Looking back at ‘Our Day’ dating was not as informal as it is now. ‘Proper’ young ladies just didn’t ‘pick-up’ a fella, she was introduced to someone presented to her by her family or by a friend of the family, or it could be someone from your school or someone met at a suitable setting, such as dancing school. After your family, especially your father, had ‘approved’ of this person you might be allowed to go on a ‘date’. Possibly you might go to a movie matinee, especially if it was with another ‘approved’ couple. I was fortunate as my sister had paved the way for me and, as she always ‘pushed the envelope’ I knew what the (unwritten) rules were.

Garden City, where I grew up had good railroad and bus service to nearby towns that had movie theaters (ours did not). Sometimes the boy’s parent might drive you to and from the theater and they’d spend the time shopping or visiting with friends, leaving you and your date alone in the movie. Often the approved way was double-dating with another couple. I guess our families thought there was safety in numbers.

Cars driven by teens weren’t often available, but bicycles were and the two of you could ride alone to a spot for a picnic or to a local museum to spend some innocent time together – and I do mean innocent! Kissing (known as ‘necking’ then) was not usually done on a first date, but later ones might involve this and maybe even ‘going further’ as petting was called.

In the day before Birth Control, fear of a pregnancy kept many a girl from ‘going all the way’. Too bad such impediments aren’t still around! But even without a bit of sex we had a good time and many of us became expert wrestlers!

Lois Learned
Southbury, CT © 2013

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