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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Michigan Dating: Then & Now

Ah, dating in college.

We think it's so complicated now but according to a World War II-era booklet called "Michiganetiquette," it wasn't exactly easy for the so-called "Greatest Generation," either.

A recent article in Michigan Today takes a look back at the advice offered in a 1943 dating manual published by the Michigan Union. The "how-to guide aimed primarily at Michigan freshman 65 years ago summed up "the Ann Arbor social scene and some of the details which make up good behavior therein."

According to the story linked above, back then "the Union" wasn't just a building on State Street but also connotated "the campus-wide men's club of which the building was merely the headquarters. And the Union's officers held a good deal of sway over student activities, especially social activities." Thus, they took in upon themselves to set students straight on dating in A2.

So, what are the differences between campus dating then and now? The MZone lays it all out for you and compares dating in the two eras.



Since guys and gals didn't live in the same dorms, and visiting hours at female dorms and sororities were a huge hurdle hindering hooking up, Michiganetiquette said the best place to meet members of the opposite sex was at a freshman "mixer."

"At these affairs a boy may meet anyone he desires simply by cutting in while she is dancing with another fellow. The usual procedure is for the girl to introduce herself by mentioning her name, while the fellow follows suit. If the lass is shy, there is no reason why the fellow can't begin the conversation… If one wishes to know a girl's phone number and address, there will be no frowning if he simply asks her."


The hot girl you saw in orientation ends up living right down the hall from you in Markley. Since the first thing you did when you got home was to check out/memorize her Facebook and MySpace pages, you already know her hometown, high school, email address, "fave bands, movies and books" as well as have seen pictures of her semi-naked doing jello shots off her best friend Jessica's stomach during their high school spring break in Cancun.

As a result, three days before classes have even started as you're both getting on the elevator at the same time, you conveniently mention to your pal - loud enough so she can overhear - how much you hate "people who suck" and love all of Rihianna's songs, not just Umbrella. By the time you reach the CCRB, she's already texted her number to your iPhone.




According to Michiganetiquette, first dates in 1943 were called "Coke Dates" in which "the boy meets the girl somewhere in the afternoon, and they repair to some suitable place where they can sit around and 'get acquainted' with each other for an hour or two." This was usually done at the Union's Coke Bar where pop (not soda, you New York sons-a-bitches!) was a dime for dudes and free for the ladies.


While some first dates in the 80s were still called "Coke Dates" for an entirely different reason, first dates today are a mishmash of "study dates," "grabbing coffee" and "seeing a movie." The goal of any of these choices is to still to "repair to some suitable place" in order to get acquainted.


With even some coffee joints now charging over $3 bucks for a cup of Joe, and dinner and a movie almost to the point of requiring a student loan, dime drinks - even of the soda variety - sound pretty darn good.



Walking was the way to go in '43. "The young lady…knows that there may be reasons why a fellow doesn't want to go by cab, and it would be poor taste to put him on the spot….College boys can no more afford such expenses than the girls can, and a sensible co-ed realizes this…"


Walking? Fuck that. Even though you weren't supposed to have a car, nobody comes between you and your piece of shit '97 Honda. You've been parking the thing on a different side street each day for the first month of classes and you already have 26 (unpaid) tickets. You drive to pick your date up at MoJo and park illegally for just five *&^% seconds to run in and get her. When you come out, your car has already been towed.




Men had to be out of female dorms by 11:30 p.m. on weekends. As for her staying the night, not a chance. According to the Michigan Today story, "any woman expecting to be out of her residence overnight had to get an okay from her housemother or, during the week, from the Dean of Women herself."


If all goes according to plan, you are both drunk by the time you stumble down her dorm floor in West Quad at 2 a.m. (thanks to that really cool friend of your older brother who scored you the beer from the Blue Front). Two options present themselves when you reach her room: a) her roommate is gone in which case you stay the night and hope to score or b) her roommate is there and visions of a three-way dance in your head as you still stay the night and hope to really score.

ADVANTAGE: Are you fucking kidding me?! NOW, man. NOW!



The man gave his girl his fraternity pin, although the booklet cautioned that this was dangerous as most campuses considered this to be a sign of engagement but "tradition at Michigan does not declare that this is so… Before a pin is given or taken, be certain of the terms to prevent hurt feelings later…"


She usually takes all your favorite XL and XXL Michigan sweatshirts. This is also dangerous as they are known to disappear if things don't work out. And tradition today definitely states that if she has taken your favorite "M" hat with the perfectly rounded bill, then she damn well better give that shit back if the relationship ends.




"If a boy asks you when you are going to grow up and act like a college girl because you won't kiss him good night, ignore him. … Boys respect girls who deserve respect!... Social success at Michigan definitely does not depend upon humoring the passions of other people. It may result from a tactful practice of doing just the opposite.…Girls don't have to 'give' to be popular, and, as a matter of fact, it usually turns out that the most discreet and unkissable girls draw the better class of men – not the wolves, but the good guys that are going places, and who like girls with ideals as high as their own!"


While you were going to play it cool and not even try anything until the third date in a valiant attempt at reverse psychology, she threw you totally off your game when she jumped your bones on the first date and was already talking sex toys by the third.

ADVANTAGE: Seriously? You have to ask?

SUMMARY: Ten cent Cokes only get you so far. While 1943 had its moments, we give the nod to 2008.


whetstonebuck said...

You didn't mention the section that states the only way to tell the difference between Michigan "boys" and "girls" is the amount of facial hair. That would be a tie...even after sixty-five years: hence the need for copious amounts “coke” or alcohol.

Feelin' Blue said...

You forgot to mention the coke dates at ZBT.

I'm blue, da ba dee said...

Yuck it up, Whet... the Bucknuts went 2-6-2 vs UM in the 40's and were outscored 232-85. And legend has it that the 2 losses were a result of those aforementioned androgynous coeds donning the winged helmet in place of the men's team.

Joshua said...

Used to be the first thing on my "If I ever invent a time machine list" was to travel back and give myself stock tips.

My list has now change to....

1. Give my 18 year old self "love life" tips. Seriously, how was I not getting laid every single night in college? How is everyone not getting laid every single night in college? If I only knew then....This is the ultimate example of youth being wasted on the young.
2. Stock tips.
3. Bitch slap the hell out of whichever of my ancestors decided to settle in this Godforsakenly cold state. It's supposed to be 2 degrees here tonight. 2! That's like 86 less than what I'm used to.

Joshua said...

4. Travel back to 3 minutes ago and edit "love tips".

and oh yeah
5. Find out who really shot Kennedy.

Catie said...

Did you know that you use 400 calories just by making out for 20 minutes??!! I am working to make this my new exercise regimen!! ;o)

Joshua said...

Did you know that you use 400 calories just by making out for 20 minutes??!!

See, this proves Pretty Woman was a fallacy- if Julia Roberts truly had the "no kissing" rule she would've been orca fat. Such a shame, the rest of that movie was so realistic.

Feelin' Blue said...


I think you left out giving your younger self a sports almanac with all sporting events outcomes so that you know what to bet on.

I kind of hate when it is too warm out during winter because of the ice caps melting.

Joshua said...

Yeah- stock tips, sporting events, all that stuff. Maybe I could skip all the "love tips", b/c being able to tell the future would have to earn me some crazy tail anyway.

Jim Harbaugh Scramble said...

Awesome post, M-Zone does it again, the last two posts have been back to back TDs.

kristy said...

Hey Catie, rumor is, a good round of sex (the 20 min. of making out included), can actually burn off a Thanksgiving dinner. Not that I need to eat that much every day but I'm thinking your exercise plan has winner written all over it!!!
Joshua, 2 doesn't even count as a temp.! I'd love to see at least 32 degrees just to get my eyelashes to quit freezing together from the tears that run due to severe wind sheer!!!

kristy said...

hey, let's fast forward and try to imagine what dating will be like for OUR kids when they get to campus!! How's that for making your stomach turn?! Of course, my daughter will not be dating until she's thirty, according to my hubby. As he so eloquently puts it,"with a son, it's only one peter to worry about. With a daughter it's ten thousand!!"

Joshua said...

HA! that reminds me of an old joke. Little Jimmy and Little Janie are playing in the sandbox. Jimmy pulls a bunch of marbles out of his pocket and says "Hey, look what I got!"

Janie, despondent b/c she has no marbles, heads home with her head hung low and her Mom, being the kind and loving mother she is, runs out and buys Janie a bag of marbles. So the next day Janie shows up at the sandbox ready to show Jimmy her marbles, but after she does Little Jimmy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handful of rubber bands. "Well I have these and you don't." is his retort.

A dejected Janie heads home, gets hooked up with some rubber bands and shows up the next day. Not to be equaled yet again Little jimmy reaches into his pocket and comes out with.....nothing. Thinking quickly, (and being a pint sized man) he goes to what he knows, drops trow and proudly proclaims about his penis "Well, I've got one of THESE and I know you don't!

So Little Janie returns home, completely inconsolable, until her mother imparts to her the reason women rule the earth. The very next day she makes a calm, determined walk back to the sandbox. Jimmy is there and he's snickering, so proud of himself and his "THIS".

"I've got one of THEEESE! I've got one of THEEAAEESE!" he proudly professes. At which point Little Janie calmly lifts up her dress, points to her womanly region, and proclaims "Well, I'VE got one of THESE, and my Mommy says with one of THESE I can get as many of THOSE as I want.

And so goes the world.....

Chris in NC said...

40 years ago: Girl shows up at mixer. You know from her presence she is there to meet someone nice.

Now: You don't care about meeting someone, you're looking for directions to the movie theater. You see someone who may know and walk up and say "hi! Can you..." She screams "You heterosexistpig! What makes you think I want any man. I hate men! You invaded my personal space without asking! I'm going to report you to the lesbian action committee and they will get you kicked out of here!" Soon thereafter a bunch of ladies, all named "Butch", are ganging up on you chasing you through the campus chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, hetertosexism has to go!" As you stumble through the campus, you accidentally bump into a guy from India who immediately screams about you being a racist not caring about his personal space and how he and his friends are going to hack your identity and destroy your life. They join the lesbians chasing you and the chant changes to "hey hey, ho ho, heterosexual white-ism has to go". And so it continues. By the time they have chased you to I-94, more groups have joined the chase and the chant is now "Hey hey, ho ho, heterosexual-white-species-globalwarming causing capitalism-africaignoring-gunlovingism has got to go". You trip and fall into the path of an oncoming Mack truck and they cheer as you are splattered all over, totally ignoring the fact that a gas guzzling, emissions dumping truck did their dirty work for them. They go back and wait for the next poor sucker looking for directions...

whetstonebuck said...

I'm blue etc.,

"And legend has it that the 2 losses were a result of those aforementioned androgynous coeds donning the winged helmet in place of the men's team."

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Yuckity, yuck, yuck.

Tom C said...

chriss.... gun lovin ism? Thats me. Care to guess where the chase would have stopped?

Tom C said...

Hey OOC Two Gamecocks caught smokin dope in Cayce.

Does this stuff happen at Michigan?

george grady said...

Heh. When I want to Michigan in the early 90s, one of the things they gave me as I checked into the dorm for the first time was a condom.

Feelin' Blue said...

I just want to give a "shout out" (as you kids call it) to Jim Harbaugh Scramble. On mgoblog I tend to like points made by you and big gay heart. You know me as Tim Wayman.

Anyone catch NBC News tonight? One of the last segments they did was titled "Buckeye Battle," about how working class Ohioans view the democratic candidates. Let me just tell you this: there were a lot of Buckstaches. A lot of the guys interviewed were serious Buckeye fans. A bunch of guys were either wearing OSU hats or shirts, and one guy had an OSU flag on his car window. Afterwards, Brian Williams said something like, "There were a lot of Buckeye fans there."

Chris in NC said...

You're my hero Tom. :) I was just trying add a scenerio to Yosts brilliance. He seemed to leave out that college campii are teeming with whiney victim wannabees. Any chance to whine and complain and away they go.


Cowbell Commander said...


TitleIX said...

clearly chris' puppy pissed on his white bread this morning...

Feelin' Blue said...

I just read your post. Wasn't that a Twilight Zone episode?

Idea! How's this for a porn star name: Rod Sterling. Just add one letter and there you have it.

virtual said...
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