Some Thinking on Drinking

stories of innocent maidensMy friend and I were approached by our waitress the other night after we had finished eating dinner. “A gentlemen at the bar would like to buy you ladies a drink,” she claimed. We were a bit confused ~ let’s just say we were not dressed or acting in any manner to attract the opposite sex, and our gift-giver was not making himself obvious. Despite our keen sense of etiquette we were unsure what to do, so we hestitantly accepted the drink.

So the question was begged, what does one do when offered a free drink from a stranger? Well, there wasn’t much on this topic, unless you count Helen Gurley Brown telling us in Sex and the Single Girl to “Expect and encourage gifts from men. They are part of the spoils of being single.” Here’s some further advice on drinking from a different book on a similar theme, titled How to Be Happy While Single.

1949: Some Thinking on Drinking

The girl who drinks too much is no more of a problem than the man who guzzles too freely. Most girls agree however that the difficulty is not, as they may have been led to believe in their impressionable budding girlhood, one of protecting their honor. They hear stories of innocent maidens set upon by drunken brutes and wonder, because this sort of thing always seems to happen to other people, never to them. It’s the boys who stay sober who bear watching. As for their own reactions to liquor, some women admittedly become somewhat amorous when drinking. The girl who realizes this fatal tendency within herself has to keep on the double qui vive. She doesn’t worry half as much about the man as she worries about herself. If she can handle her own affectionate proclivities, she won’t have any trouble managing his. If not, she may awaken in the stark light of dawn to recall the night before with discomfiture and embarrassment, ardently wishing that someone would arise from the earth to bear her off, as Pluto carried Proserpine. Nothing will come of it. It is much better for her to keep reminding herself while drinking that the man didn’t look half as attractive before she had that fourth Manhattan.

Source: Van Evera, Jean. How to be Happy While Single. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1949.
~ pp. 76-77 ~