Thursday Morning Quickie #2

[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the “M Men-Gleaner Manual, Love, Marriage, and You” used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]

Lesson 4

Marriageable Personalities

A few years ago two girls–we shall call them Mary and Sue–attended the same college in the East. Mary was a beautiful girl with long dark hair, blue eyes and with an attractive figure. She was neat, clean and had a pleasing voice. However, she was not popular with the boys. In fact, she felt inferior to most of her girl and boy friends. Sue was very short in stature, not pretty, but was liked by nearly all. She had a slightly blemished complexion and her hair was coarse and straight. Yet she was constantly being asked for dates by boys. Both of these girls belonged to the Latter-day Saint Church and were living the gospel.

Quickie Questions

1. What are some of the possible reasons why Sue was popular with the boys and Mary was not?
2. Is physical attraction the main attribute sought after in dates?


Thursday Morning Quickie #2


  1. Ugly Mahana says:

    It’s the number of cows, not number of dates, that really matters.

  2. Uhh… I hope the title of your post has nothing to do with why she was more popular?

  3. Alex T. Valencic says:

    Obviously, the narrative leaves out the fact that Mary was a cannibal.

  4. Eric Russell says:

    The next line of the story is, “and then Sue woke up.”

  5. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    10 points to Eric.

  6. 1. Sue drove a Ferrari
    2. Mostly, but when it comes to fast cars…

    (It’s crazy that these are real examples)

  7. 1. Sue had twizzlers. Most men are suckers for twizzlers.

    2. No, the fulfillment of physical attraction is the main attribute sought after in dates.

  8. “In fact, she felt inferior to most of her girl and boy friends.”

    So, is this hinting that it is Mary’s lack of self esteem that is the problem. It is not you outward appearance, but your self-confidence.

    #2 may be on to something. Though the last line of the paragraph may rule that out.

  9. Did the lesson manual give the correct answer?

  10. 8 – a beautiful raven-haired girl with a pleasing voice and a low self esteem?

    This Mary is just my type.

  11. This manual is a lie. My testimony is faltering.

  12. Sue had her young women medallion.

  13. Actually Sue had been more valiant in the pre-existence. Mary had been a fence-sitter. We are taught in Priest Quorum how to tell the difference.

  14. Bro. Jones says:

    Sue was a blonde, Mary had dark hair. Easy.

    Regrettably I’ve seen this happen too many times IRL for this to be completely a joke. :(

  15. I just realized that the most disturbing thing about this lesson is the title – “Marriageable Personalities” as if not being popular = unmarriable. Scary.

  16. I think “blemished complexion” is code for something…

  17. 1. The manual is conveniently leaving out the part about Mary’s mustache.

    2. Personality is more important than physical attraction, but beautiful girls without mustaches tend to have good enough personalities.

  18. Let me help you people out a little bit here:

    “a pleasing voice” = Primary voice.


  19. Course hair I can deal with. But course and straight? Disgusting.

  20. This is easy: Sue was easy.

  21. Maybe the boys had low self-esteem.

  22. I sometimes think that really pretty girls may not get asked out because many boys assume she will say no, or is spoken for, or is out of their league, etc.

    I think often boys will often ask out the girl most likely to say yes to the date. Fear of rejection – you know.

  23. StillConfused says:

    Mary had man hands

  24. Wouldn’t that be a plus?

  25. Mary was a stuck-up snob, proudly displaying the crimson sash of the Anti-Sex League wherever she went. She shouted loudest of all during the Two Minutes of Hate, and truly loved Big Brother. She never, ever shared her ration of chocolate, but proudly dumped her allocation of Victory Gin into the gutter each Tuesday, as drinking it would be contrary to the Gospel.

    Sue, on the other hand, owned an X-Box and a four-wheeler with a lift kit and NRA bumper stickers. She bowled in the 240s, wasn’t afraid to sneak a laser pointer into the movie, and was vice-president of the campus Monty Python Fan Club. She was accomplished at needlepoint, could sing second soprano or first alto, and had a +17 Cloak of Darkness for her Dungeons and Dragons Night Elf. She was an excellent cook and regularly had all thirty members of the singles branch Elder’s Quorum over for dinner.

    Plus, Sue had wisely spread the rumor that Mary had been born male, but had switched to being female after a tragic incident involving a skateboard and a trampoline (see America’s Funniest Home Videos, season 9 finale).

  26. Wouldn’t that be a plus?

    Oh, Chris.

  27. Sorry.

  28. Mary wasn’t targeting the boys and had a full calendar full of dates with other beautiful girls.

  29. Mary was shy. For some guys this came across as disinterested for others it came across as her being a snob. Either way had she been more outgoing and flirted with the boys she was interested in she would have been bombarded with dates-even more than Sue. Guys tend to care about looks a lot even more than girls generally do-a sad evolutionary relic of our alpha-male past-but they also want to feel confident there is some chance the girl will recipricate his interest. If a girl is shy and unapproachable guys will often assume they don’t have a chance (or don’t want to invest the time and effort to find out if there is a chance) and move on. It’s an information costs issue;).

  30. Isn’t Nash’s Equilibrium relevant here?

  31. Sue was more outgoing and more confident.

    Mary was shy and self-conscious.

    or it could be Sue was an optimists and Mary was a pessimist.

    Could be any number of things… :P

  32. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    Blue eyes. Long hair. Pleasing voice. The further East you go, the less important some things become.

  33. This one is easy. Hot chicks didn’t become popular until the 1960’s and this was published in the 1950’s.

  34. Mary sat around waiting for the boys to ask her. Sue took some initiative and asked the boys first. Sue received invitations from boys for subsequent dates because the boys knew that she was interested, and available.
    Seriously, this idea that girls cannot ask boys out is the root of so many problems.

  35. Isn’t Nash’s Equilibrium relevant here?

    Only for repeated games, Chris. If we assume that this sort of thing happens regularly, then yes.

    It’s more probable that the manual is lying and that Sue is actually just a floozy with a nice car.

  36. I had no idea that church manuals from the 50s included anecdotes about Mormon girls at colleges in China.

  37. Guys are more likely to approach girls they think they have a chance with, but the world doesn’t seem to lack for men who think they have a chance with absolutely anyone.

    Pretty girls don’t need to be outgoing–provided they’re pretty enough. Morose girls don’t tend to be attractive, but attractive girls don’t tend to be morose, either.

    The manual is leaving out a crucial piece of information, like the fact that Mary picks her nose or has Tourette’s or lives in a town full of boys who have been genetically mutated to prefer homely girls. Sue is a real person, but Mary only exists in theory.

  38. Why was Mary not popular with the boys even though she was beautiful? It was that pesky back hair problem of hers.

  39. Or perhaps it was that Mary had three lovely blue eyes…

  40. Mary was Glenn Beck’s daughter

  41. 37 – You’re kind of right about pretty girls and morose girls. But when you can find a girl who is both pretty and morose (win/win), you don’t want to let go of a girl like that.

    That is why I don’t understand why these idiots don’t like Mary – she’s the best of both worlds.

  42. 40 – That IS a deal breaker!

  43. I wish we still had stuff like this in our manuals. It would make class soooo much more interesting.

  44. Poor Mary Shi’thead. No dates and everyone pronounces her last name incorrectly…

  45. What’s the difference between these two women? The description focuses almost entirely on their physical appearance, and almost nothing about anything else. Clearly the manual wishes the student to learn that physical appearance doesn’t guarantee popularity or marriageability, but it also implicitly reinforces the importance of physical appearance by not giving these women non-physical characteristics by which to judge their success or failure to attract men.

  46. The description focuses almost entirely on their physical appearance, and almost nothing about anything else.

    Agreed. Aroma matters too!

  47. I liked that part Steve…the youth can think for himself…what would make a difference for me? what am i looking for? what is important to me…

  48. Perhaps Sue had a trust fund or was the other daughter of Don Geiss, the CEO of General Electric, and the boys in question wanted to move up from being simply the vice president of theme park talent relations….

  49. It was the three mysterious Native-American-looking warriors that always appeared menacingly behind Mary when guys approached her that impeded her dating life.

  50. Mary and Sue . . . attended the same college in the East.
    [Sue] was constantly being asked for dates by boys.

    Not true. People don’t “date” in the East. That’s a Western thing.

  51. Cynthia wins.

  52. I think often boys will often ask out the girl most likely to say yes to the date. Fear of rejection – you know.

    No, Eric, not really. I don’t know. Why? Because I’m a man.

  53. What are some of the possible reasons why Sue was popular with the boys and Mary was not?

    Heavy petting?

  54. I’ve often wondered about this too. I’ve had cute roommates with fun, outgoing personalities who dated plenty and more reserved ones that were prettier but not as outgoing that didn’t date. No offensive problems like BO or other problems for either one. Both had high standards too.

  55. One more note–both of these roommates had cars. The more reserved one’s car was newer than the more popular girl’s car. Neither had flashy cars.

  56. Ok–one more. The less- popular one allowed make outs. The other absolutely did not. So much for the dishing out theory. Promise-no more addendums.

  57. 49 – Thats awesome.

    52 – Damn Straight!

  58. LeeAnn,

    Never underestimate the power of flirting skillz.

    Dudes ask out the ones they sense the green light from more than the ones giving the yellow or green light.

  59. Oops. Make that “yellow or RED light”.

  60. Make up your mind, Geoff. Sheesh.

  61. Teeth.

    No one has said anything about teeth. Even long dark hair, blue eyes and an attractive figure can’t distract you from a snaggle toothed grin!


    Never underestimate the effect of the right kind of flattery / positive appraisal on a man.

  63. Cause mormon boys are weenies. They just stand around waiting for an aggressive girl to pick them , instead of the other way around? Either that, or “blondes have more fun”?

  64. And we think our correlated lesson manuals these days are bad…..Yikes!

  65. Two girls in Middle Earth — call them Eowyn and Arwen — both set their caps for young Viggo. Arwen had long dark hair and an attractive figure. Viggo convinced Arwen to give up eternal life for him (metaphor, metaphor). Then he ditched her like a bad habit and teased Eowyn for a while. Finally, Eowyn took out her anger on an unfortunate Ringwraith, and Viggo proposed to Arwen.

  66. pity that poor unfortunate delicate little ringwraith.

  67. What the…talk about an abstract scenario. If you ask my friend Jon, it’s because the homelier one spoke Klingon.

  68. Mary was only pretty in the way that females think is pretty. And the scenario was written by a bitter female who could not forgive men for thinking that Sue was hot.

  69. Mary was a licked cupcake

  70. Mary was a feminist. Sue wanted 8 children and only thought of staying home to darn her husband’s socks.

  71. I’m having a really hard time getting past the “Quickie” in the title . . .

  72. “the scenario was written by a bitter female who could not forgive men for thinking that Sue was hot.”

    There is no way that a single word from a 1950s Church manual was written by a woman. Heck, there’s pretty much no chance that any part of a current Church manual was written by a woman.

  73. Kathryn Lynard Soper says:

    Some people would give anything for a quickie #2.

  74. Yeah, I don’t get it Soper. What is Stephanie’s (71) problem, really?

  75. Sue had taken Fascinating Womanhood classes.

  76. chelseaw FTW!!

  77. John Mansfield says:

    Sister Mansfield last week read a passage in a novel concerning women at a southern college that she enjoyed so much she shared it with me. Recreating from memory:

    “Two kinds of girls were considered most desirable: either petite and pretty, or tall and plain with a trust fund. Sarah was tall and plain with a trust fund of 25,000 cotton dollars, and if a man couldn’t see the attraction in that, then he was too dumb to belong in the family.”

  78. the answer: Sue had figured out the magic elixor that for some reason works on males – she had bleached her hair blonde!

  79. I think chelseaw has it. I can’t tell you how many times I read this same scenario in that FW book.

  80. KLS #73: I’m shocked!

  81. There is no way that a single word from a 1950s Church manual was written by a woman

    I’m not sure you have a proper appreciation for how the Church worked in the era prior to correlation…

%d bloggers like this: