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Your Guide to Cool

The Cool Book
A Teen-Ager’s Guide to Survival in a Square Society
Unger
1961

Teens! Do you feel out of the loop? Do you feel you don’t understand all the “squares” trying to make you fit in? Time to be COOL! This book has all the info you need to be one of the cool kids at school. This book will help you figure out all the cool and hilarious rules for dating,  necking, breaking up, and meeting a dreamboat of a guy. Be sure to read some of the sample pages. Best of all, this book has some of the best cool jokes and insults (example: “Aren’t you Lana Turner’s sister, Stomach Turner?”).

Working on my cool factor,

Mary

More Teen Advice from Yesteryear:

Getting High

Suicide DIY?

Your Guide To Married Life

Leave Room for the Holy Spirit

Get a Job

 

28 Responses to Your Guide to Cool

  • This is probably the best post you’ve had in ages! I love this!

  • Looking at the back cover – What are “martian” jokes? Literally just jokes about martians? Was that ever a thing?

  • p22: oh yeah talking’s *way* better than necking

  • PUAs: not just a thing for the 2010s, apparently. (The whole “If she’s ugly….masquerade party” Ick. Seriously.)

  • Pretend to be a famous teen heartthrob to get a date? How disgusting! Lying has never been a cool way to get a date!

  • I would buy this for fun if I came across it at a book sale.

  • Necking? Isn’t that what giraffes do? Well it’s a step up from petting, anyway.

  • “If she is ugly – ask her to a masquerade party” I….I really don’t know how to feel about that.

  • Good grief. I was in high school when this book came out. (Yeah, I know how old that makes me.) Were we really that stupid? How embarrassing.

  • OMG! I would have SO gone out with Ricky Nelson!

  • Chris, I was wondering about “Martian” jokes too. Beatnik I know.

  • Wow… that’s…

    Well, the girl’s advice could have come from my grandmother, who once told me, “Boys like to feel like they’re smart and they’ve saved the day, so just tell them you never could have figured out how to fix something without them.”

    And yet, in the middle of the nonsense, the shockingly sensible instruction to ask out someone you have something in common with. How did that sneak in there?

    • … and similarly the career advice: Find something that you enjoy doing AND is useful to others AND pays well. Three out of three is ideal; two of three you can live with; one or none and you’ll be dissatisfied all your life. How did that sneak in there?

      Granted, the female reader in 1961 didn’t have much choice about which two to settle for, but something tells me this page was in the For Boys Only section.

  • Ugh. It reminds me of last week when I was watching T.V. with my mom. There was nothing else on, so she switched it to Cozy TV and put “Gidget” on. Anyway, the episode was about the main character trying to buy a car. Her father initially says no, because she doesn’t know how to fix it. So she enrolls in Mechanics and starts hanging out with the guys in her class. But she keeps failing. I thought the lesson was going to be about perseverance or patience. I assumed that she’d work harder and then be proud of herself. Nope. At the end the end of the episode she says “I really shouldn’t make life so complicated. I like when women and women and men are men. I don’t have to do anything-as long as there’s a man around!” It was slightly upsetting.

    • That’s one of the few episodes I’ve seen and yes, way sexist. Though the advice to let the man think you’re helpless seems to have been the norm back then–I’ve seen it other places.

    • “It was slightly upsetting.”
      More than slightly, if you remember that the whole point of the real-life Gidget’s story was that she succeeded in an activity–surfing–that had previously been male-only.

  • That is a really tiny bikini for 1961. On the next page, the Attract with Clothing section is just…

  • Between chloroform and ride his hobby horse… my heavens! My mother was just becoming a teenager when this was published.
    My, the 60s was quite a decade!

  • The weird part is, sometimes I can tell the author is joking, but sometimes I’m not sure if he is or not! “Let your dad hint that he has nobody to take over the business” – joking? Or serious?

  • even if this is a joke, it’s a very bad one.

  • so girls are supposed to avoid kissing on a date, but it is OK to “wear your skimpiest bikini, or better yet, forget to wear your skimpiest bikini” – what kind of messages are we sending here?

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