ATTENTION MANTRAP WANNABES!
Ever see one of those things that you just HAVE to buy? And afterwards, you don't know why? This is one of those things. I think I meant to use it as a gift for a female friend, but I realize now that--probably due to gifts like this one--I really don't have any friends. So I offer it to you, my many anonymous friends on Ebay. We can pretend we are friends and meet for coffee and cheesecake and dish about the other people in our lives. It will be fun. And then I will give you this and you will take it the wrong way and I'll be like, "What? It was a joke!" and you will tell others all about how Cruel and Insensitive I am. Thanks a lot. Who needs friends like you, anyway? Geez. Pfft.
Oh, wait, where was I? Oh, yeah, selling this book.
Dear, dear, dear, dear. Back when I apparently "needed" this book (mumble mumble years ago) I did not know of its existence! Hence I had to rely on my own pitifully naïve skills of honesty and decency, and my personal gut feeling that I probably shouldn't marry someone if deep down I thought he was a jerk.
These pathetically few skills luckily ended up serving me well—for my husband, as it turns out, is a kind, decent, intelligent soul—but boy oh boy how much faster and crueler the process might have been had I been aware at the time of the skills packed in this slim volume!
Despite our apparent domestic happiness now, we apparently did all the wrong things over the span of our courtship and nuptials. Or at least I did all the wrong things, since the male—I have now learned thanks to this book—is a hapless bumbling victim, a thirty-year-old who still lives with his parents and is easily swayed through a scheming combination of manipulation and abuse.
Yup, this book was written by a man apparently nursing a good-sized grudge, or perhaps trying to be ha-ha funny in a particularly cheesy 50's style that today seems bad even for the timeframe. (Despite feminist jokes I think I DO have a sense of humor, but to use a clichéd female complaint, this isn't funny, it's just stupid.) But if you're a fan of chauvinistic nostalgia and/or today's new breed of sexist humor (which sounds suspiciously like the same old stuff, just make fun of the men instead of the women) you will feel right at home flipping through this book, which to my knowledge has never won any awards or recognition or anything of the sort.
(All these years I've been privately decrying the stupidity of the sitcom male. "The men in my life aren't that stupid," I snark at the television whenever one of these morons attempt to outwit their bossy mean wife in yet another beat-that-dead-horse plot contrivances they call "a show". (Stupid Man wants to do Stupid Thing. Smarter But Perpetually Angry and Abusive Wife doesn't want him to do Stupid Thing. Stupid Man decides to do Stupid Thing anyway, and just LIE ABOUT IT so Smarter But Perpetually Angry and Abusive Wife doesn't find out. SBPAAW finds out anyway. SM is in more trouble for lying on top of doing Stupid Thing. Valuable Lessons are learned. Lookit me, I'm a sitcom writer!))
We called this "the battle of the sexes" back in the seventies when women had real honest-to-goodness equality problems. By now the-boys-against-the-girls jokes are really tiresome; I mean, it's hardly "equality" just because you have the men acting like brainless twits instead of the women. Or maybe it is? I'm beyond caring other than philosophizing about it on an Ebay auction. Hey, even if you don't buy anything, maybe I'll give you a moment to think.
Surprise, surprise, I digress yet again. This book would make a lovely gift for any woman you don't particularly like. Or that female friend who is whining about the dearth of men in her life. Assuming they can take a joke, that is. And if they can't take a joke, why hang out with them? Ditch the stick-in-the-mud and find someone happier, and then give them this book. Believe me, it's much nicer to share a laugh with a true friend than dodge crockery and shrieking ultimatums. If people would stop dating jerks, the jerk population would die off in a single generation.
No, wait, the book. It's not in very good shape, as you can see. Whaddaya want, it's 50 years old. It was written by Robert Torrington Furman, whoever that is. It was published in 1949. I found it in a book sale and couldn't resist just based on the cover. What remains of the dust cover is there. I don't know how books are judged by collectors, but I would rate this one's condition an "eh". Sorry to overwhelm you with such technical book collector jargon, but it's important to give you a feel for just how special this thing is.
So here ya go, mantrap! "How to Catch and Tame a Husband"! You've come a long way, baby. Prove it by squandering some of your hard-earned income on this book. It's truly a gift that will make your friends go, "eh".