Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I almost forgot to put up a post today. Been so distracted with life being super busy right now, blogging has kind of taken a back seat, but I am still here for you, dear readers. Today, another sad one:
Louise - In vain I have tried to reach you and to have a chance to explain. Can it be possible that you forget what we were to each other? Then why treat me so? What does it mean? You are mine and I yours, and you have said it in letters which I have. I will never give you up, and am ready any moment to consummate matters. "I am your wife," you wrote. Huckleberry.
Sob! Oh man, ads like this one just break my heart in two. Poor Huckleberry! I am not sure if there is any real world significance to those names; I did a search for Louise and Huckleberry and came up with lots of references to Huckleberry Finn, and there's no Louise in that book, so, I guess not. Anyway it would be an odd connection, not that people haven't used stranger pseudonyms. But, besides the point; this is sooo pitiful! Poor Huckleberry!
I think that this was a young pair who fell madly in love, had a passionate and exciting affair, made all sorts of promises, and then...Louise just lost interest. I don't know if this was some kind of forbidden relationship - any time people have to use the personals to communicate it's a sign that the couple was trying to keep in secret. But whatever Louise's situation, Huckleberry wants to get married right away, since he says he's ready to "consummate matters." I think when she wrote that "I am your wife" she meant in spirit as opposed to reality.
Although, if she really was his wife, that would certainly make this story a lot more interesting. I assume that when he says he's ready to "consummate matters" he's referring to getting married, but I suppose it's possible he's saying he wants to consummate a marriage that has already occurred (i.e., have sex). Imagine that! Huckleberry and Louise get married, but then she totally freaks out when they go to bed together for the first time (this is in the 1880s, by the way), runs back to her parents' house, and refuses to see him again! I don't know how often such things happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if women panicked about sex in the Victorian era; you spend your whole girlhood being taught to be morally pure and correct, and no one actually tells you what sex is, and in any event, women weren't really supposed to enjoy it (this is all ideology, to be clear; reality is, as always, a much different thing). So I guess when the situation actually, er, arose, it could have been pretty scary.
But, I seriously doubt that Huckleberry would have referred to that in a personal ad. That would be pretty direct - not to mention a little pushy, if Louise really was scared. So I go back to my original interpretation, which is that Louise burned out, lost interest, and is now avoiding sad, heartbroken Huckleberry. Poor guy. Maybe she changed her mind, or maybe it was just that her parents found out about her affair and forbid her to write him anymore. If not, though, I hope he moved on and met some other young lady to adore.
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2010 Pam Epstein