Puberty Books of the Damned, part 2

Several weeks ago, I introduced you to the wonders of TEEN WORKS: a set of 60’s/80’s-era puberty books I got for free at an estate sale.  These books are long, clocking in at well over a hundred articles each and covering every conceivable topic, from how to flirt to how to pretend to care about football to how to match your pink plastic belt with your oversized Mickey Mouse shirt-dress.  For this, our second foray into TEEN WORKS-dom, I thought we would delve into the most important topic of all: how to get a boy.

Step One: Identify Your Type

Everybody’s got a type.  For some, it’s the brooding guitar player.  For others, it’s the outgoing Big Man on Campus.  For me, it’s…well.  You know.

Exasperated SherlockI didn’t even say anything!

But how can you pinpoint your type?  After all, there are millions of types out there, each clearly distinct from the others.

What Kind of Guy is Your Type?Psych!  There’s actually only four.  And the writers of TEEN WORKS, bless them, have provided you with a handy quiz to determine upon which of the four you should concentrate your amorous efforts.  Let’s look at some of the questions.

After school, the guy of your dreams is probablyFrom this item alone, we can see the broad archetypes they’re referencing.  There’s the jock guy.  The intellectual guy.  The artistic guy.  The, uh…likes-having-snacks-with-friends guy.  (As an aside, when I fantasized about my dream man during my hormonal teenaged years, he was generally snacking on me.)

Scandalized Gary BuseyAccording to Google Image Search, this is what “scandalized” looks like.

Let’s look at another question.

Your guy likes you best in...What the hell is a muscle shirt?  Are we talking one of those sleeveless t-shirts with slits all down the sides?  Because if any guy thinks I look best in that, he’s not a jock: he’s delusional.

Anywho, once you’ve muscled (muscle-shirted?) your way through this quiz, you receive one of four types, as personified by four hypothetical boys.

Ted, the Cool GuyTed here is the Cool One.  He knows what’s in and what’s not.  (And what’s in is “snacks with friends.”)

Jason, the JockJason is the Jock, and also the muscle shirt aficionado.

Ryan, the BrainRyan is the Brain.  He likes learning and (probably) giving jaunty salutes.

Bill, the ArtistBill is the Artist.  Should you choose to date him, beware–at some point, he will run off with Ted in search of an Excellent Adventure.


Step Two: Figure Out What Boys Like

My attitude toward What Boys Like can be easily summed up with the phrase “who gives a dingley dang?”  That’s probably why I’ve only had two boyfriends.  You’re aiming a little higher, though–you want to be knee-deep in the D.  Here’s how to make it happen.

Girls can have intelligent conversationsPutting irony aside for a moment, one of the things I find fascinating about TEEN WORKS is that it has one foot in the pre-women’s lib 60’s and the other in the post-women’s lib 80’s.  So, on the one hand, the authors acknowledge that girls can and should be able to hold an intelligent conversation.  On the other hand, they assume that, left to their own devices, girls will inevitably revert to what they know best…

Don't take about your diet.Jesus Christ, TEEN WORKS.

So what are guys into when it comes to looks?  Is their some uniform aesthetic ideal you should aspire to?

Girls Who Look Their BestNot at all!  “Beauty” is a highly subjective concept.  Whether you’re a thin white girl with long legs and blonde hair, or a thin white girl with shorter legs and brown hair, there’s a man out there for you.  There’s no need to change your looks to suit a boy.  In fact, you better not, because…

Less Makeup is MoreWow, a boy who doesn’t like a lot of makeup?  What a special guy.  I’m a good girl and he knows it.  I’ll just hold on, we’re going home.

Step Three: Start a Conversation

You’ve sussed out your type, wiped off your makeup, and made an agonizing effort not to talk about your diet.  And yet, you still don’t have a boyfriend.  What gives?

Well, dingus, it helps if you actually talk to the boy in question.  If the prospect seems daunting, don’t worry.  TEEN WORKS is here with some fool-proof conversation starters.

My name is Ginger Brown.“But my name’s not Ginger Brown,” you say.

It is now.

Vacationing in Lake Tahoe“I worked for minimum wage at my uncle’s industrial waste plant,” he grumbles, absently stroking the chemical burns on his hands, latent class resentment ossifying in his heart.  You will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Could you take a picture of me with this horse?I don’t have anything to say about this one.  It is, quite simply, the world’s most perfect pick-up line.


Following these tips is no guarantee of dating success–what am I saying?  Of course it is.  Go forth and get it, gurl.  And once you do, leave a comment detailing your success story.  I’ll be waiting!


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