Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

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Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an Off-Broadway production of the same name!

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Posts Tagged ‘hamburgers’

When a Fellow Gets Fresh

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

If he tries something?This one comes from the first book in my collection (read about it here), and just happpens to be one of my favorite quotes. My friend Carita and I used to read this one over and over again, so we would know exactly what to do if and when those boys tried to take advantage.

1967: When a Fellow Gets Fresh

When a boy goes beyond what pleases a girl in his lovemaking, she faces a difficult problem. If she allows him to continue, against her wishes, she may be headed for more trouble than she will be able to handle. If she tries to restrain him, she must know how to do it without hurting his feelings or making him feel rejected as a person. This calls for delicate know-how that a girl must learn ~ in action.

The inexperienced girl may wonder, “If he tries something, shall I slap him and run, or just run?” The more mature girl knows that she doesn’t need to resort to either slapping to running in order to deal with the too amorous boy friend. She wards off unwelcome behaviour with a firm refusal to co-operate, accompanied by a knowing smile and a suggestion of some alternate activity. She may say, “Not now, Ambrose ~ let’s go get a hamburger; I’m hungry.”

Or she may take a tip from Marianne. When her date seems about to do something objectionable, she takes both his hands in both of hers, squeezes them affectionately, grins into his eyes, and says, “You’re quite a guy.” By doing this, Marianne lets her date know that she won’t go along with his intimacy, at the same time that she shows she like him as a person.

A girl’s best protection is in anticipating a situation and deflecting it. The wise girl who wants to avoid a necking session keeps up an animated conversation about things that interest her date until she is returned to her door, when she bids him a pleasant adieu and goes in. This is easier said than accomplished. But if the girl is sure of her objective, she avoids anything that points in another direction. She keeps to brightly lighted, well-populated places and away from dark lonely corners where the situation may get out of hand.

It is a wise girl who knows the variations on the “Come up and see my etchings” theme well enough to decline an invitation to drive to a lonely Lovers’ Lane “to see the view.” This kind of know-how often comes from talks with other girls. As girls pool their experiences they can share their knowledge of various boys and their approaches. And they learn from each other the skills for dealing with various problem-boy situations.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. The Art of Dating. New York: Association Press, 1967.
~ pp. 188-190 ~