Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It's amazing how easily even the shortest personals can spark my sympathy and curiosity. For example, take a look at these two.
This reads "Stephen - I simply want to see you. After that you shall be at liberty to do as you please."
Bitter? Angry? Annoyed? Desperate? And of course I can't help imagining an entire romance story behind it, though I'll spare you the wanderings of my clearly overactive imagination. It reminds me a bit of Sis and Sissy from many months ago, for those of you who've been around for awhile. Of course, this one is a little less dramatic. But it does seem to be the end of an affair, and perhaps one that didn't conclude very well. That, at least, is not surprising - it seems like none of the romances in the personals columns ended well. I guess when you're in the midst of an illicit affair, the odds aren't so good.
Here's another; it reads:
"1567 - Your letters wrong me. Try and meet me to-day. Believe no other Personals. H.A."
I don't really know what the "1567" means. It could be a code, it could be the person's street address (that's the one I lean toward). But I always find it interesting that occasionally the intrigues involve multiple people. We saw this with the Canoes, and here it is again. This relationship seems a little crowded; who else would be writing "1567" personals? If it's a secret affair, why does anyone else know about it; if it's not secret, why use the newspaper? And who is this third party trying to get in the middle and screw things up? Drama!!
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©2009 Pam Epstein