Courtesy of the Boston Public Library’s online collection, these stereograph slides depict a 19th century guide to the stages of courtship to marriage.
That is all. Enjoy.
Step 1: The Bashful Lover Makes His First Call
Translation: New strangers tolerate each other on awkward first date.
Step 2: Second Call. Improvement on Call No. 1
Translation: Negative first base while your mom naps a few feet away.
Step 3: Third Call. Mother Wants to Know if He Is Coming.
Translation: Your mom uses scare tactics on your new romantic interest.
Step 4: Waiting for Him.
Translation: Because your mother has scared off your date (?), wait around for a bit until he decides to come back.
Step 5: One O’Clock in the Morning
Translation: Platonic sleepover. If bed is unavailable, resort to use of living room chairs.
Step 6: Half-Past One in the Morning
Translation: Get caught by your parents and try to desperately explain to them how you “weren’t doing anything!”
Step 7: A Quarter to Two in the Morning
Translation: After 15 minutes of arguing, father makes an executive decision and kicks your new romantic interest out. (You are probably grounded.)
Step 8: The Proposal
Translation: The sex is really good.
Step 9: Showing the Engagement Ring
Translation: Look at meeeeeeeee! Be jealous of meeeeee!
Step 10: My Wife To-Morrow.
Translation: Kiss your fiancé goodnight and allow reality to start setting in.
Step 11: (This card missing from Boston Public Library’s photo set.)
Translation: Quickie in the broom closet.
Step 12: Decorating for the Wedding
Translation: Getting buzzed with your besties while you get ready.
Step 13: The Bridesmaids Ready for the Ceremony
Translation: Everyone feels threatened; tries to prove their bond of friendship with the bride is strongest.
Step 14: The Bride Ready for the Ceremony
Translation: At this point, the bride-to-be pushes her feelings deep down inside and tries not to look miserable.
Step 15: The Wedding March
Translation: The point of no return.
Step 16: The Wedding
Translation: Yada yada yada… definitely having a panic attack.
Step 17: Placing the Wedding Ring
Translation: The home stretch.
Step 18: The Blessing
Translation: Really? We’re not done?
Step 19: The Bridegroom’s Kiss
Translation: Tasteful makeout session.
Step 20: The Mother’s Kiss
Translation: Your mother is devastated over losing her baby. But congratulations and all that stuff.
Step 21: The Father’s Congratulations
Translation: Dad attempts to show no emotion whatsoever. Already hates his son-in-law.
Step 22: The Wedding Breakfast
Translation: The nursing of the hangovers.
Step 23: Alone at Last
Translation: “Do not disturb.” If ya know what I’m saying.
Step 24: Married and Settled
Translation: Sex every other Tuesday.
Step 25: “I Just Knew It Would Be a Boy”
Translation: Women are incredible, psychic beings who bring life into the world.