Thursday, February 02, 2006

detroit dating advice, 1970

Lots of attention has been paid to Detroit over the past few weeks, as the Super Bowl hits Motown this Sunday. Stories about attempts at renewal, the "sin city" image of Windsor, etc. Having grown up across the river from Motown's southern burbs, I'm familiar with everything you're reading, chuckling at much of it.

The Warehouse doesn't want to be left out of the festivities. Our spin will be several entries harking back to a time when Detroit's decline started rolling. Our source is Detroit: A Young Guide to the City, edited by Sheldon Annis in 1970.


(Note: this image of the cover comes from the only other site that refers to this book, Detroitblog. Let's just say that on my copy, the "naked stoner chick" has aged naturally over the past 35 years).

In 1970, the Motor City was still reeling from the riots three years earlier. "White flight" had started in earnest. Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain, who had won 31 games two years earlier, spent most of the year suspended for various infractions, from possession of a weapon to dumping buckets of ice water on the press. The Red Wings were at the start of a decade-long slide, as Gordie Howe entered his final season with the team.

Detroit: A Young Guide to the City attempted to be a hip look at the region, much is which is hillariously dated. Besides usual city guide features like attractions and restaurants, chapters are devoted to the "underground", ethnic groups and remembrances of labour organizers. Fascinating stuff.

Today, we look at their view of the dating scene, much of which flies in the face of their "hip" orientation. Try to sort out the following rules for knowing which night of the week to ask a girl out:

"...a girl, appropriately accompanied by a female friend, would be considered perfectly within the bounds of singles morality to give out her phone number to a young gentleman on a Friday night-but never on a Tuesday. A good girl just wouldn't. After all, NO ONE goes to singles bars on a Tuesday night. And certainly. for Godsakes, not on a Monday. Wednesday, however, is almost as good a night as Friday, which is the best. Thursday is a so-so night, and no self-respecting girl would be caught out alone on a Saturday night. She'll watch television, write a letter to her mother, bite her nails or order a pizza and talk to her room-mate; but she won't go without a date.

Now if you're a prospecting prospect, you had better take all of this into consideration, Go bowling with your buddies on Tuesday and look for chicks on Wednesday and Friday. Furthermore, once you've broken some ice, the proper thing to do is not immediately start hustling her into your pad, but settle for just getting her phone number. On a singles night she'll want to go home with her friends, on a date night, she'll want to go out with you." (42-43)
There will be more advice around Valentine's Day. For now, these words of wisdom (or foreshadowing for what lay ahead for the city - you decide):

"Remember that the very fact that you are in Detroit at all works against you." (53)
Coming soon: Restaurants! Hippies! Windsor! Ontario's archaic liquor laws! - JB

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