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Where's Waldo?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Well, yesterday was an exciting day for Advertising for Love!  Most surreal experience: riding on the subway and seeing the person across from me holding the Opinion section - though not actually reading my op-ed.  And now back to normal - but thanks for the good wishes, everyone!

One of the ads the Times printed was the charmer from Waldo, in Williamsburg.  (Williamsburg was its own separate city until a few years before this ad came out, which might be why he said "L.I." instead of "Brooklyn" - which itself didn't join New York City until 1898.)  But I actually wanted to follow up on this ad because it wasn't the only one he printed!  Yes, Waldo was a repeat offender:



"Fur Store." - The gentleman who interested himself for a lady, on Tuesday, about 2 o'clock, in finding a fur store in Maiden lane, will feel grateful and exceedingly obliged if she will permit him to form her acquaintance by any means or through any medium she may prefer.  He trusts she will pardon the presumption and address a note to Waldo, Herald office, informing him how he may address her and what are her wishes.

Okay, I don't know for sure this was the same guy.  After all, Maiden Lane is in Manhattan, and, more importantly, in the first ad he tells the woman to send a note to a Williamsburg post office, and in this one he wants the lady to direct one to the New York Herald's office.  But the ads are less than a week apart, and somehow it just seems too coincidental.  If his name was Jack or Henry or Christopher, it wouldn't mean much.  But from my entirely unscientific but nevertheless thorough exploration of these ads, I can say with some authority that Waldo was not a common name.  In fact, I can't say I've ever seen another Waldo.  So I'm supposed to think that when there's two right in a row that it's different guys?

Nah.  I might be wrong (I'm sure I often am), but anyway it makes for a better story to imagine there's this young man wandering around New York addressing personals to every pretty woman he sees.  (Or at least two of them.)  As I've said before, I believe that a lot of the men using personals this way - there weren't that many women  - were really sincere, but I also believe a lot of them were just impudent flirts just looking for fun.  And somehow Waldo strikes me as one of those, although this one does seem a little more formal. 

In any event, perhaps one of these girls answered, because I haven't seen any other ads from Waldo.  He seems very likable, so I wouldn't be surprised if things worked out for him.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2010 Pam Epstein

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