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: Dorita's Big Band with: My Fickle Eye

Dateline: 21 February 1952

Squadron Leader Estelle Fairchild

Just the other day Miss Annalinde described a daring and victorious air-raid by the Royal Novarian Air Force against a hideous bongo stronghold. In her quite understandable pride at the outcome of the action, I am afraid to say Miss Annalinde may have inadvertently neglected to mention that the Culverian Air Corps also took to the skies in support of the mission. The Culverians, flying their midnight blue Kadorian Mustangs, knocked out seven bongo fighters and nine anti-aircraft batteries, so that this week they are being toasted all over New Kadoria as heroines. And no flygirl is being more feted than Squadron Leader Capt. Estelle Fairchild, who received yet another citation for gallantry under fire, making her now the most decorated ace in New Kadoria.

Here is Capt. Fairchild in the cockpit of her Mustang, about to take off on a yet another dangerous mission. Her immaculate lipstick, eyebrows and nails reflect the great care and precision she brings to her by-now daily missions against the Forces of Darkness. Fortunate indeed is the enemy who is attacked by such a perfectly feminine warrior - to be struck by her 50 caliber light-cannon is an excruciatingly pleasant way to be restored to real femininity - once one is hit, that is. The anticipation is rather frightening, however.


A Brunette in Love?

And now I will tell you the rest of the story. It was really rather naughty of me to leave everyone hanging, but I had a sudden pang of conscience and thought that perhaps I had better ask Gratiana if she minded too terribly if I told all my friends at the Cocktail Bar about our tete-a-tete. She merely smiled a stunning smile and said I might tell all I wished, as she was certainly telling all her friends about St. Valentine's Day.

 So: On the fateful eve, I arrived at her apartment at eight o' clock, right on time (it is definitely the blonde's prerogative to keep a brunette waiting--any brunette who tried that trick would be in purdah for good). She came out rather quickly, for a blonde, but I suppose that is partly because she lives without any mommies to keep me entertained while she finishes her preparations. She did, however, have a roommate, a blonde's blonde, very talkative and sweet, and also very blonde in the conventional, hair-color sense of the word. I suppose Gratiana did not trust Francine (for that is the roommate's name) to keep me happy for long--or perhaps (and I like this perhaps) Gratiana simply did not want to leave me alone with another blonde for too long.... All idle speculation. When Gratiana did appear, only three or four moments after I entered the front room, she looked spectacular. She was wearing a dress of the most silky sea-green sheen imaginable, fringed all down its length, and had a soft shawl white crocheted shawl as a wrap. Her hair was twisted up in such a convoluted arrangement of curls and braids that I feared to touch it, and in a truly Vintessian style, she wore a broad headband over her brow instead of a hat--the headband matched her dress perfectly, and just the fancy eye-part of a peacock's tail feather was tucked into the band, curving delicately across her temple. She said later in the evening that she had made the entire ensemble, from crocheted shawl to silk headband (this gives me hope--I can't sew either, Norma, and with a blonde like Gratiana around, I might not be such a disgrace to fashion.... But how can I think such a thing? We've only had the one date...).

 We went with all due process to The Banshee. It is a speakeasy, but the food is the best in town--the chef is a Parisienne, and she is apparently a very temperamental brunette, sterner than Miss Featherington, even, when it comes to dealing with her blonde assistants. We had a wonderful meal, and then the was heavenly. She is just the right height for dancing--I am medium height, and she is very petite, so her head comes right up to my chin. Perfect. That is when I found out about her streak of fun, too, for when the band struck up a good fast tune, she did the Charleston with enough energy to make the lights on the band look dim! We won the contest, in fact, and then, at Gratiana's urging, I sang a folk song with the band ("Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"). Everyone was very gracious about my singing, and I think it was better than ever, if only because I had Gratiana's gaze on me.

 Do I sound like a brunette in love? I may be one.

 To make a long story short, we danced the night away, and closed down the speakeasy. It was the most joyous St. Valentine's Day I have ever celebrated. And for all you who want to know what happened when I took Gratiana home (at two a.m.), all I have to say is, she was raised very well, and I am a very proper brunette, and you will just have to wonder! The only detail I will give you is that no pinching whatsoever occurred. (Whether I regret that or not is another matter entirely.)

 Blissfully yours,


Peroxide & Henna

Hello darlings. Charlene gives her best. Oooh, its simply dreadful outside, I'm Soaked Through. Pardon? Yes, why thank you dear, Excellent suggestion. A hot buttered rum would be Perfection! I will say this for the Winter Season, which is nearly passed, at least I can wear my minks and, for once, not be overly warm. Unfortunately, the weather here doesn't afford one many excuses to bundle up in extravagant furs and being the Western Vintesse Blonde that I am, I try to never miss an opportunity to indulge myself. Perhaps I should relocate to Helsinki. Can you imagine?

 Drat, the flint on my lighter is damp. Could I trouble you for a light? Thanks ever so. You know, I've heard news from the pit that over the wall cigarettes and furs are practically Banned! Can you imagine? I mean, really, smoking is so Modern and Elegant, don't you agree? Of course, I wouldn't be caught dead puffing without my ivory holder.

 The band here is quite good. I simply adore this boogie-woogie phenom. Patience, my brunette, introduced me to it. She can really twirl me across the floor. I'm meeting her later for dinner. I simply must tell you. She's so thoroughly Competent, she has been giving me Flying lessons of all things. Can you imagine? It is just so Thrilling! I adore the Challenge of it. The Rush of wind, the Vibrating engine, Pumping the rudders! After a lesson with her I'm so elated, exhilarated and stimulated!

Do you think me Bold for a blonde? Well, I admit I am quite Modern but that comes from living in Vintesse. No, I can see you think its more than that. I have a confession. Promise not to tell? Come closer, see that? Yes, auburn roots! Can you imagine? I know its awful but I'm simply too irresponsible to be a true Brunette. Please, please don't think me deceitful. Not that I care a hoot for what's Proper, my entire life has been defined by scandal. I mean its just so frustrating for Society to expect one to behave in a particular fashion simply based on the Color of ones' tresses. Sometimes I've been so confused, ah me, born a brunette but a blonde at heart.

 Pardon? You say, hair color doesn't matter? You miss my point. I've tried being a brunette, and I've tried being a blonde. Can you imagine? You see, I can't do either for very long before I need to try the other again. Thank Goodness for peroxide and henna. Fortunately for me, Patience is well named. She puts up with my caprices and whims wonderfully. I do so adore her for it. We exchanged loads of chocolate last Friday, 14.

 Oh, dear Patience! I'll be late, where's the time gone?. You're sweet, its been lovely chatting like this but I must Run! How do I look? Is it still raining? I'll pamper myself with a cab.

 Twenty-three Skiddoo,


Welcome, Daffodil. We do hope you'll be back. It's nice to have a few girls from Vintesse after the recent Quiridorian hegemony.

Dancing, Sewing and the Hestia

How clever dear Annalinde is at catching every single word of the lyrics of the most delightful songs. There is a song that I have been trying to write down for you pettes for simply ages. Can I ever remember every word? No, I cannot, which is a pity as it is very amusing. It is about a blonde who knows where to draw the line with a brunette, and has a rather jaunty tune. It is rather a counterpoint to the 'persuasion' songs that Miss Barbara was talking about some time ago. [See the archives.]

 The song opens with a brunette verse which describes the romantic atmosphere of the evening, with the moon high in the Heavens, and the scene is set.

 But the blonde has decided that enough is enough, and sings:

 Nain, Nain, I won't go dancing
Nain, Nain, no more romancing
Nain, Nain, I won't go dancing
Until you marry me.

 Nain, Nain, no more riding,
That's plain, so start deciding,
Nain, Nain, my lips are tight
Until you marry me.

 It's been long since we've been going steady,
Now my lips are really ready.

 Here the brunette tries to persuade her to do all of these things, but the answer remains firm.

 Nain, Nain, I won't go dancing,
Nain, Nain, no more romancing,
Nain, Nain, I won't go dancing
Until you marry me.

 The sentiments may not be of the most elevated, but they are solid and decent. The blonde has decided that they have had sufficient opportunity to know each other, and that the time has come for the brunette to decide whether she is going to marry her or not. She has not the slightest intention of being a 'good-time' blonde, the kind that all the brunettes know is good fun, but would never take home to meet their mothers, for both her reputation and doing what is right are very precious to her. And the impression one receives from the song is that the brunette is rather inclined to be a 'good-time' girl herself, who is about to be reformed by a blonde with a sense of propriety. Like Annalinde, I only wish you pettes could hear it!

 Norma, you fashion journalists are so lucky. Imagine, girls, being the first pette to see the newest fashion. How fortunate we are to have you to share them with us! And as for Dreadful Secret - well, when I thought about it, I was not sure that I could name any brunettes who could sew, apart from maids. I can think of brunies who can make shift to sew a button or two onto a garment that has lost them - I offer no opinion on how well it is done-but I rather think that it is the blondes who take the honours in the art and craft of sewing.

 Of course, it is a craft, with its own symbolism. The blonde who sews may be an un-knowing participant in a ritual act, but I wonder whether on some deep level, she does know about it, as girls who do like sewing often seem to have an utter passion for it. The home crafts are important, as making the hestia is the single most important thing that a girl can do, I believe. The hestia is, after all, where all the joys and tragedies of life are played; where the virtues are trained and vices restrained. This would be true even if it was not for the Pit. The hestia is what connects us to Heaven, and with a sweet-natured, tender-hearted, and well-beloved blonde enthroned within it, it is a reflection of Heaven, isn't it?


Music Playing: Dorita's Big Band with: Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Dateline: 20 February 1952

Economical Fashions

Norma here, darlings. I must say, wise Marcelene has shown me my duty about not wasting precious fabric, but in the most blush-making way (for me, that is). Come closer, girls, I'll tell you a secret. Closer, Elizabeth and Candida, and you, too, Diana - closer than that, I don't want to broadcast it all over the Cocktail Bar, you know. All right, that's better. Well, here it is, but don't tell: I never learned to sew! There! I've said it! My blonde mother was all thumbs when it came to needle and thread - in fact, since we were fairly well off, Blonde Mommy always had her own dressmaker - and the maids did all the mending, so, naturally, (as my brunette mother's idea of a needle went no further than when one has to lift the phonograph kind out of that endless swish-swish groove at end of a record) ... well, I just never learned to sew! And if one doesn't learn as a girl, one almost never does - like riding a bike or swimming. But, perhaps I am not so very different in this from most brunettes...

 That doesn't mean, though, that I'm a wastrel with fabrics or somehow un-matriotic. I'll prove it to you with some convertible Mid-Kadorie post-war styles, where frugality in fabrics is no longer the watchword, but we waste not just the same. Here is a charming black rayon-linen suit: a blonde secretary's or receptionist's delight. But with just a little imagination (and four yards of printed chambray), you get not one, but four delightful ensembles - fashion's easiest trick, and no trick fashion, either.

First: here is the basic black rayon-linen basque suit with a luxuriously smooth-hanging, three-gore skirt (that makes you want to smooth it down with your hands even though it is already perfectly smooth, like petting a sleek cat), and matching cartridge-bag purse and turban, with contrasting white gloves... This suit clings to a girl without really clinging - it's flatteringly smooth yet demure - never too tight! (And don't the daffodils resonate perfectly with black?)

Next, behold a printed two-piece, airy chambray dress with new, post-war full skirt (75 inches!) and puff-sleeved top, long chambray gloves in the same elegant print. A large-buckled black rayon-linen belt and black portfolio bag make this the perfect outfit for luncheon or afternoon tea. Or one may wear this on a visit, say, to one's dentist: the portfolio bag is just the right size to hold a McCall's magazine to keep you entertained in her waiting room, and the decolletage is sufficiently high-cut so that even your brunette dentist's possibly errant eyes can find no purchase when she looms over you and says, "Open, please" in that voice that penetrates far more deeply into your being than her little, whining drill does into your tooth...

Third variant: here we have the basque tunic from the suit combined with the printed chambray skirt from the two-piece dress. This is no longer a luncheon or afternoon tea fashion, but something more suited for cocktails and early dinners. (For later dining, wear the turban and add a blue fox stole to set off the blue in the print of the dress. A diamond clip at the shoulder won't hurt, either).

Fourth permutation: take the skirt from the printed chambray two-piece dress and combine with just a yard of black rayon-linen to make the daringest wisp of a halter top, tied low in the back with a soft feminine bow, and you have a darling summer afternoon outfit for country wear, for those days when it is just too unbearably hot in the city and one must escape to mountains or seashore and reluctantly abandon the levers of urban commerce and progress to those serious brunettes for whom summer heat is a challenge. Have you ever noticed that Gotham in August is an almost all-brunette city?


Another Song for the Heart-Broken

Well, well, with all this war-talk these days, I thought we might be in need of something a little romantic, harking back to the conversation a week or two ago, when it wasn't about short hair and short commons, but about broken-hearted blondes, and brunettes in similar condition. Well, here is a lovely song (Kadorie, I think) that quite brought a tear to the eye. Gosh it is so frustrating giving you pettes the song without the tune, because it is the wonderful tune that turns the trick. I bet none of your eyes are moist in sympathy, when you can't hear the lovely dance-band and the sweet Kadorian blonde singing:

Oh, You Crazy Moon

When they met, the way they smiled,
I thought that I was through.
Oh, you crazy moon
What did you do?

 When they kissed they tried to say
That it was all in fun.
Oh, you crazy moon
Look what you've done.

 Once you promised me, you know,
That it would never end.
You should be ashamed to show
Your funny face, my friend.

 There they are, they fell in love,
I guess you think you're smart.
Oh, you crazy moon
You broke my heart.

 Well no doubt you pettes are finding more and more up-to-date music every day as your racination proceeds, so no doubt you'll hear it one day. And then you'll shed a tear, or I don't know you as well as I thought.


Where the Battle Lies

Aristasians in battle with each other? How sane of you to know intuitively that this would never be the case. Could a foot be at war with an arm? Would a eyelash wish to battle a mouth? And what fair maid would ever wish to take her warrior self into battle against her own fair sister? We battle side by side, and our enemy is the ugliness and spiritual depravity that exists outside of our world.

 Thank you friend Annalinde for telling us of the lovely Fairy-sent dream. Sometimes a girl feels such battle fatigue and a little matriotic talk helps pick up her spirits so.


Aphorisms for Victory

Your fleeming adventures are very interesting, Elizabeth O., and your little girl sounds delightful. What other things have you found for your lovely hestia? Do tell us all about them. It is very important War work, as every time one replaces a bongo thing with something Real, it is a stroke of war and brings us a tiny step nearer to V.T. Day. Remember, pettes, that a hat bought is a battle fought! Gloves worn at all times, will help to break Enemy lines! Aristasian language, thought and deed, helps break the pit like a rotten reed! The Imperial Navy, Army and Air Force need the help of the pettes on the Home Front too!

 Anyway, enough of War aphorisms. Dashing Diana, you managed to keep very quiet about your little blondie. I am looking forward to hearing more about her. How terribly sad to be an orphan, especially for a blonde! You must be extra kind to her in your inimitable best brunette manner. I do hope that she is a well-brought-up blonde, especially after your most unfortunate experience with a fickle-hearted brat.

 Cherryle, how nice to hear from you again. The weather must be better there than here. Jennifer has put no washing out to dry for a week! Well, pettes, here I am in Quirinelle, and Jennifer is with me too, of course. Golly, talk about the land of flowing milk and honey! The land of peace and plenty! Do you know, pettes, that nothing is rationed in Quirinelle?

In the shop

Jennifer: Good day, young lady. Have you any stockings?

 Shop-girl: Yes, Miss.

 Jennifer: And how many am I allowed to buy for my Mistress?

 Shop-girl: As many as you've got the money for, Miss. 

Jennifer: Have you got handkerchiefs?

 Shop-girl: Oh, yes Miss.

 Jennifer: Have you hair-grips? 

Shop-girl: Certainly, Miss. 

Jennifer: And reels of cotton? And embroidered table-cloths? And combs? And petticoats?

 Shop-girl: Why, yes Miss. 

Jennifer:Miss Candida, Miss Candida, the War's over!

 She was so excited that it took some time to explain that although the War does not affect Quirinelle as it does Kadoria, when we return to Kadoria the War will still be there. She thought for a few moments and then cleared her throat.

 "Miss, is it permitted to take purchases with us when we return to Kadoria?"

 On being assured that this was so, she returned to the shop and ordered so many items that I fear to see the bill when it is presented.


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