The Cocktail Bar Archive

Memories of Evenings Past

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


Welcomes from Amy

Hello to all of you pettes! And a special welcomey hello to Miss Anon, but surely this isn't really your name, now is it? Please do tell us your name, and tell us, too, if you are Blonde or Brunette, for these things matter ever so much around here! Miss Anon, I do know perfectly well how you feel, for when I first came into the Cocktail Bar and Femmeworld, I felt as if I had come home to a home I never knew existed! Of course, one feels bewildered and befuddled in the Pit, and of course one would feel perfectly welcomed in this place, a touch of sanity in an insane world; or, I should say, outside of an insane world, for Elektraspace is in Aristasia, not in the Pit, and that, to sum it up, is why you feel at home here! Any normal girl would. Don't worry about picking up the "lingo" as you called it. All will be made known to you in time, if you stick around (and of course, we hope you do want to stick around... Darling, may I buy you another Pousse Cafe? Doesn't Ariadne layer them just right, for a Blonde I mean). I can tell straight away that you are a real girl because you know that you have been brainwashed by all of the decades of darkness (how many have there been by now? Well, Blonde little old me just loses count so easily!). Only the brightest and best of girls even know that brainwashing is exactly what goes on in the Pit. All this chit chat to say, welcome aboard, Sweetie! (I suppose I should have left that welcome aboard comment to Miss Barbara, who I understand is sailing this way, even as we speak, but, La!) And Miss Fox, what a yummy ensemble you had on the other night. I adore green. It is so lovely to have you in our delicate company once more. I would say that a girl needs not to take care of herself, but rather to have someone else, a loving superior or a capable Brunette (if one is Blonde) take care of her instead. Then, perhaps she can take care of another sweet soul. It's so much more snuggly to my way of thinking, but, of course, I never did like the idea of taking care of myself for it felt so very lonely. I do hope you had someone on your arm throughout the evening you described. And who was the lucky girl you were knitting that lovely Quirrie sweater for? Well, new friends of mine, I am off, as they say! Many loving goodbyes until next time,

AMY



Music Playing: "You'd be So Nice to Come Home To" sung by Miss Lindy Lynne with the Ladyton Six 

Individual and Collective Thoughts

I have been quite amused this morning by a little thought that keeps going around in my head. The Fairies must have prompted the most active minds on the earth to become Aristasians. And, as the Wildfire girl who responded to the bongo said, Aristasians do not put forward individual thoughts, but rather, they think similar thoughts, beyond the creation of any one girl. So, the most passive minds think they are so smart for thinking individual thoughts, and the most active minds think collective thoughts. For some reason, this tickles me. The same way a similar idea about clothing tickles me, though maybe I have already told you this one. Everyone in Bloomington walks around thinking that the clothes they choose express some sort of individual personality, when, in fact, they all look exactly the same -- like clones of one another. Whereas, I walk around, trying very hard to look just the way all Aristasians look, and I end up looking like I am the most individualistic of them all (because I look so much different than the other residents of my town). In fact, I am very proud to say that I'm the least individualistic of them all, particularly in the way I choose to dress!

AMY


What's a Girl to Do?

The weather here in Sydney has turned a little cool - all the better for the varied activities this energetic brunette copes with. If I told you girls all I did in a week, you'd be wondering how many hours and days this planet runs on, so rather I'd just like to compare last night to tonight. Last night, oh so glamourous, dressed in the most wonderful flowing formal gown, bias-cut sea-green chiffon, delicately beaded, overlaying a long bias-cut full-skirted dark-green gown with the most beautiful lace and beadwork on the bodice. High-heeled suede green pumps, long emerald-green gloves and the stunning green cashmere cape over the whole ensemble as I entered the dining room of the Hotel Australia for a night of dinner and dancing and wonderful company. The band closed at Midnight, and we carried over to a small, elegant club on York Street for late-night cocktails and brandies, and exquisite music from their club players. Home as the sun rose, to a light repast and then a few hours sleep before the day's duties began. (Being a Saturday morning, I didn't have to work, but there's one's beauty regime to be adhered to, n'est-ce pas?). Tonight, attired in a soft, comfortable woolly robe, the slippers my best friend Coralie made for me, and with hot soup, buttered toast, a good book and my knitting, I am spending a quite few hours beside the fire and letting the world go past. The company of a good friend would not go astray, but it isn't essential and indeed, I would not be lonely if the evening were to pass solitary. I feel it is so important for us all to have our fun, and equally important for us to have our times of peace and restoration - whether an evening by the fire, a long walk through the woods or park, or just curling up in bed late one morning with a coffee and the morning paper. Without these periods of self, the results of too many late nights will soon ravage our oh-so-soft complexions, not to mention our tempers and our health. So, girls, remember that taking care of ourselves is just as important as enjoying ourselves - and can often be the same thing. Yours very truly,
MISS FOX

Seeing the Light Afternoon, everyone.

Please help me. I have been trapped in a world created by those who never cared about my concerns for so long that I am in a bit of shock to find placed like this and Femmeworld. Places that do not thrust pre-formatted femininity upon me, but rather leave it to me to define my own persona, aura, sexuality, what-have-you. If only the rest of the world could either disappear or transform itself into such a place as this! After browsing for some time through Femmeworld, I just had to follow the link here, and I am hoping that some of the patrons of the cocktail bar could be kind enough to explain some of the lingo to me. I'm catching on, albeit slowly, but it's hard to sift through years of brainwashing to finally see the light. Thank you so much for your help. I'll check back soon to see if anyone read this. Thank you.

ANON 


Good Fences, Good Neighbors

The other day, after a full morning, I enjoyed the simple luxury of reading a magazine. No, not one of those scandal-rags that only promote the disgusting "values" of the Pit, but a real magazine from Kadoria (the 1940s). If you've never had the pleasure of reading a real magazine, I would strongly encourage you to make this effort. For in real magazines, one finds affirmation of goodness, order, beauty, and truth, affirmation and acceptance of these things as normal, and as virtues one should aspire to. After copying down a recipe or two and noting the latest in fashions and hairstyles, I read a touching letter to the editor. A reader had written to discuss how good fences make good neighbors: because it is over a fence that a borrowed cup of sugar passes, and it is over a fence that two friends talk about Little Suzie's latest violin recital or how best to soothe the new baby's colic. And it is over a fence that appreciative comments are made on each other's gardens, and hints are shared about how to economize and make a comfortable home on a family's limited income. Upon reading this simple little letter, I felt so very sad. For, where I live in Pit America, there still are fences, but neighbors no longer stand on each side of them, sharing helpful hints about keeping a house orderly or raising a family lovingly. The fault for this pitiful condition rests completely on a sick and cruel society that would invert everything decent and normal and name these things as trivial and trite, replacing decency with perversion and rudeness. If you are new to this site, and you have read thus far, you probably feel a deep longing for real neighbors, just as I do. If so, I invite you to move to Kadoria and buy a little tract home right next to the one we are going to purchase. There is a perfect white picket fence that separates our houses. You can comment on my tulips just about to bloom, and I'll compliment your lovely jonquils. When the little ones are asleep, we'll chat about everything imaginable: how to keep our homes in spit-spot shape the most efficient way possible (have you heard about that astonishing machine that actually washes dishes!), and how to cope with the occasional tantrums of those toddlers we each have. Everything is, of course, hideously ugly in the Pit, but, here, where we will live, in a loving neighborhood that respects goodness and honesty and cleanliness, life is quite lovely; quite lovely indeed. And remember, new neighbor of mine, that a well-run home does not end at the front and back doors; it shines in the face of the clean, well-mannered child living therein, and it blossoms in the heart of that Brunette Mummy, eager to return to the sanctuary of her home after working so hard at the office.

AMY 


Miss Fox and Femininity

I find it quite distressing that even a severe brunette could be mistaken for (I shudder) a man. I, too, had this disastrous experience in that twilight phase between losing childhood and gaining a true feminine body. Frequently I would be accused of masculinity, merely because in those times, males often did wear their hair long and wear flowered clothing. So now, even whilst pursuing tasks that require the donning of protective overalls, (and perhaps a smudge of grease on the cheek - oh how I do love tinkering with my beloved auto), I ensure I wear a loose chiffon scarf over my dark brunette-with-a-hint-of-red locks, and sufficient makeup to allay all suspicions. And, of course, a good barrier cream and heavy gloves to protect the hands. Heaven forbid that those lovely red nails should be soiled with oil! Your corresp.

MISS FOX



We are sure you look just like Miss Doris Day emerging from under her auto in Moonlight Bay. No one could mistake her for a chap. And, of course in films tomboys always learn the way of true femininity, just as widows and orphans are always restored to their rightful inheritance. Real films, of course. We don't know anything about bongo films. Does any one really watch them? 

The Scene Changes (or rather the actresses do)

Dear Cocktail Bar Patronettes,

Yikes! Was there really a chappie in here the other night, and saying such disparaging things about femininity? I so hope that no girl from Aristasia proper was here as well. Young Ellhedrine, were you present? What a shock to see a mythical creature in the flesh and blood. It would be a bit like one of us Tellurian girls seeing the Loch Ness Monster waddle through the door, sidle up to the bar, and order a highball! I am so glad one of those clever girls at the Embassy said such true things in response to Nick's query. Leave it to an Embassy girl to disabuse even a chappie of Pit-diseased notions and bongo brainwashings. I know of a Nick from the Trentish Thin Man films. Could this be him? Oh, silly me, of course it couldn't be, for Nora's Nick is a gentleman.

Well girls, I am back in my favorite chaise lounge, wearing a cloth floppy hat, red on the outside and bright yellow on the inside. It perfectly matches my polka-dot bathing suit and the smart little wrap I'm wearing as well. Plus, I found the most dolly red sandals at one of the ship's boutiques. They have just a smidge of a heel on them, and they lace up my ankles. The sun is shining brightly, and as I write this little letter, various smartly clad pettes are promenading by. Well, I hope you are all excited to hear about my now historic evening with the stunning Miss Elaine, (and she really did stun me, as you will see very soon.) She arrived promptly at 7:00, looking, well, positively stunning (you'll see what I mean). I opened the door and there she was, statuesque in her black, sequined, floor-length gown, with a scoop neck, slits up both sides of the dress so that one could see her lovely legs, if one was bold enough to look, and resting atop her flaxen hair was a diamond tiara, just like the one Marilyn Monroe coveted in that crazy film, Gentlebrunettes Prefer Blondes (What a silly title, for all the Brunettes I know are gentle and what else would they prefer?!). Well, there she was, gorgeous as any creature ever could be, and as I looked at her, I realized I hadn't even said "good evening," being so stunned by her beauty, and then I noticed that my knees felt weak and when I tried to lock them so that I could continue standing, well, the fact of the matter is, I fainted. Right there. Before even greeting my lovely date.

The next thing I remember was Elaine's sweet face looking down at mine, and she was holding me and fanning my overheated visage with her hand, and asking me if I were alright. And I was. She was quite gallant in offering me the excuse of not having eaten for ever so long, and, because I didn't want to tell her the real reason for my collapse, I agreed that an empty tummy must be it. She decided that after such excitement, perhaps we should dine in my room, and I asked if that would be proper, we both being single pettes and all, and she assured me it would be. I was only a touch disappointed that we weren't going to parade ourselves before the rest of the crew and guests in our delightful ensembles, but she reminded me that dancing aboard #534 doesn't end until the tres wee hours of the morning. So we dined on lobster aspic (Trudy and Rosie: even better than what Gotham had to offer!), Caesar salad, fresh baked bread, roasted duck, asparagus, and a gorgeous flan for dessert. It was all too too delicious, but I was so aflutter about Elaine that I could only manage to eat one bite of each thing on my plate. Elaine suggested that perhaps I hadn't gotten my appetite back because of the seasickness, and because I didn't want to let on about the real reason, I agreed. Now comes the exciting part, pettes! After dessert, I told Elaine that whenever I was around her, I felt positively Blonde. She just looked at me for a long time. Her deep brown eyes made me feel as if I were going to melt into my seat, disappear forever, and never reach Yvyanne at all! Then she smiled a little smile and didn't say a word for ever so long. I felt positively like a schoolgirl, waiting for a much-loved school mistress to say a word of praise that would make me float away as I joined the other girls in our row of bunk beds. Then Elaine told me that I was Blonde when I was around her, for, being a Tellurian girl, I was able to have a Blonde side and a Brunette side, and that, for Aristasians-in-Telluria, Blonde and Brunette have nothing at all to do with the color of your hair (except sometimes, of course, like when a lovely blonde girl is really a Blonde through and through).

And then clever little me put two and two together, and said, "Then if you are Aristasian and you've brought out a Blondeness in me, you must be..." She completed my sentence, "Brunette. Yes, you are ever so right." And then she pulled off a wig and unveiled the most gorgeous head of raven black hair you've ever seen. She explained that, while growing up in an aristocratic Arcadian home, with so many royal connections, she had one wish...to know how it felt to be just like those sweet, young Blondes who served her every day of her childhood. So, she purchased a wig and took a position aboard the Queen Mary. When she met me, she hoped perhaps I could be her Brunette protectress, but, alas, she right away spotted my lurking Blondeness, which I myself hadn't even suspected. And after all, she was a Brunette, had always been a Brunette, and would remain a Brunette until the day she died.

So, we, Brunette and Blonde (but not in the order I thought when the evening began!), spent the rest of the night living it up, jitter-bugging, waltzing, and fox trotting. And just learning how to follow rather than lead was an adventure on its own! And then, when the evening had reached its sweet conclusion, Elaine walked me to my door, held me in her arms, and then kissed me kindly and sweetly on my forehead (this being our first date and she being a proper Arcadian girl), and I floated off to my room, to dream the night away. So, here I am, perfectly Blonde, and loving every minute of it! (Of course I loved every minute of being Brunette too! For being one sex allows a girl to be ultra-feminine by nourishing, encouraging, and caring for other girls; and being the other sex allows a girl to be ultra ultra feminine by letting go of all control and yielding completely to the Brunette who is doing the nourishing, encouraging, and caring). Now, I just have to find a new name for the new me, for "Miss Barbara" simply won't do for this Blondie I've become. What do you pettes think? Or maybe I will ask Elaine to decide for me. For, truth be told, I just don't think I could make such a big important decision! Not when I have my nail varnish to freshen up.

Tenderly and Fondly, The Erstwhile

Miss Barbara and now Miss Awaiting Her New Name. 


Questions on Femininity

Hello, I am wondering, for I have thus far felt full of wonder and chagrin at the theories I have been reading. I wish to procure the sources from which the biological femme/masculine proofs are to be found. So, if someone could lend me that information. And, What is considered feminine? Is it the passiveness, "weakness", over-sensitivity, make up, lace, long hair, delicate minds? In the "good old" 30s, 40s and 50s, women were still considered intellectually inferior, and without a drop of common sense, they were supposed to have lacked that final step that separated man from animal, meaning, reason. Women were seemingly incapable of being strong, in a psychological sense, women were small jello-creatures, who could melt at the slightest touch of disaster. Is this what we want? I don't understand. I agree, the previous centuries did hold women up as beautiful entities, who were innocent, the "angels in the house". But no women was really like that. The beauty of those past times pulled, pushed, repressed, oppressed women's minds and their bodies. What should we fall back to? What are the ingredients of the femininity that we are supposed to lack?

NICK GARNICA



Thank you for raising these interesting points. To begin with, the source you require for the biological differences between pettes and chaps is Brain Sex The Sex of the Brain: Why Men and Women are Different by Anne Moir & David Jessel, Carol Publishing Group, 1991. This is not a theory put forward by the individuals concerned. It is a copious and objective review of just about all the significant research done into biological/mental sex differences over the past few decades. It is just about impossible to find a specialist who has studied the subject in depth who has not been forced to conclude that the mental, emotional and character differences between females and males are much greater than has been formerly supposed, and are innate rather than socially conditioned. And furthermore, the scientifically proven differences that characterise women correspond pretty exactly to what has always traditionally, in every culture on earth, been known as "femininity".
The very strange thing is, that while science knows more about this subject than ever before, and knows more conclusively than ever that women are different, very different from men, not only physically, but mentally too, every organ of propaganda is telling us the opposite in the most strident and sweeping manner. The facts - the enormous body of documented facts that must leave any "social conditioning" theory of femininity as discredited as the Flat Earth Society - are not denied. They are simply ignored, and in their place are put a sweeping, Orwellian re-writing of history, compounded of truth, half-truth and pure myth, of which your letter gives a neatly potted summary. How do we begin to answer this concise statement of the late-20th-century orthodoxy? We are at a great disadvantage. Your case can be put in a few brief sentences, because every item of it is well known and draws upon the concerted propaganda of the last thirty years to back it up. Every magazine article, every television programme, every University course (outside the hard sciences) takes that version of the history of femininity as gospel. Surely that in itself might give us our first pause for thought.
Wherever this deep devaluation of femininity and all things feminine may come from, it is accepted and promoted by the whole of late patriarchal civilisation. It was popularised in the first instance almost entirely by men - from John Stuart Mill to Ibsen . It is now the prevailing and unassailable orthodoxy of late-patriarchal capitalism: so absolute that the whole weight of scientific evidence to the contrary cannot make the smallest dent in its domination. Along the way, more and more women have been won over to the cause - the cause, essentially, of devaluing all that they have ever been, of exalting masculine values above feminine ones and of making women conform to the male norm. More and more women have been persuaded that this cause is their cause. That we women have originated it (which we have not) and that we stand to benefit from it (but do we)? So what is the answer to all this? What can Davida say to the Goliath of late-patriarchal masculinism? Let us say, to begin with, that for our part we are convinced of the superiority of the feminine. When you speak of "passiveness" and "weakness", you are giving the male view of femininity. You speak of feminine over-sensitivity, but when you think of it, doesn't this give the whole late-patriarchal game away? When we say that some one is over-sensitive, we are obviously comparing her to an implied norm or standard of sensitivity. So, if the normal, feminine women of earlier eras were considered over-sensitive, to what standard of normal sensitivity were they being compared? Obviously, to that of men. If men are considered normal, and women abnormal, why is that? Because it is a patriarchal society organised according to male standards. From a feminine or matriarchal perspective, women would be considered normal and men would be considered under-sensitive. And when we consider the wars and massacres and bloody tortures that have characterised patriarchal history, might there not be a good deal to say for this perspective?
We say unequivocally that we think feminine values superior to masculine values. We believe a culture of beauty and sensitivity higher than a culture of power and aggression. We believe that what are derided as "feminine weaknesses" have always been hailed as the highest spiritual virtues, even in patriarchal times by Jesus Christ, by Lao Tzu, by the most spiritual voices of every culture. Only at the most degraded rump end of patriarchy are sensitivity and gentleness and feminine value spat upon by every one - even by women themselves. Yes, we must have a revival of femininity. A revival harking back to the time before patriarchy, when the feminine principle was recognised as the highest and holiest and most exalted. Some girls may wish to do this in conjunction with men, seeking a more healthy balance between the feminine and the masculine. We wish them good luck and will always offer them any support we can. But for our part, we feel that these present times call for the creation of a wholly feminine culture, and that is our present aim. For one thing, such an endeavour should lay to rest once for all, the absurd, ever-repeated lie that femininity is something women do "for men". But that is not the reason we are doing it. That would not be a good enough reason in itself. We are doing it because that is what we want to do; what we are compelled to do by our inner natures. By a femininity that goes deeper than biology, to the very ontological roots of the cosmos itself. Perhaps because that is, above all, what humanity needs. In this drab, garish, callow, sloganised wasteland of late-patriarchal hyper-masculinity; in this vast, empty, shoddy void wherein femininity and beauty and truth have been rooted out of every last hiding place, even, as far as it is possible, out of woman herself: somewhere there must be a haven of pure femininity. Somewhere there must be a society where girls come together under the light of the sun to represent delicacy and beauty and eternal Truth. The very stones cry out for it. 

Sunshine at Sea

To all of you dear darlings in the Cocktail Bar, I'm sure you will be happy to know that the weather has cleared up here aboard the Cunard White Star Liner, the Queen Mary. Of course, nobody who is really in the know ever says "the Queen Mary." Precious little Elaine put me in the know when I called her (the ship, not the Blonde, you sillies), "the Queen." Elaine said, "You mean 'ol 534?" I guess before she was christened, everyone just called her 534. All of you pettes from Trent surely remember that! In fact, the special poem written for 'ol 534, on the eve of her christening, is titled simply, "Number 534," which to my way of thinking is a mighty bland title for a commemorative poem, but cest-la-jolly-old-vie! Do you girls from Trent remember that great occasion when Queen Mary (the Queen, not the ship, you sillies!), christened the vessel named for her? In a perfect Trent permanent wave, with a modest crown, pearls galore, small earrings, and a four-strand choker, along with two hanging pearl necklaces, one down to her clavicle and one half way down her front, wearing a perfect beaded dress, she christened this immense and majestic vessel, no longer #534, but once and for all THE QUEEN MARY (except, of course, to those pettes in the know!). At any rate, all who were once feeling poorly are now feeling quite up-to-speed, including yours truly. My recovery was helped along considerably by the kind tendernesses of Miss Elaine, who has pampered me almost to the point of making me feel perfectly Blonde. Early this afternoon, she brought me some lobster bisque, for, though I am quite up and about after the storm, strolling here and there, and even going for a swim earlier today, I have not quite retrieved my robust Brunette appetite, though I do feel it might return quite soon. 'Ol 534 is as long as a street and as lofty as a tower, girls, let me tell you! Elaine told me that ten million rivets were used to build her (the ship, again, sillies!), and if you put those rivets side by side, they would form a chain from London to Newcastle, 270 miles long. Together just those little rivets weigh 4000 tons, but I probably guess that, like me, you are more interested in the color of the wallpaper than in the weight of silly little rivets, so... My room, which I've already told you is completely equipped with all of the feminine equipment a feminine girl would ever need, is perfectly lovely. The wallpaper is a soft, delicate green, with a large, light pink and rose floral design. The bedspread is matching green and pink, with a touch of lavender trim. And the W.C. is done completely in pink, a charming, blonde-ish sort of pink. The room was obviously decorated with a Blonde in mind, and, what with the fine service I am receiving from Elaine, and the fact that I have nothing at all to set my mind to over the next couple of weeks, and that I am still recovering a bit from the upsets, well, I feel as if perhaps I am becoming more and more Blonde each day! By the time I reach the Embassy, I may have to be completely taken into the control of a capable Brunette, who can show me through the portals, into the clear air of Aristasian space. Oh, just a moment, pettes, someone is at the door... Later... You will never guess who was so beautifully knocking at the door when I had to interrupt my missive to you darlings. Or maybe you will. Of course, it was little Elaine, though, why I call her "little," I do not know, for, really, she is a head taller than I. She just made the most bold suggestion... that we dine together this evening! Of course I have been dying to wear my fox stole and my floor-length sequined formal gown, with the most daring slit up the back, and I do believe I am strengthened enough now for solid food, and, well, how can a girl say no to such a direct request as the one I just received from Elaine, who doesn't seem at all to comport herself as a servant/stewardess might, now that I come to think of it. So, darlings, it looks as if I am going to doll up for the evening and dine on that gorgeous cuisine I have heard so much about, and, who knows, perhaps moonlight dancing to the sounds of those crazy big bands afterward. I will give you the full report tomorrow. In the meantime, I do so hope that the closing lines of the poem, "Number 534" serve as a good omen for the rest of the voyage: May shipwreck and collision, fog and fire Rock, shoal and other evils of the sea, Be kept from you; and may the heart's desire Of those who speed your launching come to be. And just what might this pette's heart's desire be? Perhaps tonight will tell...
Lovingly,

MISS BARBARA 



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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