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This looks hopeless!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I don't mean to throw cold water over what, I suppose, could have been a enduring romance, but really the circumstances here seem to be against the advertiser's plans...


J.L.W. - The gentleman at the St. Louis Hotel, Philadelphia, residence Havana, who mailed a letter on the 11th February to a lady in Greene street, New York, will oblige the same by addressing a letter to her, New York Post office, as she has destroyed the two letters, and has forgotten his last name, and has moved, but would like to see him when he visits New York, Saturday or Sunday.
I'm not certain that word is "mailed," but it's got to be that, or something similar.  Unfortunately, this ad is a little hard to make out.  Here is my theory:

A wealthy Cuban gent was in New York on business and had a little rendezvous with a woman he met there.  He probably dropped a good deal of money on her (wealthy Cuban gents were very, very wealthy in the mid-nineteenth century, thanks to slavery and a massive and powerful plantation system), took her out for an evening on the town, put her up for a night or two in a fancy hotel.  Then he left, to go home, to Philadelphia, I don't know, but told he was going to be in Philly and then back in New York.

So she's thinking, this is great!  Another fun weekend with the dreamy Spanish nobility!  But let's just say this woman, she hasn't quite got her life together.  I mean, she spent a whole weekend with this guy and she can't even remember his last name?  Though, to be fair, in the likely event that she didn't herself speak Spanish, Cuban names would have been very unfamiliar.  Honestly if someone introduced himself to me as Señor Echemendía or Mosqueda I'd probably need a few reminders myself.  Although, really, I'd try a little harder if he was treating me well.  In any event, on top of being completely forgetful, our advertiser also "destroyed" the letters he sent her.  Why?  Temper tantrum?  Or when she says they were "destroyed," does she really mean "lost"?  Because she also just moved.  Lots going on here, lady!

I have to admit, she sounds pretty desperate.  Either she was totally stoked that she'd found some rich guy to look after her and has now lost that piece of paper with his address and is freaking out; or, she's broke and hoping that this guy who spoiled her for a weekend might do so again.  I wonder if the Cuban gent even saw this ad.  It was printed in a New York paper with a very, very wide circulation, so there's certainly a chance he got the edition, even in Philly.  But did he read the personals column?  Maybe that's how they met in the first place!  And if he did see it and recognize himself, what would he think about this woman who lost his letters, can't sit still, and doesn't even know his last name?  Somehow that's not a very appealing picture.

But maybe she was really strikingly beautiful and vivacious and her ditsy behavior is part of her charm.


Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2010 Pam Epstein

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