make parties gay

Back in the 18th century, gentlemen advertised for love in the Maryland Gazette

“Wanted, a young woman who is between 15 and 22, who can take care of a single man’s linens and otherwise attend to him, in case of indisposition, to make tea and occasionally amuse him with a tete a tete. As a very genteel salary will be given, ’tis expected that the lady will be likely as to person, and cheerful in her temper; such a one will not be offended at this manner of address.

“The advertiser is serious, and in earnest. He hopes an idle curiosity will not lead anyone to be impertinent. A letter directed to D.M.L to be left at the printing office will be duly attended to. The utmost honour and secrecy may be depended upon.”

Here’s one from the Daily Advertiser

“Wanted by a young gentleman, a lady of 18 to 25 years old, well bred and with a fortune of not less than £5,000; sound in wind and limb, 5’4″ without shoes; not fat but not too thin;

sweet breath and good teeth; without conceit or affectation; not too chatty and not quarrelsome, but yet with character to pay back a score; generous; not over fashionable; the sort of person who can make parties gay; who can keep her husband’s secrets so he can open his heart to her without restraint, and can with a light heart reduce the budget if necessity requires.”

In 1795 a Bristol paper carried this poetic advertisement

A gentleman needs a companion to journey with him towards matrimony; his intention is to depart as swiftly as possible, to leave the main roads and highways and to stroll in the paths in the woods of love.

His fellow traveller must be healthy, not too fat because that would make the journey troublesome, and to while away the hours of the marriage state, the chattier the better.”

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 7:23 am  Comments (36)  
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36 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “the chattier the better.” …….. let joy be unconfined ……. madness I tell you – madness ……

  2. I also like my women of sound wind and limb.

  3. I know some woman who can definitely “make parties gay.” 🙂

  4. I’m sure it’s hard to summarize what you are looking for in a helpmate. Which is what makes it fun to read the personals in search of creative writers. One man wants a secret-keeper so he can open his heart to her without restraint. Another just wants restraints. “Not too fat and chatty” doesn’t seem likely to generate many winners, but maybe that’s just me. I’ll bet Nurse Myra’s readers would place interesting ads.

    Klaus Effide

  5. I wonder if these would get any hits on Craig’s List?

    Santa Cartoon Riddle

  6. Haha!! This kills me…

    …Give me his linens, I’ll take care of them!

    • I bet you would !!

  7. “not too chatty and not quarrelsome, but yet with character to pay back a score

    this guy’s looking for a body guard/collection agent…

    • “Character to pay back a score” sounds a lot better than “can bounce a douchebag’s head off the floor.” I had a girlfriend who did that to some douchebag and it was hot.

  8. Sound of wind is an absoloute MUST!

  9. and here I thought all these years that personal ads were a contemporary idea.

    • Me too YnB. Quite the eye opener aren’t they?

  10. Blimey there are a few rules set down there in the Daily Advertiser … I wonder if he was successful in his quest? Must agree with the sound in wind .. something I think has gone by the by today … 😉

  11. I think I have seen these on Craiglist

  12. These seem more interesting, less entertaining than what one used to read in the City Paper.

  13. I: idle dandy in debt-defying linens. Thee: rich wench with cash. Thy wind is non chesty but thy chest serves as a wind break when cavorting upon the windy moors. Gay partying dost thou enjoyst, and not being taller than thy fellow Driad in the woods of love.

  14. I have a brain ache today. But hello.

  15. LOL!!! “Sound in wind…”?????????????

  16. Perhaps in those days one didn’t pay by the word when commissioning a personal ad.

  17. The guy’s ad from the Daily Advisor is a bit too much to ask. He’s looking to hit the love lottery. 5k, good teeth, sweet breath, 5’4 with perfect body weight and able to exact any measure of revenge. Shit, who doesn’t want all that. He might as well be writing a letter to Santa.

    • I picked up on the need for the fortune of not less than 5000 too. That description is almost like some of the ads you see where the company knows who they want but because of EEO have to put the job out for applicants, by the time you read the list of qualifications there’s only one person in the world who can fill them.

  18. Sound in wind? I take it curry and beans are off the menu then?

    • So are Brussels sprouts

  19. i enjoyed reading these. i think it’s a shame that we, as a society, have forgotten how to write so eloquently and, almost, poetically.

    • Very true.

      Nowadays it’s all things like:

      “looking for someone big and uncut with low hangers and no body hair.” Whatever the hell that means. Doesn’t sound like any woman I know.

  20. A few years ago I placed a series of ads on “Gothic Personals” in which I invented the most fringe characters I could conjure just to see who would respond.

    I was amazed at the responses I go, often pleased, often terrified.

    • Thomas, you had too much time on your hands 😉

  21. 5K, good teeth, sweet breath: sounds like a great horse to buy!! No Idea how you found my blog but I’m very much enjoying yours 😉

    • You can blame the links at Earwig Sandwich 🙂

  22. Haha! I was thinking from reading your posts that you would enjoy Earwig Sandwich!!! Isn’t Lulu a riot!? Fabuleux! Now I have two zany blogs to read…

    • Oh dear – I must get the hang of the wordpress reply system instead of leaving another comment…

  23. Believe it or not these types of ads still occur in some leve. I have read news stories about wealthy men putting ads in classifieds looking to give women free room and board in exchange for sex.

  24. “Not too fat.” Hmmmm…the meaning of that changes with every year, huh? Before I hit my 30’s, it had QUITE a different meaning that it does now. Glad I still don’t look quite like any of those images.

  25. if marriage were a salaried position, maybe we could negotiate shorter hours…
    now, about that walk in the woods…

  26. Sound in wind seems to have caught everyone’s attention. So he is OK with loud farts but not SBDs?

  27. Make me wonder how my want ad would go.

    “Wanted: girl, low self esteem…”

    Yeah I think that covers it…


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