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Spending a couple of hours with someone who was unattractive and unappealing was not too much of a price to pay for the chance to have met someone who might be attractive and appealing.It was also possible, sometimes, to do something that was entertaining, even with someone who was unattractive and unappealing.They were afraid they would be rejected out of hand, or made fun of.
Back in those days—before computers, or portable phones, or, even, electric typewriters—the rules were different.
Answering advertisements was not yet entirely respectable, but I knew of some doctors and lawyers who married someone they met under these circumstances, (including a friend, who was a psychiatrist.
The person he met and married was another psychiatrist.) There were two problems inherent in advertising for dating purposes, or answering such advertisements.
I remember, now, an experience I had when I was in medical school. After a time, she asked if I would accompany her to the theater. To be forward that way meant either that she was desperate or that she had tremendous self-confidence. When I met her, I decided she was probably desperate.
I lived at the Hall of Residence and helped make ends meet by working at the switchboard, (Believe it or not, there was such a thing as a switchboard.) I tried to connect a woman who wanted to reach one of the medical students. It would not be gallant of me to describe her; but I had a good time anyway! By the way, the men who advertised, or answered advertisements, had their own concerns.