.
- Don’t gossip about him.
- Never let him know he’s the only one, even if you have to stay home one or two nights a week!
- Don’t be a pushover when he’s trying to make a date.
- Very early on in your dating, why not get a favorite song that you both regard as your own?
- Find out about the girls he hasn’t married. Don’t repeat the mistakes they made.
- Don’t discuss your former boyfriends.
- If you are widowed or divorced, don’t constantly discuss your former husband.
- Be flexible. if he decides to skip the dance and go rowing on the lake, go — even if you’re wearing your best evening gown.
- Hide your Phi Beta Kappa key if you own one — later on junior can play with it.
- Turn wolves into husbands by assuming they have honor.
- Resist the urge to make him over–before marriage, that is!
- Learn to draw the line — but do it gracefully.
- Remain innocent but not ignorant.
- Make your home comfortable when he calls — large ashtrays, comfortable chairs.
- Learn to play poker.
- If he’s rich, tell him you like his money — the honesty will intrigue him!
- Never let him believe your career is more important than your marriage.
- Buy him an amusing or particularly appropriate present every once in a while. But don’t make it too expensive.
- Clip and mail him a funny cartoon that means something to both of you.
- Don’t tell dirty stories.
- Stop being a mama’s girl — don’t let him think he’ll have in-law trouble, even if he will!
- Point out that the death rate of single men is twice that of married men.
Wild Ideas — Anything Goes
- Go to Yale.
- Get a hunting license.
- If your mother is fat, tell him you take after your father. If he’s fat too, tell him you’re adopted!
- Stow away on a battleship.
- Rent a billboard and post your photo and phone number on it.
- Paint your name and number on a roof and write “Give me a buzz, pilots.”
- Start a whispering campaign about how sought-after you are.
- Sink at a fashionable beach at high noon!
- Ride the airport bus back and forth from the airport.
- Bribe Ferris-wheel operator to get you stuck at the top of the Ferris wheel.
- Stand on a busy street corner with a lasso.
- Carry a camera and ask strange, handsome men if they would mind snapping your picture.
- Ask your mother to take in male boarders.
- Make and sell toupees — bald men make easy catches!
- Advertise for a male co-owner of a boat.
- If you see a man with a flat, offer to fix it.
- Carry a tow chain in the trunk of your automobile.
- Let it be known in your office that you have a button box and will sew on bachelor’s loose button.
- Don’t marry him if he has too many loose buttons!