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Making a Collection Count


Teen Marriage

Teenage Marriage: Coping with Reality
Revised Edition, 1988

Submitter: I have a treat for you: Teenage Marriage: Coping with Reality by Jeanne Warren Lindsay. As amusing as the title is, the stuff inside is the best. A chapter entitled, “Sex Begins in the Kitchen,” another called, “People Are Not for Hitting” as well as a scorecard to predict the success of your teenage marriage. Brilliant. While I think much of the ideas about how to get along with someone are sound, the old-fashioned, and generally unflattering photos are a serious turn-off to anyone who might be reading this book for actual self-help purposes. I spotted this book when someone returned it after recently checking it out! I’d love to see the look on that teacher/professor’s face when they look at this person’s bibliography. I don’t even want to imagine that the person had checked it out for any other purpose other than a shoddily researched paper. Clearly, a lot has changed since 1988, and not just the acceptability of mustaches. I’ll be leaving this one on our Head Reference Librarian’s desk with a note that says, “Update?”.

Holly: You’re right: this is too old to be truly useful to a school report or for personal use. The advice on household budgets is unrealistic, as well as the info on job skills. Plus, the pictures are dark and depressing. The couple on the cover are enough to turn off any teen from considering marriage!  Sure, they were cute on their wedding day, but now she’s rolling her eyes at him and has a headache and he’s just sitting there saying “duhhhhh.”

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Enemies of Marriage

Marriage Insurance coverMarriage Insurance

Submitter: I work in the library of a small religious college.  Before about 5 years ago, no real weeding had taken place since the library opened.  It is taking time, but we are making our way through the collection and finding some crazy stuff.  In today’s edition of Crazy Old Books that for Some Reason Were Still in Our Collection we have a real winner.  According to this book, “Death stalks your marriage from the moment the preacher says, ‘I now pronounce you man and wife.’”  Here is a brief list of some of the enemies of marriage (the capital letters and italics are the author’s emphasis, not mine):

1.       “THE NEW STYLE OF AN AMERICAN LIVING ROOM – CENTERED AROUND A BAR AND TELEVISION SET.  This turns the family living room into a replication of the commercial cocktail lounge.”

2.       Liquor

3.       “The screens of the nation, whether in the home or the picture show carry a lot of smut.”

4.       “Then there is the problem of the sexy song.  Lewd songs that formerly were confined to the barracks or the gutter are becoming top favorites on the Hit Parade.”



7.       Red China – “Fifty factories throughout the Red-ruled mainland are turning out narcotics for use in Peiping’s “dope war” against the West.”  “Communism is an enemy to your marriage.”


Luckily, there is a solution to all of this mayhem: “The unqualified answer is THE SUNDAY SCHOOL HABIT…THE ANSWER TO BROKEN HOMES…JUVENILE DELINQUENCY…AND LOW LEVEL OF MORALITY.”

And then they close with a story about a junior delinquent named Arnold who stole barrels to have a bonfire with his gang, threatened to fight the constable when they were caught, and was dragged home to his mother.  The story ends with this note: “(Young Arnold’s first name was Benedict.)”

The moral of this story is that if you have a television in your living room you will have children who fight constables and betray the county, probably to Red China.

Holly: Wow, my hubs and I are pretty much screwed.  We brew beer at home, watch a LOT of tv, and crank up the heavy metal music! And here I thought we had 16 years of wedded bliss…

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Let’s Play the Marriage Game!

The Marriage Game: understanding marital decision making
Greenblat, Stein, and Washburne

Submitter: This book was found by one of my very young co-workers who was dying over it. The cover is very 70s Peter  Max eye-catching, and I am sure it has some really interesting thought provoking discussions about marriage, it does seem to be a bit out-dated on some topics; though the sexual focus/obsession is timeless. The sexual gratification cards kinda gave us all the giggles.  It does seem to be a bit forward thinking such as people living together without being married.   It even has some mention of abortion which is really forward since Roe v. Wade was 1973.   Some of the explanations of how to play are really priceless.   I decided to weed this because I thought that our religious studies folks would probably want the official Catholic marriage counseling version.   Some of the discussion points on the marriage decisions were really out-dated topics that I doubt any person under 30 would get.   Not surprising this book was checked out only twice, the last time 1981. Continue reading