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A very proper gentleman

Friday, July 10, 2009


I don't know why, because I think he's trying to be good and reassuring, but this guy strikes me as kind of a stick in the mud. Here's the text:

Matrimonial - A gentleman, under 35 years of age, of the highest respectability and a high sense of honor and standing, both in private life and in the business community, and of refined sensitive feellings [sic], desires to form the acquaintance of a respectable lady with a view to matrimony, who is possessed of some means. The advertiser is well aware that it is a very delicate step for a lady to take to respond to a matrimonial advertisement, but the most sensitive need not hesitate to reply to this, as it is inserted in good faith, and by one who claims to know what denotes the true gentleman; and all correspondence will be held sacred and returned if desired; therefore, he hopes that those of the most sensitive and refined feelings will not decline an early response to this, trusting to the sacred honor and strict confidence of the advertiser, who, upon an interview, if mutually pleased, will furnish the most satisfactory references. Address Good Faith, station A, Post office, N.Y.
    


Oy. I don't know how many of you have read Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, but this guy totally reminds me of Mr. Collins. Pompous, full of self-complacency, and extremely high on himself. Notice, by the way, that he doesn't mention anything about "love" or "affection" or being "kind-hearted," as so many others have. Just refined and sensitive feelings, which doesn't automatically translate into loving feelings. I wonder if he was aware of that - if he wasn't interested in love - or if he just assumed that sensitivity equaled loving.

Either way, I get the feeling he probably didn't get too many answers. Really, who would want to spend the rest of their lives with this man? Any woman with "some means" could almost certainly do better elsewhere. Poor guy. If he didn't receive any answers, it must have been quite a shock to his refined and sensitive ego.

A reminder: I'll be taking weekends off from now on. Come back Monday for more - and an alternate possibility of who this man may have been...

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

4 comments:

Matt July 10, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

Hmmm... It's probably what I would have written at the time. ;)

Seriously, though, I think he's betraying his own discomfort at placing a matrimonial ad, which is probably a "delicate step" for him. Just think of the pressure a 34-year-old middle class man must be under to take the step.

He probably feels that he has to find a wife, and is hoping love will follow.

Sorta like Match.com or eHarmony...

Bianca July 10, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

I am with Matt, this is probably one of the few ads that I might have responded to. This is exactly what I was looking for when I was single after my first divorce. Thirty-four is certainly old enough to have lost his first wife. I know many people look for companionship more than love in their second relationships. :-)

Pam July 10, 2009 at 3:35 PM  

I'd never even thought of it that way...So funny how everyone has different interpretations of these ads! I love it!!

Ray-Ray July 10, 2009 at 8:28 PM  

oooh. an alternate possibility??? i'll be back on monday for sure!!! :-D

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