Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

More about money

Monday, June 15, 2009


These ads are a day apart, but could they be any different? Check out the text here:

A young Frenchman, well educated, of agreeable manners and prepossessing appearance, of a faithful and affectionate disposition, is desirous of forming an acquaintance with an elderly lady of wealth, with a view to matrimony. None need address except in sincerity, as the gentleman is no trifler. Address Frenchman, station D, Bible House.

Matrimonial. - A respectable American bachelor, forty-five years of age, intelligent, sober, graceful, and affectionate, is desirous of immediately marrying some neat, plain, economical woman, between the ages of thirty and fifty. An orphan preferred. None that are strictly wealthy need answer, as the advertiser entertains an unconquerable aversion to every millionaire beauty. Address Alonzo Blossom, Union square Post office, New York.


I find both of these highly amusing. The first one - really? I wonder if the Frenchman thought this ad would be successful; I wonder if it was successful. Would some lonely old lady decide she'd like the company of a dashing young foreigner to escort her around society balls and keep her company? Or was she intelligent enough to know that a few days after getting married, her new husband would likely abscond with her every penny? I suppose maybe he really did want to be her plaything, but it's still money-hungry any way you look at it.

The second is also interesting. His last line - that he "entertains an unconquerable aversion to every millionaire beauty" - is funny to me because it suggests he knows all the BS that goes along with putting ads in the paper. Most likely, he's trying to put off "matrimonial agents" (more on those later), who would reply to ads like this this posing as rich men or women, as the case may be, then try to get you to pay a fee to meet this person and rip you off. But on the other hand, I'm always suspect of men who say they want to meet orphans - basically meaning that there are no parents to protect her. Or maybe he just doesn't want to deal with an interfering mother-in-law. Who knows?

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

3 comments:

Arwen June 15, 2009 at 8:43 AM  

I find the second actually more suspect than the first.

immediately marrying some neat, plain, economical woman, between the ages of thirty and fifty. An orphan preferred

He doesn't just want to meet someone, he wants to *immediately marry* her. Why the hurry?
And he has *really* wide specifications - a 20 year age window, professed desinterest in money or beauty. He even specifies someone plain. As long as she's an orphan.

He sounds like he was in some sort of trouble, needed to marry ASAP for some reason, and needed someone who didn't have a lot of options so he'd have complete power over her. Am I too paranoid? It just sounds iffy. At least the first ad is fairly transparent about what he wants, and it's fairly easy to see what risks a respondent would expose themselves to.

mdyesowitch June 15, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

On the second one, I'm thinking lazy serial killer. Doesn't need the money, has a specific type of woman in mind, (someone vaguely motherly; not flashy), no relatives to care if she's missing...

Pam June 15, 2009 at 3:40 PM  

Man, you guys are way more paranoid than me! Yeah, I'm always suspicious when someone specifies "orphan." There is something very odd about that - but you'd be surprised how frequently men say, "widow or orphan preferred." As always I think it generally has a lot to do with money.

As for lazy serial killers - it is possible. There are at least three people who killed a person they met through an ad, and two of them apparently murdered several people. Juicy stuff.

  © Blogger template Writer's Blog by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP