NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
PUBLIC NOTICE: On a lighter note, that wonderful Aristasian story Strangers in Paradise has sprouted a new episode at last; a delightful scene in a bar in Quirinelle, with a blonde barmaid and a fascinating brunette. Do pop over there. Well, enough Public Notices. On with the show.
Music Playing: Marychild's Dance orchestra playing "Stardust"
Alas, you had more pressing concerns. So, when I take my tumbler back to the bar for another of those delicious hot rum punches, I shall leave this note for you with the bartendress. Order yourself another Gibson, dear - it has already been paid for - and assure yourself that there are no curious brunettes in the immediate vicinity, as this is strictly between blondes.
I fear that there are those among us here, who would cut short your fun. Since your revelation the other night, tongues have been wagging and opinions expressed as to the unsuitability of your relationship with Madame de V. Would they have also have denied you access to the inner sanctum, I ask myself, or declared that a dude ranch was no place for a blonde? It seems to me that there is a certain "double moral" at play. Were a brunette to strike up a liaison with a glamorous, impeccably dressed copaine of the opposite sex, there would only be admiration, I am sure. Yet, we blondes are expected to wait around for Miss Right to decide it's time to settle down. Well, Ariadne, you have thrown caution to the winds in the pursuit of romance and adventure and I for one wish you every happiness.
Dearest Andrea, I cannot but wonder whether my brunette sensitivities detect just the faintest whiff of feline overtones to your solicitousness. No ...no, of course not, I am clearly mistaken.
And thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing your tip about Classic Fashions of Tulsa. It is so gratifying when one's all-absorbing interest in lingerie pays off so handsomely! I do hope Classic Fashions of Tulsa can deliver by air to Great Britain in time for the holidays: on your recommendation I have already placed an order for several of the very items you listed, putatively genuine Kadorian and Quirinellian stockings for a song! I can hardly wait to show them off here in the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar: they will go so well with my Nightingale suspenders and my starched uniform.
Music Playing: Glenda Mullerein's Orchestra playing: "Moonlight Serenade"
She seems to be moving in rather high circles, fancy eating in that rather posh establishment called La Gavrochette. Who would dream of eating in a basement? I can not but be worried that she has made a mistake taking up with her new rich friend. Is the price of a pair of new nylon stockings any substitute for the warmth and friendship she has met here in the Cocktail Bar? I may be able to help Ariadne about being able to afford buying new nylons, especially if she comes to her senses.
I have recently discovered during a new source for real 1950s nylons, that do not cost the earth. They come from Classic Fashions of Tulsa. For those of you that come to the Cocktail Bar through Elektra Space they are only just round the corner. Their WWW address is:
This is a snippet from their elektra catalogue:
Ultra Sheer Stocking
Our glossiest stocking, the ultra-sheer is made from some of the sheerest nylon available. This increasingly rare style was most popular during the late 1950s through the 1960s, and continues to be one of our biggest sellers!. Features include a reinforced heel and toe, with a special run-stop at the toe, and at the top of the stocking. 100% non-stretch nylon. 3 Pair for $23.95.
Fully Fashioned Stocking
Our most requested style! Most popular during the glamorous 1940s, these stockings feature matching back seams, keyhole-top, classic hourglass sole reinforcement, and a square-top French-style heel! Our version is a full 37 inches from heel to top (size C) for today's shorter hem lines. 100% non-stretch nylon.
1 Pair for $9.95
3 Pair for $27.95.
The dears at Classic Fashions will supply these stockings by mail order for a modest shipping charge.
There are also some rather nice black stockings and panties pictures of 1950s pin up Betty Page (I am sure that I have seen her over in the Common Room) at this WWW address:
It was through this site that I found a link to Classic Fashions.
I do hope, Ariadne dear, that you will see the light of day and take heed of these little tips from your real friends before you make a decision that you might later regret.
ANDREA Music Playing: The Quirinelles singing "Great Balls of Fire"
I'd love to talk with you...
Oh darling do not think that my heart is not with you, or that I would for one moment spoil your joy, if it were true joy. But consider: if this rich and charming brunette loves you as she leads you to suppose, would she not ask for your hand in marriage? Would she not commit her own life as yours has been committed? She gives you, dear, what she can easily afford to give, but with no security; and she takes in return your most precious gift, which can only be given once.
And how, sweet Ariadne, how if an event should befall you. I mean the sort of event that is normally termed blessed. How will you term it, dear blonde, unhallowed as it must be by holy matrimony? And what then will your friends say? What then your dear blonde Mummie? Your brunette Mummie? Your sisters, if you have sisters?
And then, dear Ariadne, suppose your sweetheart should prove untrue? What then, when the precious jewel that should have been reserved for the brunette who will unite her life indissolubly with yours has been bought - yes, bought - by a philanderer and cast aside like the outworn plaything of a spoiled and too-rich child? My sweet friend, what will become of you then?
Oh, Ariadne, desist, repent: turn aside from this primrose path to ruin before it is too late. Do not let mere temporary impecunity blight and despoil a fine young life. Perhaps we can raise a subscription here at the Cocktail Bar to help you through your present difficulties with honour and seemliness.
Oh, yes, you have fallen, dear Ariadne, as you yourself admit. But perhaps all is not lost. Rise again, sweet one; put temptation behind you and rise. Here are hands to take yours and help you to your feet. You have spoken only to the blondes here present; no brunette yet knows of your fall; and we, rely upon it, shall engage ourselves in a conspiracy of silence. We shall never speak. Rise now, Ariadne, while there is yet time.
With love and deep concern,
Do you know how it feels when you've been searching for the perfect accessory? You've envisioned it in your mind but have looked everywhere for it. The challenge of the hunt, the uncertainty ("Am I really so unusual as to think that this perfect item can be found?" you might think to yourself) and finally, the thrill when you find it.
That is how I've felt ever since finding a seat here in the bar, listening quietly, breathing easily, admiring, now hoping to be admired.
And wondering, too - faced with the interesting question to take home this evening after I've finished my toddy here. Am I a brunette or a blonde? I've always thought of myself as a brunette, with the attitude of a Katharine Hepburn (and, yes, even her film characters' clothes, too. Wouldn't you just die if you became the owner of those fabulous suits she wore in the film "Adam's Rib"?) But perhaps I'm a blonde, like Audrey Hepburn. After all, ladies, what girl doesn't yearn to be taken care of the way Audrey yearned to be and (to continue the comparison) to wear oh-so-feminine costumes from "Sabrina"?
I've felt ostracized by others -- even women! -- outside. I love the company of girlfriends, but the politics of "The Pit" say I'm too feminine. Yet I've always felt that to be feminine is to be powerful in -- dare I say it? -- a "superior" way.
Enough wondering. It's just enough to find a home away from home. It smells so good in here, and the sounds of blonde and brunette laughter, the dancing by Orlando and -- ah, who was she?? They made such a fine-looking pair ... well ... they just melt my cares away. I'll return soon, I hope, perhaps to the Inner Sanctum, where I may let my brunette tendencies prevail a bit more. But now, home. I just bought a pair of the loveliest slate-colored stockings and charcoal-leather high-heels, perfect to wear with the pearl gray silk blouse and black tweed skirt with the kickpleat. Maybe I'll wear them when I visit next.
Music Playing: The Quirinelles singing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"
Dearest Pettes! It's been simply ages since last I balanced myself
on the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar's target stool, crossed my legs with that
acutely delicious frisson of nylon against nylon, cocked my chin
up and hoisted high a Gibson (and my hem, just a trifle less high). I hear
that at least a few of you, not just here but in the Common Room as well,
have been trying to find out where I have been these last weeks and more,
so let me fill you in. I have so much to tell you
[We beg the indulgence of our other readers and contributors for the space devoted to this article: Ariadne has been absent a month and she really has got a lot to tell you. Whether or not she realises it, (the latter being the more likely) her story raises a number of interesting questions about relations between the sexes -- The Management]Do draw nearer, Ellhedrine, Andrea, Jewel, Mary, Ophelia, Sabrina and
Well, Pettes, (Do we all have drinks now? and are we quite alone? no
brunettes lurking about?)
Well, in any event, she invited me to meet her at La Gavrochette restaurant at seven one evening, so I arrived promptly at nine-thirty: no Miss N. I was shown to the table, and after patiently waiting another hour and a half (my patience bolstered by four or five gibsons), Miss N. still had not arrived (some brunettes simply have no sense of time!), so I decided to order dinner anyway as I was absolutely famished. La Gavrochette offers superb cuisine, beautifully prepared, presented and served: I had myself a memorable dinner. But as the blondes' menu at this particular posh spot has no prices, I didn't realise what a bill I was incurring! (Mary, I see your glass is empty. Why don't you flit over to the bar, dear heart, and have Polyhymnia buy you another blonde bombshell?)
Needless to say, Miss N. never showed up. When I had finished my after-dinner
cordial and had been given the bill, I presented my BlondeCard to the waitress:
she took it but did not return. Several minutes later, however, the maitresse
d' did; she informed me curtly that my card had come up as canceled.
She rather gratuitously added that, even if it hadn't have done, the bill
exceeded my monthly credit limit anyway. (I have since learned that blondes,
whether single or married, are almost never permitted monthly credit limits
in excess of 100 guineas
Naturally, having no more than a few small coins with me and not knowing what ever to do, my first line of defense, as always, was to burst into tears, creating a modest diversion: a girl needs a little time to collect herself and think, you see. (You Pettes will understand exactly what I mean, I do not doubt.) A couple of minutes and several lacy handkerchiefs later, a very elegant brunette suddenly materialised and murmured a few quiet words to the manageress. Before I realised it I was being whisked away to the brunette's flat in Mayfair in a mauve Bentley, a slim, liveried brunette driver at the wheel and the very elegant brunette in back, hovering over me in solicitous attendance.
Now, Pettes, comes the best part! The brunette turns out to be Symone de V., the 35-year old heiress to an avionics fortune. Her firm, Aviontechnics Ltd., "is the largest privately-held manufacturer of gyrocompasses in the world" (so says Symone). No jet aeroplane is allowed to fly anywhere without at least a dozen of these pricey gizmos on board, not even her own Ladystar company jet. Her firm has plants in Ladychester, Bellefast and Malaya, so you may assuredly take my word that Symone has oodles of money. She has flats in London, New York and Sydney as well as houses in Palm Beach and Sun Valley and a villa in Bellagio. (That's six, is it not?)
And Symone is gorgeous: a bit taller than me, with short-cropped hair and blue eyes: actually, almost the same pale shade of blue as mine. High cheekbones, rather like Dianna Rigg, but with short hair. And when she decides to do something, there is virtually no stopping her. One can barely keep up with her on the pavement.
To make a long story short, your Ariadne is a very fortunate blonde indeed: Symone took a strong and instant fancy to me. She even told me she liked my mind! No one, Pettes, simply no one, has told me that for ever so long.
The very next morning Symone took me to a number of expensive clothing
and jewellery shops where she has accounts. Most of the day was spent measuring
And, even better, just a week ago Symone set me up in a charming little
five-room flat in Hampstead, with my very own maid, Brydgitte, a diminutive
blonde. Almost every afternoon another piece of jewellery arrives concealed
in an extravagant floral arrangement. In the evenings it's been one elegant
restaurant after another and then on to the theatre or opera. And every
Here I must pause to catch my breath lest I prattle on and reveal all.
Scarcely two months have passed since I was the New Girl in the
Aphrodite Cocktail Bar: diffidently did I assume my perch on the famous
art deco stool, ritually shifted my legs with an audible shiver of nylon,
discreetly displayed my slip's lacy hem
But, soft, do not be alarmed, decorum shall prevail. Aphroditism has taught me that the less said or shown and the more implied or imagined -- the more feminine, though even the oblique admission that follows may forfeit me forever any claim I may have had to being a good girl -- I do *so* fear the consequences. If ever I am called to account I shall plead the triple defenses of diminished capacity, pecuniary necessity and divinely irresistible opportunity.
But, la! Enough! With quintessential feminine modesty, suffice it to
say that I should be less than candid were I not to tell you Symone is
a proper Renaissance brunette, talented in many spheres of feminine endeavour.
Especially how she uses her
I daren't remain here even a moment longer as I must get back before Brydgitte returns; I wouldn't want Symone to learn I'd gone out on my own. Not just yet. I shall be back in a few days' time. Wish me luck, Pettes!
As ever, your fun-loving, adventurous and now ever-so-fortunate though
A special post-script from Ariadne to Jewel
It is so wonderfully generous of you to have been concerned for my well-being.
Surely enduring a long cold dark bleak winter without silk stockings, hot
toddies, fresh flowers and the thousand natural pleasures that blondes
are heir to
If memory serves, "Once December starts the management shall be serving
hot rum punch at the Bar at threepence ha'penny," (my memory always serves
when it comes to bargains in beverages), and as December is now hard upon
us, on my way out I shall ask the bartendress to set one up for you. I
am almost certain I have a shilling somewhere here about me. Sorry I can't
join you, I really must run now.
At 6:30 a.m. today we again sighted the mauve Bentley, described in my previous minute, leaving a Hampstead address, driven by a slight brunette in uniform. As the passenger windows were black glass, we were unable to see the other occupant(s). We tailed it to the private aviation section of London Airport, where it delivered the fashionable brunette previously described, to whom the codename Lynx has now been assigned.
Lynx strode through the terminal, carrying a briefcase, boarded a black Ladystar private jet bearing no markings and was flown off at 7:42 a.m. Departure Control was not able to inform us of Lynx's identity, but did say the jet belongs to Aviontechnics Ltd. and had filed a flight plan to Kuala Lumpur.
The blonde individual was not seen. We followed the Bentley back into town, where it was garaged at an address in Mayfair.
Details of addresses, routes driven, etc. may be found in the attached
log. Please advise by return if you desire me to obtain warrants to search
the two addresses for M. B. Ariadne. Has your contact Yrsula
provided further lingerie details? Do you wish me to attempt an identification
of Lynx? Shall I inform our stringerette in Malaya? Time is of the essence,
as with only one refuelling stop the jet's E.T.A. is sixteen hours from
takeoff, at approximately 11:42 p.m. G.M.T.
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR NYCOLE ANNECHILDE
I am afraid that I don't write stories or anything very interesting.
I do photograph, but I can't share my photographs with you here. Perhaps
someone would like to come over and see them sometime? They are mostly
self-portraits. Does that make me self-centred?
Of course you will fit in. Just hop on a bar stool -- careful, we don't want every one to know the colour of your pink slip and tell us whether you are blonde or brunette (not your hair-colour, of course!)
As I was walked down Long Acre I caught an unmistakable tinkle of laughter. My heart jumped and I turned to look as Ariadne left that delightful French restaurant Le Palais du Jardin. She was dressed in a crimson silk suit with creme lace stockings and leaning on the arm of a rather majestic brunette.
The brunette was wearing a leather catsuit similar to Emma Peel's and her dark hair was cropped in a rather severe short style. Her piercing blue eyes caught my glance, challenging me to look away. She was quite menacing and quickly walked the other way almost hauling Ariadne along behind her.
The shock was immense - I stood watching them as they disappeared towards Drury Lane. Ariadne almost tripping to keep up with the brunette.
A blonde answering to the description of M.B. Ariadne, as posted in last week's Missing Blondes Bulletin, was seen leaving Asprey's jewellery establishment in Bond Street at 3:14 P.M. yesterday in the company of a fashionably dressed brunette. They were driven off in a mauve Bentley, number plate M-65854, and were followed to Penhaligon, a perfumery in Covent Garden which they entered at 3:49 P.M. At 4:52 P.M. they emerged and were directly driven away in the same car. But I regret to inform you that we lost them in heavy traffic.
As nothing appeared unusual, however, and as the blonde was evidently enjoying herself, no attempt was made to approach the pair. Therefore no vital lingerie details could be verified and no positive identification was possible. In this officer's opinion, if the blonde individual is indeed M. B. Ariadne, she did not appear to be very missing.
A computer vehicle check reveals the Bentley is registered to Aviontechnics
Ltd., a firm with headquarters in London but research and manufacturing
facilities in Ladychester and Bellefast.
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR NYCOLE ANNECHILDE
But are you quite sure you wish to visit the Inner Sanctum? Although you haven't declared it, I sense you are a brunette, and therefore constitutionally sound enough to survive a visit unscathed. Nonetheless, you might want to catch Miss Barbara and ask about her visit there several weeks ago. And, if you check the Archives, you will see what effect the Inner Sanctum had on at least one blonde, our own Ariadne, who has never quite recovered her wits, such as they were, and has now gone missing.
Sure, I'd be happy to accompany you. I'm a sister at a mental hospital, after all, and I've seen everything. But we'll have to go on your secret password: I don't have one.
We are all listening, aren't we, girls? ... YRSULA
Peggy's story follows later. But Yrsula
Melanie, might I complement you upon your lovely poetry, as well as your lovely smile? And Janet, what a horrible tease you are! I do hope you can sit down soon, love. Seeing the thoroughly delicious Ellhedrine, I can certainly see how anyone could be tempted into sin. And Cynthia, how delightful you look perched so decorously upon your stool. All of you are a delight to every sense. My work in Philadelphia has quite exhausted me, and it is such a pleasure to relax for a change for an evening.
But Patricia, I must confess it is a special pleasure to meet you; one
auburn-haired firebrand to another. (I consider myself a brunette who's
on fire!) (smile) Might I be so bold as to offer you a drink?
ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION
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.
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