The Cocktail Bar

NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.

girls in Pit-london who love Aristasia and would like to visit Aristasian soil may discuss a Visit to the Aristasian Embassy, which is five minutes from an Underground station. Pop us a note if you are interested.

Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with: By the Light of the Silvery moon

Dateline: 31 January 1952

Bridal Fashions

Norma here, pettes! Gosh, I so regret having missed the Cocktail Party - I was stuck here in Kadorian Gotham working till all hours at the office, meeting magazine deadlines - but seeing Miss Leslie's photo album is almost as good as having been there.

 You see, we have just put the May issue of McCall's to bed (we always work on issues three or four months in advance), so next week I must start on the June issue, which, as any Kadorie girl knows, is always devoted to brides and weddings. 'Course, I don't want to sound too much like sweet, domestic Marcelene and start lecturing you on the virtues of washing machines and Sensible Shoes, but I understand some pettes were seen leaving Miss Barbara's party holding hands, and a few couples even stole discreet cuddles and squeezes (well out of range of Miss Leslie's otherwise ubiquitous camera).

 What I am getting at, girls, is that one thing leads to another, and, who knows? There may be a few June weddings just because of this very wintertime party! I know that it happened last year after Miss Barbara's party: a perfectly melting blonde, Melody, and a mild brunette named Maxine fell for each other over that last game of Likenesses: they were engaged on St. Valentine's day and were married in April, and the only reason they did not come to the party last week is that Melody had just come home from the hospital with brand-new twin blondes! (No, she did not name them Flora and Nora; they are named Rachel and Ruth.) So for that lucky girl among us who may have a trip to the altar in her future this year, I can think of no better time than right now to explore up-to-date bridal styles, so that she can make that sacred trip down the aisle in high Kadorian fashion.

 But bridal styles must wait a bit... As every girl must spend considerable time between engagement and wedding assembling her trousseau, she must first acquire a suitable wardrobe for shopping and for Being Seen About Town, one that proclaims to the world that, though she is not yet a married woman, she is no longer, um, in the running, so to speak. Flirting with anyone besides one's fiancée during the banns has disastrous potential for a girl's matrimonial prospects, so her attire should do nothing whatever to encourage it. Betrothed pettes should start thinking of slightly more mature outfits, slightly lower hemlines, slightly less flamboyant hats, shorter gloves, lower heels and so forth. Only slightly, mind you: a girl is certainly in no hurry to abandon the field too quickly: withdrawal must be dignified, but not abrupt.

 What I did not tell you is that the May issue each year is devoted to preparations for June weddings - how to send out proper invitations, how to register one's bridal patterns for silver, crystal and china, pointers on purchasing (or making) a bridal gown and bridesmaids' dresses, what "special frillies" to buy for the wedding night, how to deal with the church, the caterer, the florist, the dance band, the photopette, and so forth. For this year's May issue, we picked three prospective blonde brides last year and followed each one for a full day on her rounds, from getting up in the morning to switching out their lights at night, so we could show our readers how exciting (and exhausting) it can be to prepare for one's wedding. And guess who one of last year's three blonde brides-to-be? That's right, none other than Sweet Little Melody, the one with the twins!

So here is a photo of Melody after she had emerged from one (of many) forays to the Blonde Bride's Shop. We cannot see what is in the ribboned box, but, from its size (and from the radiantly expectant look on Melody's face), we can divine it most likely holds some Very Special Wedding Night Garment whose main function lies in its removal. >Cough, ahem!<

 But we needn't hazard a guess as to what Melody has on at the mome: we can say with authority that it is a pert apple-green suit in soft worsted wool with a satiny lime-green rayon lining. The lapel-less hacking jacket has large, self-fabric buttons, the suit skirt barely flared but otherwise rather tight, a kick-pleat in back which we cannot see and hem just barely (but demurely) below the knee. The apple-green of the suit is daringly complemented by high-heeled pumps in plum-colored kid with gloves to match, and a plum-colored round felt hat with narrow brim and jaunty ribbon behind, like a wind-stiffened pennant on a sleek racing-yacht: this pette is sailing close to the wind, nothing can stop her now! The plum-colored veil is worn folded back, leaving Melody's face bare, an intimation of the moment Maxine, soon to be her legally-wedded wife, will solemnly raise Melody's long wedding veil for the first matrimonial kiss in full view of friends and family together assembled in jubilant witness.


Particular Interests

Oh, Elizabeth Ruth - Like you, I' m looking forward to hearing how Miss Featherington reacted to Miranda's report. It would be quite fascinating to hear what she said to herself, as well as what she said to Miranda! I rather wonder how Miranda got on with school essays, don't you? Ellhedrine is certainly right when she mentions that blondes tend to be good at creative writing. I really think that Miss Featherington must have a Particular Interest in that young blonde--but will she ever admit it?


Clever, but Wiggly

Oh, Ellhedrine, you are so right about blondes and charades. Leslie must have been too busy snapping those pictures to notice that the blondes at the party were tops at the game. And all the other brunettes noticed how delicious those blondies were acting out such titles as "The Grapes of Wrath," "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "On the Waterfront." Have you pettes ever noticed how blondes tend to wiggle a lot in this game? Maybe that's the reason it's a favorite one for brunettes to suggest at parties.



But where is the uniform?

Hello everyone. I'm back, I hope you missed me. Sorry I haven't been back sooner, but I have just been so busy. I had to drop in to find out how Miranda enjoyed the book Vicky of Wakefield, and I am just more confused then ever. How come a book is called Vicky of Wakefield, yet it has people named Primrose in it instead of Wakefield? And where is Vicky at, and what does her character do? It just doesn't make sense to name a book Vicky of Wakefield, and then not have at least a Vicky in it. But, it has made me think. Now I know what I want to be when I grow up, I want to write books. But, I will name the books on the characters, so that people won't be confused when they check it out of the library. If I write a book on a nurse, then it will have nurse in the title. And if I write a book about a Lucy, well, Lucy will be in the title. It makes perfect sense to me.

 giggle I heard all about Miss Featherington going to Miss Barbara's cocktail party, and how a blonde took her picture, and now Miss Featherington is all upset, and says she will never again, not in a million years go to a party, no matter what happens. I don't understand why she is so upset about everyone seeing her picture, for she looks very nice in it. It's not as if the picture was snapped when she was perhaps, shoving birthday cake in her mouth in a very unladylike manner. That happened to a guest at my birthday party last year, and she just cried and cried until we tore up the picture. She was so upset, because she had frosting all over her nose and her chin. giggle We still have the negative though! But I just don't understand grown-up parties. You have to worry about giving away too many favors like balloons and rings, and you have to be careful about having your picture taken with your jacket off. The game of likenesses sounds like alot of fun, and I think I will ask if we can play it at my next party. I want to have a slumber party for my next birthday I think, if my mother will allow it. It will be great fun, and of course both you and Wendy are invited. We can play dress up, and charades and likenesses. Won't that be fun? Well, I hope Miss Featherington doesn't really mean to never ever again attend another party, for that would be too sad. She would miss out on all the fun others are having. Well, I must leave again but it was real nice seeing everyone again. With love,


Miss Featherington to Wendy

I am no longer so upset by what I'd heard regarding my picture being passed around in the Cocktail Bar. I don't mind, really, if some of the blondes giggled over seeing my picture, as they tend to giggle like that when they see me in person anyway, though I haven't the slightest idea why. I appreciate your reassuring me that no harm was done, and I might reconsider my decision not to attend future cocktail parties. In any event I will dress somewhat more severely so as not to be tempted to present myself in a manner unsuitable to my profession.


Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with: The Sun has got Her Hat On

Dateline: 30 January 1952

The Mad Miss Manton

Hello Dolls

 Well, our cinema wasn't able to get Mad About Music, but last night we did see The Mad Miss Manton, and then tonight a Myrna Loy film which featured the lovely Miss Loy saying that she was, and I quote, "mad about frogs." Yet no Mad About Music. But darlings, here's the thing: you simply must see the Miss Manton movie because it features eight delightfully giddy and gorgeous pettes. These dames don their ermine and mink to hit the streets of Gotham looking for a murderer. They are the most elegant mob you've ever seen. Why, it's as if eight of us put on our best and headed to the streets of Trent for an evening of mystery and mischievousness.



Yes, we've seen it! Isn't it the most cry-makingly lovely film. Do films make you cry not just when they are sad, or even when they are beautiful, but just when they are innocent and delightful and full of the life and gaiety that has been systematically drained out of the Pit? They do me. I'd love to see Miss Manton again at any time.

Blonde Intelligence

Allow me a brief moan at our Photopette. The lovely party-pictures were so delicious it seems almost ungracious to moan, but I must take exception to some of the things she said about blondes, suggesting that blondes are not normally good at Charades, and that brunettes are the only ones that can think up ingenious explanations in Likenesses.

 Really it just isn't true. If she had said that blondes don't know which pedal to use when they are driving a car, or that we can't find our way home from the shops, there might be some truth in it; but any one can tell you that blondes tend to be rather clever at things concerned with words and meanings and making things up. Not all of us, of course, but it certainly isn't a blonde weakness per se. Schoolmistresses will tell you that blondes tend (on average) to excel in creative writing and to be less good in subjects like mathematics.

 As for Likenesses, some of the most ingenious explanations I have ever heard came from my blonde cousin Laetitia.

 So there.

 I mean. Q.E.D.


Gravitas and Pinches

Did you hear what Miss Featherington just said? You know, I was just beginning to think maybe I was too, um, too serious for such a light-hearted place as the Cocktail Bar, you know, a little too much of the old gravitas and not enough levitas. I feel positively giddy compared to Miss Featherington, though. And imagine her calling this a COMMON meeting place! Well, if anyone could teach Miss Featherington to giggle, it will be sweet Miranda. In fact, I'll bet Miss Featherington indulges in some secret giggles over Miranda's report on the "Vicky Book", whatever stern response she gives Miranda in her official capacity. (And I can hardly wait to hear about that!) But girls, do you think she really meant it, about not going to parties any more? Surely not, since she came here to complain about the picture!

 The other day somebody said something about a pinch test for blondeness - apparently when you pinch a blonde pette she squeaks! I smile just thinking about it. But what happens, pray tell, when a brunette is pinched?


We are sure that by "common meeting place" Miss Featherington meant "a place where girls meet in common" rather than "a place where common girls meet".

 What happens when you pinch a brunette? Golliwogs! What an intriguing thought. I've never pinched a brunette, have you? I suppose in theory it is possible.

To Miss Featherington

I am so sorry you were offended about the picture in the Cocktail Bar. Really I thought it was a lovely picture, and every one else did too, and nobody said anything disrespectful or wrong, except some of the blondes giggled a bit, but that is only because they giggle nearly all the time.

 I've got a giggling habit, and once my cousin Hilary got quite cross when she was getting me to read an exercise from a school book and I started giggling, but it was only because I thought of a funny answer to the question. I didn't mean to say it, but I couldn't help giggling about it.

 But every one was saying how nice you looked, so you mustn't think anything is wrong or that you should stay away from another party.


After the party

What a delight to focus on Miss Barbara. No wonder Miss Leslie volunteered to stay late. A girl needs to focus on her femininity even more than ever these days. Miss Barbara is certainly that model of perfection. I giggle at the notion any pette would sleep in their gloves, but bongo lends itself towards that. I smile at Cherrylle and Genna as I lean back to fetch my pink lady. Recross my legs, and playfully wink at Candida.


Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with: You'd be so Nice to Come Home To

Dateline: 29 January 1952

From Bongos To Blondes

More piccies from Miss Barbara's Cocktail Party! Miss Leslie promised a photo of the three bongo girls who burst in on Angela in the changing room while she was so delightfully, um, demi-habilée. [Conversation in the Cocktail Bar halts abruptly.] Golly! I see just the mention of that picture got your attention tout de suite! Well, girls, calm down, we don't have a picture of the three bongos in Kadorian girdles or anything quite so riskay as that delectable self-portrait of Angela. Pictures like that come along only by the most breathtaking of chances, you know!

 No, Leslie's photo is modest, almost pedestrian in comparison. But before we show it to you, here is what happened in the changing room after the bongos burst in: introductions were made, Miss Barbara went downstairs once again to welcome her first non-bongo guests - that is, those Real girls in their own Real clothing who did not have to come early - leaving the three newcomers in Angela's care, giving her strict directions to assist them in their transformations. So under Angela's enthusiastic, if still inexpert tutelage, the three giggling bongos, whose birth names need not concern us, shed their coarse bongo garb and clad themselves in the loveliest, filmiest, silkiest feminine raiment they were able to find, that is to say, in Real girls' clothes, admiring themselves and one another at each stage in the process, then emerging, as if from chrysalises, as three absolutely adorable blonde Kadorian butterflies named Mavis, Beryl and June.

 Angela, having completed the charge laid upon her by Miss Barbara, and dying to try the stairs as she had promised herself earlier, (besides, she had become quite hungry and could no longer resist the delicious smells ascending from the kitchen), left Mavis, Beryl and June in their dressing gowns, assuming they would follow her downstairs directly, as they had each already picked out a dress for the evening and were already fully made up. It was now only a matter of their slipping into chosen dresses and perhaps doing up an awkward zipper here, a few stubborn, hard-to-reach hooks there, but nothing particularly difficult.

But Mavis, Beryl and June did not appear! It was not until well after the preponderance of brunettes downstairs became obvious that their absence was felt, at which point a search party, accompanied by Miss Leslie for purposes of documentation, was dispatched back upstairs. But of course nothing had befallen our three new blondes other than their discovering they had lots and lots of girly matters to talk about and catch up on. So absorbed were they in their blonde gossip and chatter that they had quite lost track of the time! Here they are, just as Miss Leslie caught them with her Speed Graphic. That's June on the left, Mavis is the one brushing her hair. Beryl is propped up on her elbows with her back towards us. Now, pettes, isn't this the image incarnate of the femmey chit-chat we promised you when you first discovered Femmeworld and were enticed to visit the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar? Isn't Aphroditism the thing?

Miss Featherington is not Amused

It seems that my presence at a certain cocktail party recently has caused quite a stir among the patronettes at the Cocktail Bar, and that some of them are even passing around pictures, one of which includes me. I am disappointed that splendid young ladies would spend their time gossiping and chatting in the Cocktail Bar rather than at home, reading edifying and ennobling works of literature. But I am made even more uncomfortable by thinking of my photo being passed about. Now, I am not denying that I enjoyed one or two glasses of champagne at Miss Barbara's party, and that the room seemed to grow stiflingly hot, in consequence of which I removed my suit jacket and hung it over the back of my chair. I intended to leave it off only until I felt cool enough to replace it -- it certainly isn't seemly for one in my position to sit at a a party with bare arms, unless it be a special summer party, held on a patio. But it was so comfortable sitting there with my jacket off and watching all the girls have so much fun at Charades (I didn't participate, as I'm afraid my capacity for acting a dramatic part is rather limited). I didn't realize until too late that one of the girls with a camera had snapped my photograph. Suddenly the camera was there, the flash bulb went off, and the girl ran away giggling, much to my discomposure. Still, I thought she meant the photo to be merely a record of the event, and not something to be passed around in a common meeting place. I'm afraid the whole incident has resolved me never again to attend such a gathering, no matter how the hostess might beseech me to attend.


The Magic of lingerie

I was enchanted by your wonderful essay, and in particular I know that wonderful feeling you describe as you climb the stairs...

 I myself delight in that feeling, the sensation of my clasps pulling at the silk stocking-tops, the silk itself slipping slightly against my smooth pale thigh. It arouses all my deep seated sense of myself and my femininity.

 As far as your comments on corsetry go, I do wear more severe corsets on occasion, but feel they dampen my true personality slightly, while my more delicate support wear and in particular a lacy basque will allow me to feel closer to my feminine spirit, and that sense of sensuality as I feel my stockings held lightly in place by the clips.


More Redheads

Lycress, I admire your elegant posture! Dear Genna and Cherryle, please don't feel neglected. Your charming company is greatly appreciated. Personally, I don't think that you should worry about whether you are a blonde or a brunette, or whether it will ' leave some parts of you out,' at the moment. I am sure that the problem will resolve itself over time. After all, perhaps you have a blonde persona and a brunette persona. Many girls have.

 In the matter of hair-colour, I think that red is very attractive, and I don't believe for one moment that you pettes have bad tempers!


Thank you for the explanation. I wasn't sure how redheads fitted into Aristasian society but I understand now. Thank you cherrylle for your encouragement and sharing your anxiety. These first tottering steps are the hardest for any new pette I'm sure, but we'll gain our balance as we go along, (especially if it's arm-in-arm!) Welcome Dana, a pleasure to meet you.


After The Party

Our gracious hostess, Miss Barbara, had planned a rather regulation cocktail party, to last from five until eight in the evening, but it lasted 'till two in the morning! You see, charades led to card tricks, card tricks to a magic show, then the McFadden twins played the piano and sang, and afterwards bravely recited the latest blonde jokes in their patented tag-team fashion, which everyone laughed at but nobody got (which is precisely why everyone laughed). After that, all indulged in a few rounds of Lemon Golf (where the players putt lemons about the floor with the handles of inverted umbrellas).

 After Lemon Golf, someone switched on the radio in time to catch Harriet James and her orchestra's weekly broadcast from the Delmonico Room at the Savoy-Plaza in Kadorian Gotham. So everyone danced for an hour, then cooled off with cold, fizzy drinks and a few rounds of Idle Gossip.

 Idle Gossip's a game where some made-up (or, even better, real) bit of gossip is written down on a card, then read in a whisper by the leader into the ear of the girl to her right, then it is repeated into the next girl's ear, and so on round a circle 'till it reaches the last girl, who proclaims the tasty tidbit out loud to all players as Dea's Revealed Truth. Then the leader reads the original from the card.... Of course, the more blondes at a party, the less the final version agrees with the original and the more hilarious the disparity!

 Then everyone got suddenly hungry but the hors d'oeuvres were long gone, and as a dinner party had not been foreseen, the larder was practically bare except for a carton of Aunt Jemima waffle mix, a jar of popping corn and endless quarts of home-made preserves. It turned out Miss Barbara had just found an up-to-date waffle iron fleeming the previous weekend, so the iron was plugged in, batter prepared, and one team made waffles, served up with Miss Barbara's delicious home-made strawberry jam, while another team popped popcorn in a wire basket over the coals in the fireplace.

After all were sated on waffles and popcorn, they settled down to a game of Likenesses, their slightly taut tummies ever so invitingly outlined by shimmering satins and silks. Now, Likenesses is a sort-of-a-telepathic game where one girl, the leader, directs all the others to close their eyes, (and the blondes to stop giggling expectantly), in order to visualize what ordinary object she, the leader, is thinking of. The leader may have thought of, say, a piano, while the players may have thought of, say, an orange, a table, a teapot, or windowshade. Of course, no girl comes up with a piano except by the wildest of chances, so each telepathist must explain precisely how she came to misinterpret a piano as an orange, a table, etc.

 Now, this is not as innocent as it appears at first glance, because it gives a definite edge to clever girls with a touch of the Blarney (the brunettes, as a rule), who are usually able to so confabulate matters that each can impress and flatter the Blonde In Her Sights. This is precisely why a hostess desires an equal number of blondes and brunettes at a party and likes to play Likenesses last....

Which leads us to the final photo in our album - the one of the gratified hostess herself. So here is Miss Barbara in her bedroom, pensively drawing off her gloves in preparation for bed (no, you New sillies, a pette does not sleep in her gloves!) and recalling all the evening's successes with the profound satisfaction that only a successful hostess can feel. "What a stroke to invite the McFadden twins," thinks Miss B., and, "Those four bongo girls! What luscious mid-winter fruit born of summertime fleeming!" Miss B. is rightfully grateful to the Fairies for having smiled on her little party this evening, for having brought simple joy to so many girls.

 But, wait! ... Who, then, took this last picture? Why, Miss Leslie, of course, after all the others had departed. But isn't Miss Leslie a brunette? Golly, (you will say), we are confused! Does that mean that Miss Barbara and Miss Leslie are ...?

 Oh, such naughty thoughts, girls! You ought to be ashamed of yourselves! What ever would your mothers say? You see, the innocent truth is that Miss Barbara did not have a maid for the evening, so Miss Leslie kindly volunteered to stay on and do the dishes, that's all!

Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.

And here are LOTS of delightful girly places to go