Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For reasons that perhaps merit some time in therapy, I find the tragic and distraught ads so much more entertaining, but in reality, many of the correspondences are between couples who seem to be doing just fine. So here are a few of those.
These aren't too hard to read, but if you need the transcriptions, they're here:
Are you happy, darling? "My" Pet.
Peaches - A happy, happy New Year to my dear, sweet Pet. Pears
Mine - When yesterday, with a single sentence, you lifted from the threshold of my heart the one shadow lingering there, I deeply felt your amiable act, and to-day I renew my homage and love, with added warmth. May I prove worthy of the sweetest woman alive. Thine.
Just so you know, the first and second were written about 17 years apart, so they were not the same two people, despite the similarity (or at least I assume not!). Aren't these sweet, though? It is nice to know that although people like the ones in the previous entry, or the tragic lovers from a few weeks ago, did exist, there were some people in what appear to be pretty satisfying and stable relationships. And, you know, thank heavens for that; if you went by the rest of the correspondence ads I've been placing (Hair-Dye and Eyebrows; the Canoes) you'd think everyone in late nineteenth-century America was in the throes of some horrible romance. So these are a nice reminder that lots of people were doing just fine.
I'm particularly fond of the last ad, for what I assume are obvious reasons; this guy is pretty funny. It kills me that people really said things like that. I wonder if he was borrowing liberally from some trashy romance novel, or maybe from an etiquette book of how to write letters, or if he really just came up with that himself. I shouldn't laugh, because the sentiment seems quite sincere, but honestly, how can you not?
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2009 Pam Epstein