Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to Entertain a Lady, 1883

"On all occasions when a number of people convene together, whether indoors or out, the laws of courtesy should be obeyed. It is the duty of the gentlemen to be ever attentive to the ladies. If it be a picnic, the gentlemen will carry the luncheon, erect the swings, construct the tables, bring the water, provide the fuel for boiling the tea, etc. On the fishing excursion they will furnish the tackle, bait the hooks, row the boats, carry the fish, and furnish comfortable seats for the ladies. In gathering nuts, they will climb the trees, do the shaking, carry the nuts, and assist the ladies across the streams and over the fences."
Thomas E. Hill, Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms
Attention, gentlemen: it's not enough to hold the door for the lady. You must also be prepared to construct an alfresco playground, transport trout, and scale a nut tree at any moment. This is the law of courtesy. 


  1. Just fantastic... I don't know what's funnier, the initial piece or your added commentary! :) Love these bits.

  2. What woman would ever go out with a guy who isn't willing to construct a picnic table or furnish a comfortable seat for her to fish in? Being law-abiding is definitely an obligatory if you want a second date.

    This is hilarious. I can't figure out if a straw feminist would be more offended by a man doing this (treating her as dependant) or by a man not doing this (treating her rudely). This proves it: the 80s were a weird decade even in the olden days!

  3. I love this picture so much. As he is leaning in she is trying to lean as far as possible away. She regrets everything about this horribly chosen boat ride.
    "Don't worry honey, I'll carry the fish"
    "Get away from me."


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