Boys Are Here To Stay!
Personally I think boys are very essential to history. It looks to me as though they are here to stay. So I think we girls simply have to accept the fact that boys do make a girl’s life very eventful.
Farley Granger’s story in Photoplay a few months ago that said girls ruin romance started me thinking. In my opinion that’s a pretty broad statement. That kind of remark from any fellow is just another way of shifting the blame when girls believe everything boys tell them.
For instance, a boy says to you, “Oh, you’re such a doll.” Then he waves his eyelashes at you and purrs, “I just wish a wonderful girl like you would take me seriously.” It’s my theory he is taking a chance that you might believe him.
However, if you fail for this line and do take it seriously, as would seem only natural, then it’s likely to be freezeville for you from then on.
To me necking seems to be a very individual problem, and whether a girl does or doesn’t neck is her own business. My tolerance in this proves to me I’m really aging. When I was in Junior High, I thought that a girl who parked with a boy on some quiet road was pretty icky. But at twenty, I know that it’s not up to me to decide how other people should behave.
Take kissing, for example. Sometimes I kiss a boy goodnight after a date, and sometimes I don’t. It depends upon the boy. If he acts as though a goodnight kiss is really going to make the evening for him, I do. But if he acts as though my kissing him is supposed to send me into a new high, I don’t.
You know that wolf type. They hand out the same old compliments to every girl they meet. I never listen to a boy who tells me how big my eyes are or that I’ve got cute hair or something. The boy who snares my attention is the one who’s sharp enough to pay me a compliment if he really means it. Most girls can tell, you know. The boy who makes me an individual is the one I’m enthusiastic about.
When I was sixteen I actually didn’t like dates. All they meant to me then was that I’d have to dress up. But when I got to be seventeen, I changed my mind and began to see that boys were pretty nice to have around, particularly if you wanted to go to a basketball game or to a show.
I still prefer a date that isn’t a big production. For instance, one night recently I went bowling with R. J. (Bob Wagner). We had a million laughs, and a lot of good exercise. On the way home, we passed a theater that was showing “Dracula” plus “Frankenstein and the Monster.”
R. J. said, fast-like, “Let’s go see those, huh?” We went to the box office, but it was closed. However it was a theater near where I live, so the manager let us in, anyhow, because he knew me. Of course, those two oldies scared me so I was practically afraid to get out of the car when I got home—but doing a funthing like that, on impulse, was wonderful.
And speaking of cars makes me think of one subject on which boys are absolutely the living end. That’s whether or not you are big and strong enough to open the car door on your side and step out. Fellows are so inconsistent.
I do wish they’d get together on these etiquette problems. I think it is perfectly dreary to drive up to a show or a beach place or something and have to sit there while the boy runs around the car and helps you out. But with some boys, if you do just step out, they start throwing Emily Post at you.
I went out with one character who, when I got out of the car, put me right back in and locked the door on me before he’d let me out again. What I like best is a boy who reaches across, as you come to a stop, opens the door that way and knows perfectly well you can get out under your own power.
Boys talk about girls not being on time for dates, but I seem to have known many more who were just as guilty and I’m here to tell you that boys who always arrive late drive me crazy. I’m always ready at the correct hour and if I sit and sit, I begin thinking of something much better to do than have an evening with this particular character. So when he does arrive, I have to knock myself out to get into the proper mood again. Sometimes I never do make it.
A boy who won’t let you be yourself is a creep as far as I am concerned, because it just annihilates your personality to be two other people. If a boy isn’t interested in the real you, why does he hang around?
A perfect example of this in my case, is my Girl Scouting. I love the Scouts and I always will. And I’ll tell you in a sec about a recent occasion when my Scout training made the whole evening for four of us. But every once in a while I get some creep like the one who called me the other evening. He asked what I was doing and I told him I was about to go to a Scout meeting. This really sent him. He began howling with laughter and he said, “Oh, please, let’s not go through that silly routine again.”
“I don’t mean to be rude so I’ll tell you I am going to hang up now,” I said to him.
I did that little thing, and he called me right back. “I’m sorry, Debbie,” he said—which, of course, showed he was a nice guy, and I forgave him.
Of course, I do get teased about my Scouting. People say to me, “Aren’t you a little old for this sort of thing?”
I answer, “My mother is a Girl Scout, too, and if she can get away with it, I guess I’m safe.” Actually, of course, we are both counselors.
But one night this past June, I got my revenge on all those kidders. I didn’t plan it that way. It just worked. You see, Richard Anderson and I had a double date to go grunion hunting with Bill Campbell and Pat Tiernan. Grunion, if you don’t know, are a kind of California fish, that swarm up the beach at high tide on moonlit nights in early summer. It seems to me that all my life I’ve been told what fun it is to be in on a grunion run. You hunt them down with a flashlight, scoop them into a basket full of holes—and that is supposed to be living (for you, not the grunion). Even Governor Warren gets into this act every California summer—but when I dated with Dick, Bill and Pat, it was about my fourth time at it—and never once had we hit the night, or the beach where those crazy little fish were flapping themselves up on schedule.
We’d decided to meet at my house, and all four of us go down in my car. So I made ready. I put in my Girl Scout knife and waterproof matches. My dad put some logs for a fire back in the baggage compartment. I carried a change of clothes and three extra sweaters, because it had been a foggy kind of day that always promises a cold evening. I also put in my collapsible bucket. So we drove out to the only beach around Hollywood where you’re permitted to light a fire—and Dick and Bill started to work.
By the light of a beautifully full moon, they gathered driftwood, and by the flame of Dick’s lighter, they tried to make it burn. But there was a cold breeze blowing, and it blew out the lighter faster than they could flick it on. A spark or two did catch, but the driftwood was too damp to make them effective. It was only around nine o’clock, and the grunion weren’t due to run till eleven-fifteen, when the moon reached the zenith.
“Well,” said Dick laughing, while we shivered, “if we can’t have a fire, let’s have a coke.” He reached into the sack he’d brought along, but he hadn’t thought about an opener. “I’ll get my knife,” I said.
“Knife?” said Dick, “to open a coke?”
“Girl Scout knife,” I explained. “It has everything on it except a cement mixer. And there’s dry wood in the back of my car and here are my Scouting matches.”
In a few minutes we had the fire. A second later, the boys were whittling sticks, with my knife, and before long we were spearing frankfurters to roast over the flames When the grunion did begin to run, my bucket was mighty handy and we ran in and out of the water so much, we would have frozen without those extra sweaters. Pat and I pulled them on in no time. The boys hadn’t thought to bring extra things so they were out of luck. But they danced around our fire so vigorously that they got dry and also attracted people from the rest of the beach to share the fire’s warmth and we really had a ball. When we got back home, Dick said, “Debbie, I salute the Girl Scouts forever from now on.”
And I was saluting the Girl Scouts myself. Because if it hadn’t been for that training, I probably would have had the sniffles and not have been able to show up on the M-G-M set next day, where I was working on “I Love Melvin.”
I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t go out on a twosome the first time you are dating a new boy. Until this one particular occasion I had never done that—and I never will do it again. My plan before and since has been to ask the boy to my house to meet my folks, when he asks to see me. We sit around and talk, or if he wants to go out, I get another couple to go with us.
I think this is a good rule—and not only for that old safety-in-numbers bit. It’s also insurance against your getting bored right out of your red shoes in case the boy turns out to be a very dreary drip.
On one exceptional occasion, I let my date do all the planning, and I must say he did it real big. We went to a premiere. We went dancing. But when we got home, all of a sudden he blew a fuse. Suddenly he seemed to have six hands and four pairs of shoulders. I realized to fight or kick would get me nowhere. It would only egg him on. So I just let myself go limp in his arms, and kept looking at him with real disgust in my eyes, until I began to see the red creep up from under his collar and cover his whole face. He let me go and dashed for his car. He’s never called me since, thank goodness.
The trouble with such boys is that they positively try to snow a girl under with the notion that it is practically in the Constitution that she’s got to kiss them good night. But it isn’t—and the kind of boy who makes those demands isn’t what you want, either.
Oh, they have their faults all right, boys do. They get full of crazy notions like it’s being sissy to dance well, or sharpie to get dressed up. But in this latter department you can usually calm them down by pointing out that a girl has to be uncomfortable, too, if she’s really dolled-up in the chic manner. Besides, no matter what they say, they always seem to have that dark blue suit, somewhere in their wardrobe, which is dedicated strictly to formal occasions. And it doesn’t take too ouch cleverness on a girl’s part to get a boy who dances off-beat to dance on it.
As I said in the beginning, a boy does make a girls life eventful. I have five particular girl friends. We all grew up together and we understand everything about one another. But just lately two of them married and now the third is heading in that same direction.
It makes me feel both lonely and dreamy. I wonder who “He” will be. I say to myself, “Will I like love?” And then I see my friends who have just been married, and I see that extra-special light in their eyes. I see their husbands’ faces right up like a Hollywood opening when they look at their brides. Then I know, for sure, that the nicest thing about boys is that they are boys and can bring girls that unique kind of utterly, positively magnificent happiness
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1952