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The Voyage of Life

Friday, January 29, 2010

So this is a little hard to read, but I'm giving it my best shot:

A young man, of genteel address, of good character and respectably connected, having lately embarked in a genteel, well paying business, and finding that his limited means are insufficient to carry on his business in the manner he desires, and being of a fond, affectionate and loving disposition, he resorts to this method of seeking the pure and affectionate heart of some young lady with an amount of ready means, who would join him in this "voyage of life," and who would aid him to build up his business, and also "build up our own little home," and make life, as it should be, one of comfort and happiness.  No interview desired until the most perfect confidence is established.  Address, in confidence, Irving, box 173, Herald office.

Hmm.  I like this guy, but then again, I'm not so sure.  I think that he means well, I just don't believe he was thinking too clearly about what he was saying when he wrote this ad.  I mean, for starters, there's only two sentences in the whole ad, which I think even Bertram would be impressed by.  Personally, I think if you're writing a matrimonial ad you should at least put enough thought into it that you pay attention to your punctuation.  But that's just me.

But grammar is the least of Irving's problems.  I like how he says he's started out on a "well-paying" business, but then in the same breath says that his means are too limited to carry out his business.  I do get it, really - you own your own business, it might bring in good revenue, but perhaps the overhead and start-up costs are a little too high to balance things out.  So it does make a certain amount of sense, but it is kind of odd.  However, the funniest part is where he's all, I want a wife to help me out financially and, oh yeah, I want us to have a happy marriage too!  Really!

Honestly, I just don't know how tempting such an ad would be.  People were quite pragmatic about the importance of money when getting married, so I don't think it would necessarily be a turn off for a woman when a man says, yes, I could use a little financial backing.  After all, his whole point is that the business is well paying - he just needs to get it off the ground.  But it's obvious that the business is the priority, and the marriage is just sort of a convenience.  I mean, if he took out a loan from a bank, he'd have to pay it back plus owe interest - but if you get married, it's yours!  No loan, no interest!  What a great deal!  And hey, if you're lucky, you might even get a nice, loving wife in the bargain.  Sounds like a perfect set up.

As I said, I kind of like him; I think he is sincere.  I just think he's a little too focused on the business aspect and not so much paying attention to how he's portraying himself.  I think he probably does want a happy marriage.  He just needs to reconsider whether or not he's getting into it for the right reasons.

Or he's just a schemer who is planning to marry some poor girl, get her to lend all her money to him, and then run off and leave her stranded.  Anything's possible.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!


©2010 Pam Epstein

1 comments:

Sharon January 31, 2010 at 2:02 PM  

Here is what I believe is necessary to make a marriage: "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage" (Bosotn Globe #1 pick)---
www.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com

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