The Cocktail Bar

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

The management is pleased to announce that we have secured the services of Miss Kiki lia Caerelinde to sing at the Cocktail Bar shortly. May we respectfully request that when she comes there be no stamping, shouting of "Kiki!" and above all no screaming or fainting. This is a respectable establishment and the scenes that accompanied Miss Caerelinde's recent tour of West Quirinelle and were so widely reported in both newspapers must not be repeated here.
Music Playing: The Quirinelles singing "Rubber Ball"

Make-Up, Femininity and respect

I like being feminine. I like feminine women. Masculine women are not attractive to me. If I want someone masculine, I'll get myself a man.

 I totally disagree with the feminist viewpoint. I do not hate men by any means; I think men are just as important to have in this world as women are. And I don't think that femininity is forced on us by men. It is the way we are. Women are feminine. At least I am.

 I'm tired of lesbians saying that if we wear makeup, we are conforming to the ideals of men. No man makes me wear makeup. I wear makeup because I like to. I like the way I look with makeup on.

 One thing I noticed though, is that I get more respect from men and women when I wear makeup. For example, at work, when I don't wear makeup, people talk to me like I'm stupid. So, I'll wear makeup the next day just to see how they act, and they act totally different! They treat me like a decent human being.

 It sure is a shame that women have to wear makeup just to get respect.
CHRISTINE


But is it a shame? What is happening is that at a very deep level, people understand that the man-like woman is not worthy of respect, while the feminine woman is superior and is worthy of respect. Despite all the propaganda that "masculine is best" and that to be respected women must be as much like men as possible in their manner and aspirations, the feminine woman is still the one that is not only found most attractive, but also respected. That is a tribute to the ineradicable endurance of true humanity in the teeth of the most monstrous and heavily-financed propaganda campaign ever waged against femininity. It is anything but a shame.


Tale of Four Blondes -- Part II

So me and Rosie waited and waited for Miranda to come. As the Queen Mary was to have docked at eleven that morning, surely, we reasoned, surely Miranda should arrive no later than dinner. But dinner-time came, it grew dark, so Rosie suggested we open champagne, so we did, and then another, and then perhaps one more, so we lit all the candles and waited some more, burned the roast chicken and fell asleep at the table with our heads on our arms.

 Next morning the sun woke us up ... clearly, something had gone terribly wrong, some blonde miscalculation, most likely. We bathed in a rush, ironed our dresses, frantically fixed our hair and made up our faces as fast as we possibly could, so before you could say Jacqueline Robinson, barely four hours later, we were out on East 64th and flagged us a cab. We were down to our last double sawbuck, but we told the cabbie to step on it just the same -- when a blonde's in a rush, money's no object, you know.

 Pier 38 was deserted except for some cleaning crews who were just leaving the ship, which, sure enough, had the number, "534" painted on both sides of her bow. We walked up the gangway and asked the guard at the top if he could find the purser. Pursers, we figured, know everything about a ship's passengers. The guard seemed to be expecting us, and in clipped English tones, replied, "Certainly ladies, follow me if you please," and led us through a labyrinth of gleaming passageways until we came to a cabin marked "Private." The guard knocked, a feminine voice asked him to enter, he gestured for us to wait, and a few moments later emerged. "Go right in, ladies, it seems you are expected."

 A tall, lovely brunette rose from behind her desk, a warm welcoming smile spreading across her striking features. "You must be Trudy and Rosie," she said, "Welcome, please come in. I am Elaine. Won't you sit down? I did not expect you quite so soon." Elaine was clad in a crisp white naval uniform: open collar, pink epaulettes with two gold stripes, straight white skirt, mid-calf in length, sheer nude stockings, and white pumps (high heels must be tricky on ships when one is working, with all those bulkheads to cross). She was wearing standard-issue Cunard-red lipstick. Her eyebrows were perfect, as was her chestnut hair, which she wore near shoulder-length constrained in a fine Kadorian net.

 "May I get you some tea?" she asked. Rosie and I looked at each other, still amazed at this most ravishing purser, then turned to face her and nodded in unison, like two shy little schoolgirls. Elaine spoke into a little tube-like device mounted at the side of her desk, after she pulled out a little plush-covered stopper on a chain, inclining her head just enough so that she wouldn't have to raise her voice at all. She ordered tea and biscuits for three. Rosie and I shot each other a second glance and drew in our breaths. "Now," said Elaine, you are both even lovelier than Miss Barbara told me you were, but you look almost like twins. You must tell me first who you are," she said, addressing Rosie. "I'm Rosie," said Rosie, in a quick, little half-whisper, "She's Trudy," she added, jabbing a vermilion-tipped finger tentatively in my direction, a bit like a soundless woodpecker. What's the scoop here, anyway?" Rosie can be rather direct on occasion. The brunette chuckled softly.

 Then Elaine explained everything over tea, which had arrived almost instantly. Miranda, it seems, could not remember whether she had sent us a cable, as she had recently become the most forgetful of blondes. She probably hadn't (she confessed to Elaine), because she had left her address book behind at the Embassy. So Elaine was hardly surprised when Miranda was not met yesterday morning, chalking it up to a series of typically escalating blonde misunderstandings, while Miranda, the only passenger left on board, was disconsolate, broke into tears and rushed back to her cabin and locked herself in.

 Elaine, however, seems an unusually competent brunette; she immediately took things in hand. First she coaxed Miranda out of her cabin. Next, exploiting the overland travel resources of the Cunard-White Star Line, she drove her off in the company car and saw her safely put on the Greyhound bus to New Kadoria, then cabled her Brunette mummie to assure she'd be met. With Miranda safely dispatched, Elaine turned her attention to contacting Rosie and I. She had half-guessed the real answer -- that each party was waiting for the other at different locations. Reasoning that the Embassy would be able to reach us by finding Miranda's address book, she sent them a cable, requesting them, in turn, to cable us to come to the ship no later than the day after tomorrow, when it was due to sail back to Southampton. Elaine probably figured us two blondes were crying our eyes out in our walk-up, but she clearly wasn't acquainted with Gotham blondes, who sometimes can be a bit like brunettes. So she seemed mildly surprised when we told her we had not yet gotten the Embassy cable.

 At this point Elaine paused in her narrative, took a sip of her tea, then opened the top drawer of her desk and withdrew two slim, white travel folders embossed with the distinctive Cunard-White Star emblem, placing them before her on the desk. "Our overland travel agents have arranged transportation for both of you to New Kadoria, departing on a special Greyhound motorcoach tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Your tickets -- with an open return -- and fifty dollars each for travel expenses are here," she said, tapping the folders smartly with a long, elegant finger. For certain security reasons I cannot tell you anything more about New Kadoria except that it is not found on any roadmaps and Miranda lives there. You may, of course, remain in Gotham. Should you decide to use these tickets, you may stay in New Kadoria as long as you like, under certain quite reasonable conditions, or you may return to Gotham whenever it suits you. I have a feeling you'd both like to go. Am I right?" she asked, her large brown eyes expectant and inviting, her lips turned up in a small, interrogatory smile.

 Rosie and I shot each other one of our special, questioning glances. In a flash, we both thought of our small cramped little walkup on East 64th, the lack of jobs in the city, our chronic, grinding blonde penury, the appalling shortage of brunettes ... both of us signaled assent to the other with rapid, little nods of the head, almost like a vibration, eyebrows raised, foreheads slightly furrowed, lips lightly compressed, eyes fixed on one anothers' -- then turned at the same instant to face Elaine, who had already registered our assent with a spreading smile. Elaine delicately pushed the folders to the edge of the desk nearest me. I took them. Inside each were five crisp sawbucks and a Greyhound bus ticket, but the tickets were overprinted in red: By special arrangement with the Culverian Department of State. Not transferable. Monetary Value: One Cent. I passed them to Rosie, who glanced at them absently -- she was once again mesmerized by the magnificent brunette sitting before us. The brunette made a brief, "come hither" sign with her fingers, and Rosie broke out of her trance and promptly surrendered the folders.

 Elaine continued, "After this recent (and unsurprising) rash of blonde misunderstandings, I am not about to trust you two with these tickets, Gotham blondes notwithstanding. A driver will now take you back to your apartment in a company car and will come to collect you tomorrow precisely at one-fifteen. You will next see these folders as you step onto the bus. I suggest you close up your apartment for an indefinite time. Pack lightly, you will find most of what you need in New Kadoria. Once you decide how long you wish to stay, you can write to your rental office and make more definite arrangements. I would very much like to entertain you tonight, but a great ocean liner at dock is sometimes more difficult to manage than at sea, as most of the crew, including the captain and sea officers, are on short furlough and every problem falls into my lap. So I must apologize if I return to my duties. I shall call you a driver right now," and she again inclined her head towards the little speaking-tube on the side of her desk and asked that a driver bring around a car to the foot of the gangway on the double.

 Elaine arose, grasped each of us in turn by our shoulders and gave us each an almost consecratory kiss on the cheek. At that moment, once she had bestowed these almost holy kisses, Elaine visibly relaxed and the playful girl within her brightly flickered, despite the uniform. She led us back along the maze of passageways, now more chattering than talking all the while, quite unselfconsciously, about the quotidian difficulties of running an ocean liner tied up at a pier, saw us down the gangway and safely into the car, and stood waving smartly until we turned north on 11th. Avenue and the sleek, black Lincoln merged smoothly with the traffic and shot uptown like a shiny, black arrow.

 To be continued.... Music Playing: The Marychild Dance Orchestra playing "Time on My Hands"


A Maiden in Uniform

I was beginning to get very tired of groping my way through cyberspace, and of having nothing to do: more than once or twice I had peeped into sites housed by this virtuality, but they held no femininity or conversation, "and what is the use of all this, I thought, "without femmes or conversations?"

 An enchanting evening to you, wonderfully breathtaking creatures.

And enchanting this evening is, having stumbled upon the one place where I dare hope to find my beloved Elisabeth von Bernburg again. Having been ruthlessly separated from her at a most tender age by the authoritative hands of those who must have tasted the sweetness of purity and beauty themselves but eventually submitted to male supremacy. Although I prefer the writings of Miss Winsloe to those by the firm and demanding hand of Miss Hall, I do feel she quite went her own way with what befell me and meine Lieber Fraulein von Bernburg, who still, after all those years, holds my heart in her delicate Prussian grip. Obviously I did not expire when I jumped: a sprightly, young girlchild in love is not that easily done away with, Miss Winsloe!

 Ah, how sweet and sorrow ravage my heart remembering her tender guidance contrasting the harsh unloving discipline of the other teachers. The expectant heaving of our chests when, after having shed our school uniforms and changed into our crackling linen nightdresses, we lined up waiting for her to come and kiss us goodnight. Those warm, soft lips touching ours.

 Your sweet oasis in time and manner restores my hopes and feeds my fantasies. Could it be? After all these years? Fraulein von Bernburg and I have so much to talk about, we most desperately should meet again. This doesn't mean I'm heedless to the charms of you, ladies, I must assure you. This room filled with your seductive scents, the rustling of elegant attire and appreciative glances does tempt my heart to stray. As it has before. How could I have survived without feminine guidance curtailing my sometimes wild, unruly girlish behaviour?

 I do hope you, desirable well-dressed and equally mannered Frauleins, appreciate my apparent need of some more strict guidance. As a continental girl I feel somewhat at a loss with your language and culture.

 Your, once more expectant and heaving,
MANUELA


Films, Travel and Clothes

Why Miss Barbara! Of course you can't remember the movie very well! Who could, under the circumstances? But really, my dear, how could anyone ever possibly slap your pretty face? And I'm so sorry the adorable Trudy and Rosie didn't quite make the boat on time, but, as we all know, if they weren't quite so silly, they wouldn't be quite so sweet.

 I shall try and find a showing of Olivia hereabouts. Now that I hear it features Simone Simon I'm doubly interested, for she is one of my very favorite actresses. She is simply the embodiment, for me, of feminine charm. I should very much like to visit the Odeon myself and see it there (and your description, Miss Barbara, adds a little something to my enthusiasm, if I may be so bold), but I fear I am simply not up to such a journey this season.

 I am flattered that you noticed my gown, though! I have been doing some little local travelling myself, you see, and this piece is part of a riding-set, if you'll believe it. The matching velvet jacket has the most splendid gold buttons and black braiding along the shoulders, and that, plus a narrow black skirt and a few other oddments, makes up nearly a whole wardrobe suitable for almost any travel occasion, if you use a little imagination.

 Oh! And that brings me to a question! I have the most charming little white kid gloves, and I'm delighted with them, however, they are somewhat the worse for wear from my last journey (red wine on one left hand!). Do any of the dear pettes here in the Cocktail Room have any suggestions for cleaning them? I feel very foolish to admit it, but I am at a loss.
Yours faithfully,
RAMONA


Thank You

Hello! Thank you for the time and imagination you have expended for this lovely forum!! I also enjoyed Aphrodite and will be logging on again soon. Best wishes and many blessings
AQUA

Barbi and Short Dresses

Well, my dearest Aristasians, I just can't seem to keep myself away from here! I have ventured far and wide over the interstices of cyberspace and find myself repeatedly drawn to the magical emanations that contain the doorway to Elektraspace and Femmeworld. I haven't found this kind of woman' space anywhere else. To celebrate a vanishing femininity and attempt to revive it is a daunting prospect, especially since I would say that many women have enthusiastically participated in what you call the colonization of their femininity by "masculinism" in its guise of "feminism." Your perspective on this is reactive, but daring. I want to know more! Does lovemaking exist here? Or has eroticism replaced the sexual? It is hard to tell from the different readings that you have. Am I too superficial for asking such a question? Have I been colonized if I want to express my sexuality in an overt way? If I want to wear short dresses and show my body, am I part of the problem? I feel very feminine when I wear clothing that shows me off in a sexual way, similar to the feeling that Matthilde expresses in her prose poem to the basque, because I know that I am being something that a man can never be, but, when I come here, to Femmeworld, and read about Aristasia, and experience the remarkable ambiance of this space, I am struck by the feeling that maybe I am a transgressor against the feminine by being so obvious with my sexuality.. Am I?

BARBI


Well, darling, we think it depends exactly what you mean by "overt" and "obvious". Sometimes we wear short infra dresses and skirts. Certainly daring dress is not inherently unfeminine; but to be "sexual" in an obvious, unsubtle late-20th-century way is not only unfeminine, but unerotic. Modesty is the essence of thrillingness in a girl. If she doesn't care what she shows, no one of taste cares whether she shows it. It is only exciting when it is a magical "secret", and this goes even more when wearing short skirts and so forth. Only a girl with a lot of modesty can be exciting in a short skirt.

 So are you falling into error? Well, the very fact that you worry about it indicated that you are not really of the blatant, boring sort. You may still have a bit of bongo brashness (heaven knows, the mass media and educational systems of late 20th century have spent enough money on trying to pump it into you), but you are on the right path. Stay in touch and you'll soon pick up the essentials of femininity, modesty and erotic thrillingness. Remember - eroticism catches fire because of the friction between display and desire on the one hand and genuine modesty and innocence on the other. Taking the display and desire alone is like trying to create combustion by rubbing one stick together. Men have always tended to desire without modesty, and the bald quest for consummation. Before girls were unsexed by pseudo-"feminism" that didn't matter, because they supplied the reserve, finesse, modesty and erotic intelligence.

 Now eroticism is just about dead in the heterosexual world, and only just reviving here. Come back soon sweetipops.


A Tale of Four Blondes

Oh dear, Miranda not met at the Queen Mary's berthing! No longer in her third-class cabin! Disembarked! Such confusion, so many tears and so many blonde recriminations! All on account of too many blondes stirring the pot. But, after several wrong starts and a scary ride on a silvery, Kadorian Greyhound bus through the wilds of New Jersey, Rosie and I finally found our way to New Kadoria and we think we have located Miranda at last.

 What an adventure, pettes, why even the wildest blonde imagination could not have concocted a stranger fiction that what really happened to Rosie and I. So listen....

 First, I must let you in on a little secret (good excuses always involve divulging at least one juicy secret, you know. Well, really two secrets, as this is a big, two-secret excuse). Rosie and I are first cousins, you see -- we grew up together in Gotham and have rarely been apart for more than a day at a time, some people even think we are sisters. We have simply oodles of other cousins, all, coincidentally, blonde. Most live in Gotham, a few in distant parts of America, that is, anywhere west of New Jersey, and there is even an English side of the family that came about when Great Auntie Stephanie married a real English peeress and emigrated to England. Well, to make a long story short, Ariadne -- yes, the very one who works in the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar and was muttering about her billowy milk-maidy attire not a week ago -- that very Ariadne is a second cousin of ours, although we have never seen one another.

 So cousin Ariadne has been keeping Rosie and I apprised of all the happenings in the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar -- including all the gossip that doesn't get published in Elektraspace. So we learned what a fine time Miss Barbara had on the Queen Mary, how she doesn't really own any mines in Colorado, how much she really cares for Rosie and I and wants to protect us in all our blonde vulnerability... and then, all about Miss Barbara's meeting Elaine on board the Queen Mary and becoming transformed into Miranda -- a blonde. And lots of dolly little intimate details that a only barmaid might overhear, and which, were I to retell them here, none of the subjects (not only Miss Barbara) would ever doubt my veracity again, though I might be considered a trifle ootray. (Ariadne has told us that being to ootray can have a rather serious corporal result for Aristasian girls, but that they really don't mind it at all -- the result, I mean. Or being just a trifle ootray, for that matter.)

 Then, in due course, we learned all about Barbara-Miranda's splendid time at the Aristasian Embassy and how, on her last Friday evening there, at the movies, she was not sure which of the two sexes she was, I mean, she went as a brunette, even took an un-introduced blonde's hand, (imagine, how daring!), but in most un-brunettish fashion could not remember one jot of the film except for the dresses. And she was even overheard to say "La!" on several occasions, (an ultra-blonde trait). And how, on that, last tearful Sunday, saying her good-byes to her new friends at the Embassy, she quite unequivocally left as a blonde: she was driven away in a taxi leaving her steamship ticket behind, stuck in the corner of her vanity mirror. So the pettes at the Embassy had a Keystone Cops chase, zooming after her taxi in Wanda (the Embassy limousine), finally catching up with Miranda at Paddington Station just as her train to Southampton began to chuff off. Miranda hadn't missed her ticket (of course): she was already comfortably ensconced in her compartment and was diligently re-applying her tear-stained makeup when the pettes thrust it into her hand.

 But, as cousin Ariadne says, don't get me distracted! I was talking about excuses. I was saying that it was Miranda who embarked on the return ocean voyage, not Miss Barbara -- I say that with emphasis, just so all you pettes know we are now dealing with four blondes -- Rosie and I and Ariadne and Miranda. Need I say more? Yes, if you want to hear rest of the story, I had better. So, stop distracting me! Miranda was wined and dined by Elaine, went dancing until three every morning in the Queen Mary's grand ballroom, played in shuffleboard tournaments (as the only blonde, I have learned), was showered with favors and gifts and Kadorian nylons, had new evening dresses made in the Queen Mary'soat couture dress-maker's shop on the orders (and accounts) of several brunettes who had also played in the shuffleboard tournaments, drank champagne cocktails at breakfast, luncheon, dinner and supper, stopped a day and a night in Monaco where a wealthy brunette staked her to 5,000 francs at the Baccarat table (but she lost 6,000, the difference covered by the same brunette, of course) -- in short, lived it up as only a blonde is able to do. And in the midst of all this, Miranda fancied she did something as brunettish as sending Rosie and I a cable (but allows she may have forgotten). Then she also asked all you pettes to "keep mum," as she wanted to surprise us upon arrival, (a typical blonde contradiction), all of which was duly passed along to us by Ariadne, at personal risk to her hands and her tenderer parts, as the breaking of confidences is a serious matter, though in this case, hearing what was going on, Ariadne was only trying to help, so she might get by with only a few hundred lines should the management learn of it or should Miranda complain. If Miranda knows how to, that is. Fill out a complaint form, I mean. Most blondes are not good complainers, you know, so Ariadne probably hasn't a thing to worry about.

 Needless to say, no cable ever arrived, so Rosie and I, acting on Ariadne's sage, blonde counsel, decided Miranda meant to surprise us in our walk-up on East 64th Street. That made perfect, blonde sense, don't you agree? So we spruced up the apartment, laid in a goodly supply of champagne, put on the duds Miss Barbara had bought us last March, in short, prepared a big surprise welcome for Miranda on the day the Queen Mary arrived, and waited ... and waited...

to be continued


Miss Barbara Arrives

Music Playing: the Quirinelles singing "Paper Doll" Hello Dears:
Well, here I am in New Kadoria, Culveria, waiting to meet my little blonde friends, Trudy and Rosie. I thought I had wired them my arrival time and date, and I was so hoping to find them here, waiting for me. I brought them lovely little gifts, tucked away in my lovely little pink bag, but they aren't here. So I decided to write to you pettes while I wait. We all know how blondes are. They probably took a wrong turn when they reached the Atlantic. They may be in Cuba now for all we know. Cuba! That definitely will have to be my next jaunt, for anybody who is anybody must vacation in sunny Cuba. Have you heard Mr. Bing Crosby's song about that lovely spot? It was just released last week, so maybe you haven't heard it yet. Do look for it, darlings! It's worth the listen.

 Well, dear Ramona, I would simply love to tell you more about the film, but, Sweet, I just don't remember very much. I do remember it was an all-girl movie, perfect for showing at an Aristasian cinema. And it was in another language, French I believe. I know I went as a brunette, so perhaps I should remember more than I do, but, to be perfectly honest with you, I had more than half my attention on the blonde next to me. It took me almost an hour to get my courage up to actually take her hand in mine. Well, I knew she was a very blonde sort of blonde, and I certainly didn't want to offend her in any way, but I did want to be a bit closer, but I didn't want my face slapped (I think, dear Ramona, you might have missed the episode in this Cocktail Bar some months ago when a rough brunette did get her face slapped by a very blonde blonde.) All this to say, la!, I can't remember the movie very well. Their dresses were lovely, though. The girls on the screen, I mean. And they were either very much in love with each other or quite jealous of each other. I am sorry to be of so little help. I often will watch a movie and then forget it altogether. In my own little town of New Quirinelle, Culveria, we only have one little movie house, and the owners can't afford to bring in the newest movies from the distributors, so we get movies much later than they can get them at the Embassy, and the same movie is at the house for up to two weeks. This might seem just awful to you, but to me, who never does remember much about the stories, it's just hunky dorey! I can go to the movies every night and, even though I have seen the same movie several times previously in the week, well, it always seems like a new movie to me. Especially if the girls are beautiful, and they always are.

 Ramona, you will just have to visit the Odeon yourself one of these days! And that gorgeous green velvet you are wearing tonight would do just splendidly. A bit more boldness with the eyeshadow and you are ready to join all of the splendor.
Love, and until my sweet friends arrive, I Remain,
Your
MISS BARBARA


How do you do it? In mid-Atlantic for a week or more and you are more oh fay with the latest releases than we are. I had no idea Mr. Crosby had done a song about cuba, though I adore his collaboration with the Andrews Sisters on Tallahassee: When you see land kind of green and grassy
Beneath a moon bright beyond compare,
When you see blue jays chirping high and sassy
And catch one sniff of southern cooking hanging on the evening air
When you see folks all polite and classy
And every smile bids you stay and rest;
Get off that train, you're in Tallahassee,
The Southland at its best.

 But really you have to hear it to appreciate it, and I can't sing it against Paper Doll. I have my limits!
     
 But listen, Olivia was just gorgeous! Simone Simon was in it. It was all about a girls' school and there were two headmistresses one a dashing intellectual brunette and the other a charming but petulant blonde, and they were married, but the blonde thought the brunette was paying too much attention to her favourite girls, and Olivia came and fell in love with her (the brunette) and it was all so heart-rending, really. I shan't give away the story in case you see it, but it is based on the book Olivia by a girl who calls herself only "Olivia" (but rumour has it she is Dorothy Bussy Strachey, Lytton Strachey's sister).


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