Available In Blue, Pink & Just Country
The Everything Is Okay Alarm

When You Marry

(Okay, first. Yes. I know I've been rather scan-happy lately. I'd apologize, except that it's actually been refreshing and more than a little necessary to take the occasional break from the Truman-Show-ness of all-super-personal-blogging, all-the-damn-time. Plus, the scanner is actually in the one room we've bothered to fully baby-proof, despite Ezra's non-stop campaign of destruction and doom and what did you put in your mouth, no, seriously, what did you just put in your mouth, oh my God, get it out, it's kitty litter, ohmygodgetitout.)

So. This book. Oh my god, you guys.

I've actually had this book in my possession for over a decade now -- it was a not-so-subtly-snarky wedding present from my older brother who most emphatically disagreed with my decision to marry young. I forgive him, because this book is fantastic. Like what-would-you-save-if-your-house-was-on-fire fantastic. Even back then, I knew it belonged on the Internet, although I had no idea at the time how the Internet worked outside of my personalized Yahoo! home page. Like, maybe I could re-type passage up in Notepad and copy the illustrations in Paint? And post them to a message board? In hindsight, I should have. I could have been Mahir!

And so I've been meaning to get around to scanning some of my favorite pages ever since I started this here dumblog, but...God, what a task! Every page is my favorite! I defy you to find a single page in this book that is not either hilariously old-fashioned or outright patently offensive. Reading it is a form of Stockholm Syndrome -- by the end you no longer have any grasp on what is right or wrong about any of it. It's that fucking good.

(Well! Let's not build up expectations too high there, or anything, Amy. You jackass.)

Anyway. I've finally decided to just bite the bullet and start scanning, uploading choice selections here and there, probably one new batch a week. I'll let you know when new pages are available. Today I present a nice decent chunk from the first five of the book's 15 chapters. (What You Bring To Marriage, Are You In Love?, Dating, Becoming Involved and Getting Engaged.) (And yes, there is a chapter called Where Babies Come From. I'm saving that one for Sweeps.)

Okay! Enough talking! Allow me to present When You Marry: Love, 1962 American High School Style.




Oh my god, that's classic! I can't believe you resisted commenting on the wife being satisfied by a sheared beaver on page 5 though...


oh my jesus god that is the best wedding gift ever (after the kitchen aid mixer, clearly). must now scour internet for copies.


Hmm, I think "2wn" might be "Zion" or maybe "Queen"


awesomeness. I, too, am worried that I should've broken it off with my husband due to the lack of our 'aura of holiness'. :)


This is so awesome. I wonder if I should prepare my husbands favorite desserts more "oftener" and he'd be sure to shear my beaver.

Steph the WonderWorrier

Oh Em Gee, this is AWESOME. My best friend just got engaged, I so need to be on the look out for something like this... what a hilarious gift!

I'm not even all the way through, but on page about social class differences I nearly peed my pants at the last one...

"Working class people are more direct in sex response. Middle class people have less direct sex response, more petting".

Next time I'm unsure of the Social Class of my companion I'll just say, "Hey, are you into heavy petting or do you just like to get down to it?"


Oh, HolyHell, that was funny! Did anyone find the last line of the first Check Yourself -- "Just a sheared beaver would satisfy little me" -- to be about the most hilarious thing evah?!


I agree with the Zion comment... And - holy shit is this a great wedding gift!!!


dumblog? You bite your tongue RIGHT NOW! I will not have that kind of language in here!


So glad I'm not the only one who noticed the "sheared beaver....."

Megan@Blueberry Scones

Yeah, what IS petting?

I also think this "Brenda" could be your half-blood Prince.


I am hunched over my desk at working shaking with laughter. I nearly snorted Mr. Pibb out of my nose. That is HILARIOUS.


Zion, or maybe a squashed Quin? '60's-era cursive/print/caps-lock hybrid handwriting is not so easy to decipher. Can't wait for the rest, this is hysterical!


2wn = twin?

So, if this were 1962 (or whatever)... as a 24-year old young professional college graduate... I would be a slut? Or no, I would hate sex & just enjoy petting?



"Do you have to pet to be popular?" Yes, the answer is most definitely yes.
Also, why isn't anyone's answer to "Why do young people pet?" "Because it feels good, yo"?


Oh dear lord - I couldn't get past the "Check Yourself" page. I wouldn't have to make my husband dessert "oftener" - just telling him I wanted a "sheared beaver" would get me pretty much anything I want!

aimee @ smilingmama

OMG. I think you need to write and publish a book with one page of that followed by one page of Amalah comments.


You know, I'm just not sure if I want to be working class or middle class after the comparison :)

Miss Grace

I think that 2wn is maybe Quinn? Or something? There's a dotted 'i', and the cursive capital 'q' looks like a 2.

Mrs. Q.

Brilliant! My single favorite line is at the end of the fur quiz. I'm going to sell T-shirts.

"Just a sheared beaver would satisfy little me."


"Powerful physical attractions are at work in heterosexual dating."

I guess those homosexuals are just indifferent to each other.


oh. well. I am never going to stop laughing at "sheared beaver" and look forward to using that term in my everyday life.


"Just a sheared beaver would satisfy little me."

*dies laughing*

That. Was. Fantastic.


I want to be "broken in health, and quite possibly an invalid." Also: sheared beaver. Oh. My. Lawd.


...and to which Mr. B said. "Yes, a sheared beaver would satisfy me too."

Sprite's Keeper

You should post these "oftener". And I think the "sheared beaver" is more for his pleasure than for hers.

Lynn @ Walking With Scissors

Bahahaha!!! "I have simple tastes. Just a sheared beaver would be enough for little old me." Bahahha!!!


What the hell distinguishes "sex response" from "petting"? (Basically, what the hell is "sex response"? Sticking it on in there instead of feeling the boobies over the sweater? Doesn't that come under the category of "premarital sex intercourse", which is covered in its own little section?)

Also, "premarital sex intercourse" is my new favorite phrase of all time.

Jen L.

I demand to know what "the walkie-talkie-date" is. (page 57)
This is genius. GEN-IUS.

bethany actually

"Just a sheared beaver would satisfy little me"?!??!

Oh. Em. Gee.


It's not 2wn, it's Lion! Apparently she writes funky Ls...took me a while to see it but I think "Lion" is what it says.


I think I'm in love. Not with a man, but with this book and your commentary. Wonder what part of the graph that falls into?


THIS is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. I am crying over here. I have to know, what is "swapping lines" and why are the teens doing it? "Doing lines", yes, but swapping?


Also: I don't know what "the walkie-talkie date" is, but I definitely want to go on one, if only so I can say that I have.

"The line covers up real emotional involvements by exaggeration" is actually kind of interesting and maybe perceptive, depending on where the book goes with the idea.

Man, there are just too many things I want to comment on here.

Nothing But Bonfires

Um, best wedding present ever! Screw my Crate and Barrel registry, I'm telling everyone I know that I want this book instead.


The "dumb bunny" section cracked me up. Offensive? Probably. Hilarious? Definitely.


14 is considered under age for a female but 18 for a male?? EW!

die Frau

"What can you do that's fun at home?" [smirk]

Oh, gracious me, I'm sure the kids thought of something. Ok, I think I was thinking about using the "davenport". That whole page on dating got my double-entendre fires revving. Yes, I'm a high school teacher.


die Frau

CC, I see "Lion" as well. Rawr!


So freakin hilarious. More, please!! And "Just a sheared beaver would satisfy me" DEFINITELY needs to be on a Tshirt.


It is, I am pleased to announce, available on Amazon.


The middle class/working class thing has me really confused. I have grown up thinking that the working class WAS the middle class, but I can see I have had it wrong all along, which is probably why I am working and not lolling on a chaise longue in my sheared beaver.


At first I thought the poet was in love with someone whose name began with E since they were all capitalized but the Lion / Zion page threw me off. Will the mystery be solved in later chapters?!!


Oh, my God, the awesomeness. But, dude, how could you let "among the Irish, it is called 'blarney,'" go by with nary a comment? AMONG THE IRISH. My God.


oh, how I wish we could leave comments on individual pages! This book is a gem.

~Mr. B would probably be pretty happy if Mrs. B got a sheared beaver.

~ "Hey Betty, you're pretty keen. Want to come over and build a rowboat?" <--gets 'em every time.

~Beware "the dangers of too much prudery as well as an excess of license in the sex field." You want to be JUST SLUTTY ENOUGH.

~how common were "mother fixation problems" back then, that it's a choice in a test?

~if Dorothy breaks up with John, why wouldn't he just go back to Eunice?


Awesome! I can't believe you kept this from your devoted readers for all these years. Was this a serious gift from your brother?? I want to add my vote that 2in is "Quin."


Amy, I have the 1945 version of "When You Marry" by Duvall-Hill...we should compare notes!


I don't know which made me laugh harder sheared beaver or walkie talkie date. Either way, coffee out the nose hurts real bad and makes a mess.

Parsing Nonsense

Shoot, those middle and working class stereotypes were SO HELPFUL. Honestly? Working class girls sound a lot more fun.


I read this book called "Sex, Lies and Handwriting" (it's not as fun as it sounds), and the author said that when people mix capitals into their writing, they are incredibly emotionally unstable and can tend to blow up at unpredictable times. I think we know what Book Defacer's problem was...

Does this book define what "Second Base" means? I've heard several different definitions.

Marilyn (MBels)

Between the microwave cookbook and this one I'm convinced you must have the best collection of books anywhere. The sad thing is, is that I probably wouldn't have even flipped through them if I saw them somewhere. I've learned my lesson. I will now peruse every old book I see for gems like these ones.


2wn is most likely Quin. Remember 3rd grade cursive and how a capital Q looked like a 2? And how silly that seemed an no one ever, ever uses it? Apparently Brenda did. I bet she grew up to be a 3rd grade teacher, passing the 2=Q down to gen-xers who refused to use it.

Ellyn B

De-lurking to say that I DIED laughing! More please!

Also, adding my vote for Zion, or at least something with an 'i' in there. Extra hilarity if she called her boyfriend Lion. HA!


I'm just putting my vote in that it's Quin. I'm almost positive of it, because that's what I read first, before seeing your interpretation. My MIL's handwriting is eerily similar.

I have a similar book, published in 1969, specifically for Mormons. "Marriage and More" Equally as awesome.

I hope Dorothy got out.


I just loooove how those Southuhn boys sweet talk me whilst up heah awn my pedastahl!


I was doing the laugh-cry over a "sheared beaver" coat but then by page 12 I found myself seriously pondering "what kind of girl AM I?". Am scared.

Oh, also? Today is our anniversary. And I choose THE WALKIE-TALKIE DATE.

Saint Tigerlily

Ok, seriously: I have a book called "The Stork Didn't Bring You: The Facts of Life for Teenagers" that is, like, the second cousin of this book. I want to send it to you in the mail but for the fact that I could never EVER part with it. I might have to scan a few pages and post them myself, it just needs to be shared with the world - GREAT idea.


@Jen L: that was my favourite part too. I am really, really hoping that a walkie-talkie date involves each of you doing your separate thing while occasionally communicating by walkie-talkie. Sure you're not spending any time with each other, but at least there's no petting!

Carrie @ Who Knew?

Could the name be Zion? So it would read Zion -n- Brenda 4ver?


There is nothing I enjoy more than a nature walk on a date.

I don't get why you couldn't marry if you had an STD. Isn't it better to confine them to one person rather than leaving them free to share the love?


The modern day walkie talkie date would be the iPhone date. And I go on those weekly, thankyouverymuch.


"...what IS petting?"

Something you can do with a sheared beaver.


I'm pretty sure 2wn is Lion. Lion n Brenda 4-ever!

Also, I'm not sure what a "walkie talkie date" is, but I bet it's just as lame as it sounds.


Dare I ask where's the chapter entitled, "Only Sleep With Him After He Buys You...."

Where's the "One Night Stands Don't Count as Cheating if He's So Drunk He Blacked Out"???

anne nahm

My 2wn vote is 'Toine - short for Antoine.


I can't believe I am getting involved in this discussion and not doing my womanly chores or saying my prayers.

It's totally Zion. She is "setting her eyes on zion" and focusing herself on her "safe spiritual homeland" so that she will not be tempted by the ways of ... the ... shorn beaver?

don't ask me how I know.

cindy w

I don't think I can get past, "Just a sheared beaver would satisfy little me." OMG I am dying.


Oh. my. lord. I almost fell off my chair at the part about the sheared beaver. More please!!


Holy crap that is AWESOME. So awesome in fact that I bought two copies I found on Ebay and am contemplating who gets the second one. My husband wants to send it (non-ironically) to his ex for her wedding (she followed a lot of that advice...) but I think I want to send it to one of our friends that would truly appreciate it's awesomeness


ITS, no apostrophe, damnit!


Well, it had me at sheared beaver, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.


I think 2wn is Dion. Y'know...The Wanderer...Teenager in Love...Runaround Sue...


Ahhhhhhh! I just totally started screaming at food network, you know why? You're on it! Look how cute and adorable you are eating mussels!


OMG!!! I just turned on foodnetwork, and there you were!! At least I think it was you. There was only like 1 minute left, and I had already missed the intro's. You were a judge on Throwdown?!?!? Awesome! Tell us about it (or did I miss the post already?)! I am assuming that I just saw the tail-end of a rerun. Very cool.


Oh, that book might be from the 60's...but the handwriting in that scribble is pure 80's baby. Did my high shcool use this? Is that...gulp...my handwriting?????


I once had a copy of a marriage guide that was from the early 60s, maybe even 50s. It was pretty funny. Even had some sex tips. I remember this one passage about how some women only wanted to have sex during their periods (who are these women????) and that the husband should try to convince the woman to have sex other times because she was unlikely to become pregnant if they only had sex during her period.

Granted, I haven't interviewed all the women in the world, but I don't know any women who crave sex during that time, so my guess it that if your wife only wants to have sex then, it's specifically so that she WON'T have your child. Wise up, buddy!

Missy P.

Oh holy shit. The words "oftener" and "sheared beaver" on the same page. I am giddy.


I loved this! The book itself and the comments you made. More, please!


2wn = Lion? Zion?
Who knows... I'm such a dumb bunny!


My Mom went to "Teen Town" in the 60's. A social group for teens back then, she said it was a real meat market, as was the 40th reunion. eew.


The Sheared Beaver would lose a room of high school kids in about 2 seconds. And they might never recover.

I'm still a bit concerned about the "pool halls and taverns" some towns offer up as recreation.

I haven't heard the word davenport in decades.

I know that I read it all, but I still don't believe it.


It's hard to tell from the picture, but could Brenda's flame be Zion? It kind of looks like there might be a "dot" over the first leg of the "w"... I know, very stupid, but not any more ridiculous than a shaved beaver...


Well, if you really want the first edition it's available for 50 cents plus shipping here

And since it might save you some work the whole book is available here http://www.archive.org/stream/whenyoumarry00duvarich#page/n5/mode/2up
You can copy and paste the images rather than scanning it yourself and save your time and energy for the hilarious commentary.


Um, my sister-in-law must have been taught this by her mother, who clearly read this book. I say this because my sister-in-law is not capable of reading an entire book. I can only guess that she has special muscles and skills the rest of us don't know about, because otherwise my incredibly intelligent brother would have pulled his head out of his de-spined, neutered, lead-by-the-nose ass by now. He's basically a human shrimp on a leash at this point. Dammit.


Excellent book.

post your brother's address so we can all send him a note of thanks.


This is one of the best things I've seen all WEEK. Two words, Amy: KEEP. SCANNING.


Thank you for this. I really could use a laugh.

And this is quite possibly the awesomest wedding present ever.


Umm...am pretty sure this is my step mom.

She is missing her aura of holiness, but she makes some desserts more oftener than others.


And her name is Brenda. she writes it just like that.

But, I don't think it says Quin. The o is completed at the top, the i on the bottom, but I do agree with the 2=Q. Which would make it Qion. Good Luck with That.


The 2wn looks like Zion to me too. Isn't that a dot floating about above the i? Obviously Brenda was very religious.

Everyone sing it with me:

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion."


Funny as...
do you think 2wn could be Zion? is that a name? if not it's going to drive me insane!


Hm, I wonder what a walkie-talkie date is? It sounds intriguiging.


This is hysterical!

What's up with the cover? 52 card pickup?


My favorite bit is on p. 61: "The person who... is genuinely interested in people... who sees girls as interesting personalities to explore and understand as whole personalities, who likes boys *for what they are*..."

Nice how the girls get a double shot of personality (="stop thinking about their booooooobs"), and the boys, well, you know - don't get your hopes up.

Chatty Cricket

But but, Mrs. B understands that her husband doesn't make as much money as Harry Jones, so she would accept a SHEARED BEAVER.

I mean COME ON! I want a copy for my coffee table! I wish I had known about this book when we were all getting married! OH MY GOD YOU SHOULD HAVE TYPED IT ALL OUT IN NOTEBOOK.


Maybe the name is Owen?


That book was a very beautiful wedding gift from your older brother. Something to read and learn with.

Plano Mom

How about Quin? I seem to remember Qs being made that way, back in 2nd grade "cursive"


Fan-freaking-tastic! My similar possession is entitled "Sexual Happiness in Marriage" and is remarkable. And very Roman Catholic. My husband wants to put it on eBay, but I think it belongs on the coffee table or the bedside table in the guest room when people come to visit.

Lucy The Valiant

Mrs B. "Just a sheared beaver would satisfy little me."

Mr. B. "Funny, I've been saying that same exact thing for YEARS!"

Fraulein N

Oh my lord, "sheared beaver." That's the best "line" ever!

I still want to know what the bloody hell a walkie-talkie date is, though.

Tracy H

Easily the funniest thing I have ever read on the internet! Laughing so hard I'm crying. Keep it coming!

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