Problem of a girl car owner
We mine the Free Press archives for advice that still applies today (...or doesn’t)
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/03/2018 (1887 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
From Boy Tells Girl by George Antheil, published in the Winnipeg Free Press on April 29, 1938
Dear Mr. Antheil: What is a girl with a car of her own going to do when the date hasn’t any? Is it embarrassing for a fellow to ride in the girl’s car even if he is driving? Should she offer the car, or is that too embarrassing?
One chap to whom I was formerly engaged used to buy the gas and we split on expenses. Now there is one fellow who takes me walking to shows, to concerts and dances in town. But I know he would like to go for rides, as he is trying to buy a second-hand car.
Because I like him and would like to be with him more often, I just can’t say “Why don’t you use mine?” I am afraid he would be embarrassed and that people might gossip. I would think that myself if he ever suggested using my car.
I have known boys who not only asked for dates but suggested using my car. But I always said no. Sometimes, to get away from this, I would say the car belonged to my brother. But what should I do or say to the right kind of boys?
My mother says boys are afraid of girls who own cars and I am hurting myself by owning one.
Another thing: if I am driving and pass a boy friend walking, should I just wave or stop and invite him in the car? I hate to do the driving when a fellow is in the car, and maybe he doesn’t want to, either. — Jay
Dear Jay: I suggest that you could end the problem by selling the car. But I won’t, because I think a girl has just as much right to own a car as a boy. But car ownership by a girl does present a problem. We are in a period of adjustment, and girls owning cars are still a novelty and upsetting to boys who think the boy ought to own it.
One way you can get around the situation is to ask a boy to drive you somewhere. Ask it as though you wanted the favour. You can also say nonchalantly, “Let’s go in my car tonight,” when you have a date. Then, if he accepts, hand him the keys when you get in and say, “Do you mind driving for me; I don’t like to drive when I am dressed up” or something of the sort.
People will talk, no matter how satisfactory and sensible the arrangement will be. You have to face the hints of that sort and forget about them. But don’t make a practice of letting one boy use your car. He may fall in the habit innocently — but sooner or later you will get mad about it and think he is a chiseler.
It’s good for his soul to pay for a cab or walk until he can sport his own car. You, being a girl, may not like the inconvenience of walking — but, boy, will you admire the chap who has enough spunk to insist on it!