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Lady friends

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Um, hello.  Now this is an interesting one on so many, many levels:

Helen - You use me well.  What's the matter?  Nothing to wear?  It's too bad.  Write or drive out, if you have any regard for me.  I have not yet forgotten the promises made.  Tell B. Thine ever.  Kate.

Wow.  So, I've been asked a lot if I think these correspondence ads could be between same-sex couples, and my answer has always been: yes of course, but how on earth could I know?  Everyone's using pseudonyms and nicknames, and is there any way to guess what the sex of the Canoes and Hair Dye and Eyebrows of the world?  So it's pretty cool to suddenly run across an ad that - maybe possibly - is a (sort of ) love letter between two women!

Of course, there's definitely something going on here that's a little bit more, shall I say, sinister, than your typical personal ad between lovers.  I think it's fair to say that Kate is out-and-out threatening Helen. So, here's my theory: Kate and Helen are in love, but of course this is hardly sanctioned by their friends and family.  Kate, I think, might have a little more freedom and leeway, whereas Helen is a bit more restricted.

Also, Helen is possibly a bit less committed.  She's hemming and hawing a bit about coming to see Kate, and using flimsy excuses that Kate isn't buying.  So Kate, who is after all in love, and we aren't always rational, is like: you promised me we were going to be together, don't you go back on me!  There's no "or I'll tell," but it's kind of implied, don't you think?

Of course, I could be creating this intrigue because I was just recently reading about Alice Mitchell and Freda Ward for my dissertation (I can't find a great website for this, but the one I linked to gives you the basic idea).  Anyways, I apologize to Kate for comparing her to a murderer; these two girls get into a lovers' quarrel and I'm all: "Murder!"  Just tryin' to keep things classy.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2010 Pam Epstein


Anonymous January 31, 2010 at 5:20 PM  

May be they are in love with the same man. I think that some of the phrasing is slang for the day, and might have been common knowledge. Like LOL means laugh out loud, everyone knows that. I read these and lmao.

Pam January 31, 2010 at 10:11 PM  

I could buy that - but I like my version better. ;)

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