If you are in your early 30s and read Seventeen or YM magazines growing up, then you remember this ad:
What you might not know about me is that I ordered, and subsequently received, the Get Him System.
There’s a possibility that the two books that comprised the Get Him System still exist in my parents’ house, but unfortunately I have no scans to show you now. I do, however, have my memories.
The first book, Get Him, was fairly short. I remember being fascinated that somehow, all I needed to know about men was contained in so few pages with such big font and so many pictures. There was an intro about how “guys” work, a chapter or two about how girls are superstars that just need a bit of confidence, and in light of the slightly changing times, a lot of advice on how to get a guy’s attention without seeming “pushy”. The book was obsessed with girls seeming like aloof but not shy creatures. It was your standard “play to your strengths and the boys will come running” fare. I learned nothing new… well, nothing about dating.
Get Him was also filled with some of the most terrifying black and white photos of 70s boys I have ever seen. None of them looked a day under 30, but I think that was the style of the 70s- no one looked like a child, what with gas crises and all. The boys and their feathered hair stared out at me, page after page, intense and overdressed, betraying the fact that this book didn’t know what it was talking about. A few years later, when I got up the guts to show Get Him to a friend, we drew word balloons alongside the creepy men’s heads that said things like “I have to pee” and “I am going to eat your face”. Killer material.
What I remember much more strongly than the Get Him book was the second book in the “system”, Secrets of Kissing. At this point I hadn’t kissed a boy and was scared I wouldn’t know what to do, making me a completely original human being. Secrets of Kissing lectured you on all kinds of kisses “pecks” “love taps” “soul kissing” and was full of gems like “Keep your breath nice and fresh with gum, but don’t forget to take it out before you start kissing!” Also, their advice for girls with glasses was that kissing is hard for girls with glasses, so you should just say “Hey, wait a second” and take off your glasses before kissing. Also, maintain eye contact but don’t stare, and if you happen to catch his eye while you’re kissing, don’t be afraid to smile! And never doubt the power of a hand kiss- that’ll make the boys go wild.
Never was sex mentioned in either of these books. It was just a world of black and white, old fashioned fun that’s not too needy, not too forward, and knows how cool it is. You know, like dating.