Wednesday, August 27, 2008

There was an old maid in a garret, who lived with a cat and a parrot...

I'm right on track for living the spinster life the way it should be lived according to these postcards. I never got married (got asked, just didn't want to) and I do live with a cat and a parrot. That there were postcards made a 100 years ago about this way of life is just way too weird and coincidental for me to not think about collecting them. :-)

I think the whole spinster and parrot thing came from an old Irish song called "The Old Maid in a Garret." It's been sung by the Clancy Brothers, Steeleye Span, lots of people. The last line of the song goes "...And I'm away home to me own wee bit garret. If I can't get a man, then I'll surely get a parrot." So is that really the end of the world? I hear "You're so beautiful" and "You're so smart" all day long from one of my birds. How many married women can claim that? Ha ha ha.

This first postcard "Old Maid's Honeymoon" is the first of the spinster cards  I collected and my favorite because there's no snotty editorial attached to it (really, these cards are mean. Who would you send them to?). She's an odd looking thing but I'm hoping she's wearing glasses and is busy reading a good book. It's dated 1910. Not sure what to make of the lemon though.

This one reads, "Don't become a cross old maid. If you can't get anyone to marry, try to live like other women. Don't show your disappointment." 

"Oh, what a relic of centuries past!
It's dollars to doughnuts that you cannot last
Quite long enough to catch if you can--
What you are smirking for--a good old man."
(from 1905)

"No wedding bells for me." (from 1908)

"This is no place for a self-respecting bird!" The small print in the parrot's word balloon reads "Aw, go chase yourself!" (from 1910)

One hundred years later, women are still divided up between the marrieds and the ones who haven't married yet (men too, I guess). I remember when I was shopping for a washing machine years ago, the saleswoman couldn't figure me out because apparently only married people bought washing machines. When she showed me a model she thought suitable for me, she seriously introduced it as one that was popular with the widows. That made me laugh.

1 comment:

Q said...

Dear Maria,
I have been having so much fun this morning catching up with you!
My hot lime water, the space heater and your delightful posts have kept me cozy on this wet, cool morning.
I am going back for more fun!
Thank you.
Let's chat soon.