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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For Elizabeth

Oh, eyes of my beloved!
Oh, eyes of my dear love, 'neath arched brows glancing
Oh, face like moonbeams glowing, in pale beauty!
If in thy memory, my precious jewel, one little thought
you'll hold for me, 'twill make me content.

Hello, pettes!

 Well, as you've most likely gathered, Elizabeth and I had a wonderfully enchanted, precious few hours together, and I am more certain than ever before that she is an exquisitely charming (and utterly breathtaking) creature. I'm so happy that, while we are so far apart, we can be together here in the Cocktail Bar as often as we like.

 Sigh. I feel absolutely blissful! Before she left me, chin quivering and lips pressed tightly together in defiance of tears, she told me quietly in my ear (oh, heaven!) that she had left me a present somewhere in my new loft apartment. But when I returned home, I was so overcome with weariness (we hardly slept) and melancholy that I completely forgot about the gift! Later in the evening, I happened upon an tiny book of poetry, neatly hidden away. I believe our visit can be summed up by a quotation from one of it's pages:

 Golden head by golden head,
Like two pigeon's in one nest
Folded in each other's wings,
They lay down in their curtained bed:
Like two blossoms on one stem,
Like two flakes of new-fall'n snow,
Like two wands of ivory
Tipped with gold.
Moon and stars gazed in at them,
Wind sang to them lullaby,
Cheek to cheek and breast to breast
Locked together in one nest.

 -excerpt from "Laura and Lizzie Asleep"

 REBECCA


Enlighten me, please!

Girls, I'm confused!

 I've been totally immersed in these lovely Kadorian magazines I found, but some of the advertisements have me rather curious...

 They describe the most wonderful garments, undergarments and foundations at prices even a pette like me could afford, but each also states "3 coupons", "4 coupons" or even "only 2 coupons".

 Should one obtain coupons when purchasing the magazines? Are they secret little passes held in keeping by the brunettes of the day? Do they cost more? Could one perhaps use more coupons and pay less?

 (Alas, though, I could find no illumination in the text of the magazines, and worse still, NO advertisements for nylons! How some poor pettes must have suffered!)

 Your ever-curious

 MISS FOX


Well, darling, unlike Trent and Quirinelle and the other provinces, Kadoria is having a War these days, and every one knows the main thing about a War is that it makes everything terribly scarce, and then when things are scarce you have to have rationing, and what that means is that as well as money you have to have coupons for everything. Unfortunately you don't pay any less however many coupons you've got, but if you haven't enough coupons, you can't buy a thing, however much money you've got. You need both. But you don't have to pay for coupons, you get given them by Queen Francesca of Kadoria. Not directly, of course. She gives them to some one and some one gives them to some one else and some one else gives them to you. If you are a Kadorian that is. Otherwise you can just stay in Quirinelle or Trent or Vintesse and buy things without coupons, which is easier, but possibly less sport.

Sweetipops Enraptured

A brunettely intoxicated Sweetipops here, my exquisite pettes! My engaging Miss Elizabeth, you are most welcome. I'm sure that we will be the best of friends. It was nothing, really. Now, please, darlings, forgive me if I have trouble concentrating on everything else that is being so earnestly discussed, but, I must admit, my attention is, for the moment, otherwise engaged.

 My mysterious, marvelous, multifaceted Manuela, how you make my heart take flight and fill my fancy with...well...most indelicate, but deliriously exciting, aphrodisiac visions of feminine affection. I am so overwhelmed by your amorous attentions to me (demonstrating an attraction that is, rest assured, my sensual sweetheart, rapturously reciprocated!) that I am absolutely speechless! Well, almost speechless...

 To wax philosophical, if you will forgive me, my eloquent European, the last thing that I ever expected to understand, a frontier that I regarded as unassailable, was the mystery of Aphroditism: the recovery of the erotic, as opposed to the sexual, seemed to be an impossible dream. Oh, I could read and comprehend the words, but the Eclipse had so thoroughly insinuated its vulgarity into my sensibilities that the true magic of aphroditic sensibility seemed beyond my capacity. Until now. Until...in a word...until you. You have loosened the shackles that chained me to the prurient, atomized, deracinated substitutes for passion that have dominated my psychic experience, freezing and stifling my soul, even as I thought myself free, unbound and emancipated. How mistaken I was, and how richly you have rewarded me! I am hopelessly indebted to you, and helplessly desirous of you, for giving me the keys to my own heart!

 I should have known, from the moment I first heard your soft, mellifluous voice narrate your encounter with your youthful, blonde enchantress, Elisabeth von Bernburg, that you had the power to assist my metamorphosis from Pit-maiden to Aristasian Blonde. Your finely wrought prose, a brilliant brunette text redolent of feminine essence and nectar, a vivid, liquid language, produced a spiritually physical experience whose erotic essence I trembled at, but failed to recognize. And now...and now...

 I feel myself quivering with a feverish expectation at the sublime thought of our terpsichorean interlude: my hesitant, fiery self enraptured by the sight of your incomparable brunette beauty, enclosed in your enchanted embrace, enveloped by your divine fragrance, stroked by your tender touch as your hands, gently, teasingly, caress my waist and hips, pull me close to you, against you, my flushed cheek barely brushing yours, my lips grazing the yielding curve of your lovely neck, our delicate, concealed, feminine charms, separated by the finely woven silk and satin of our garments, provocatively, unmistakably, seeking a more substantial and sensuous contact, the hot breath of your whispered wish fondling my ear and the subtle, almost undetectable tension in your movements betraying, to my passionate embrace, your anticipation and desire, as I blondly dissolve and merge into your powerful, irresistible brunette aura. If this isn't aphroditism, what is?

 Ah, my magical Manuela...the band has begun to play...the dance floor is empty...your touch is so firm and sure...your eyes are so bright and beautiful... is that a glow on your cheeks? Here I am, my delicious darling... completely yours for this moment...

 Oh, my precious pette, before I am rendered completely speechless, because I know now that I will be, let me whisper to you that I share your wish...if only this dance would never end...

 Transported and ecstatic, I remain,
Your Sweetipops,
BARBI


Blonde or Brunette? Help!

Darling Miss Elizabeth, you speak so eloquently of the delicious time you had with Miss Rebecca (and yes, dear, it IS an entourage). You were right to think that I had perhaps just a smidgin of an idea about the lovely days you spent with our Amazonian friend, but Miss Rebecca can be ever so discreet when the honour of a pette is at stake. . . .

 Your description of that reunion makes me quiver with the anticipation of our next meeting. I am so thrilled that I will be, as they say, in on it. I am so looking forward to meeting with you and Miss Rebecca and her ever-faithful brunette companion (if you are reading this, hello darling!). I plan to meet with you all for drinks after you go and watch the barbarities at the Coliseum.

 You know, Miss Rebecca's name does seem to come up in my mind with images of margaritas hovering nearby. . . . She is a sly one, that sweetie is. I can't say I regret it, though. I marvel at her--and at you. At all of us, really. When I think of it all I simply giggle, like a blonde, for heaven's sake, although I really have brunette leanings, I believe. I suppose we shall see. Perhaps my true colours will reveal themselves to us as we go along.

 *Kiss * Kiss *
DIANA


Manuela to Barbi

I am afraid I have to agree with you there, Sweeti. Evidently, the Pit does still exercise its debilitating influence over you. I find it has severely and systematically undermined your sense of self-worth. As if your calliopean capacity for alliteration would be your only talent! Has your admirable quest for blondness not grown, and not only in Marie-Louise's fancy, to truly mythical proportions? Does not Dorothea hold in you in due awe? Have you not completely captured my imagination, even when I am supposedly not lounging about in the spheres of Elektra? I may not be Aphrodite's' greatest ideologist, the gist of the Wok-casuistry for example, escapes me. But I feel it is exactly your carnal hunger combined with your indivertable innocence that makes you so irresistible.

 Also, boundless beauty can never be too presumptuous. Barbi, I would be delighted if you would care to dance with me. Maddeningly slow. Because I want you trembling and melting in my arms. I want to nestle my cheek to yours, to finally feel your heavenly body against mine. I want you to become aware of the exigency you bring about (you see, a bit of brunette bonding has never proved inimical to being bewitched by a blonde). Because I need you to know what our virtual, what am I saying, I mean virtuous of course, amourette does to me. And then I will whisper in your ear that I want this moment to last forever...
MANUELA


A Find!

Girls, you'll never believe what I found!

 there I was, comfortably cuddled up on the sofa with a soothing cup of chamomile tea and a really good magazine, (a genuine Real-Kadorian "Women's Weekly", complete with a pattern for a charming lacy jersey in 3-ply fine wool), when this advertisement, so modest in its language, floated out from between the advertisement for jam jar clasps and the story of the Headmistress and her teacher - oh but how I rattle on. I was giggling for ages in a very Blonde way:

"BRUNETTES, take care"
It was an advertisement for face-powder, and showed some very modern-looking scientist measuring the tints that make up a brunette's skin, and can you believe it - (I quote here)
"It showed brilliant green in brunettes' skin!"
My oh my! And here I was imagining that it was just the result of far too many nights up late at the Cocktail bar that leant my skin that particular tint!

 The picture at the top of the notice, by the way, showed "Lady Bartlett, granddaughter of Lovely Lily Langtry" with her ever-so-fine complexion (of course, enhanced by the products advertised). Forgive me, but I thought the Jersey Lily was a red-head - perhaps the green tints would have suited her better?

 I am going to finish my tea, the next story, then the article on "Ideas for your Holiday - A suggestion for the Young Girl Who Is Alone", then think about this evening's parties. So much to do!

 Ever yours,
MISS FOX


Miss Fox, we are delighted you have discovered the delights of real maggies! By the way, you mention both a lacy jersey and the Jersey Lily - did you know the two were connected - I mean, in western Arcadia, Miss Langtry has started a vogue for fashionable ladies wearing woollies, and that is why they are called "jerseys" - after her.

Promises, Promises

Barbi, doll, thank you so much for keeping Miss Rebecca's phone number so near at hand (albeit Manuela's hand...). I know we'll be the best of friends, dear. You are so sweet and helpful!

 Well, with my third reunion with Rebecca fast approaching, I've a promise to keep to all of you: the details of our second reunion! Diana, whom I suspect already knows more than she lets on, has been very patient, and Barbi seems so anxious to hear (though perhaps she's just anxious to make a quick escape with Manuela)! Let me just finish my martini...

 There, now.

 It was my greatest effort at persuasion, convincing Miss Rebecca to come to me this summer. Even so, she could not be persuaded to leave her entourage behind. .....Well, they ARE an entourage, love! Especially , well, you know who I mean--the one who will never leave your side! ..... OK, ok. I'm sorry.

 Nonetheless, we were a MOST amiable foursome! We went to the opera, where Miss Rebecca was so condescending as to explain to me how clever the composer was for writing this and that. One of our foursome, Miss Chloe..... What do you mean? Why shouldn't I use her name? But we..., oh, I thought this was decided?!..... Well, you would probably know her, anyway. She's a great favourite in the theatres of New York! But, Miss Chloe took us to the theatre for a wonderful play. And the fourth of our group (who I guess should remain nameless after I so blondely blurted out the identity of Miss Chloe) entertained us all with guitar music. Acoustic, of course. Such talent! Such coordination! Such vigor and variety! Few brunettes have such an ability to amuse three pettes so completely .....Yes, I'm very thirsty. Oh, champagne?! Do you suppose we could find any strawberries?.....

 As you might expect, we also engaged in some rather Philistinian pleasures such as shooting pool and visiting the zoo, in addition to all of the sophistication of the arts. And I can tell you, it's not just here in the Cocktail Bar that Rebecca fills me with drinks! She's sly, this one!

 Well, being the only blonde in the group, you can imagine how it was for me, surrounded by such beauty and power! And yet, I still could not help but wish to have my Rebecca all to myself, to have her attentions undivided and solely devoted to me. This woman, a virtual goddess ..... Oh, don't be modest, Miss Rebecca. You are SO beautiful!..... so near, and yet so far!

 Perhaps the next time, which isn't so very far away....

 MISS ELIZABETH


A Welcome Offer

Hello, my dears! I am here to visit with you for the first time and am intrigued by your conversation. And yes, my dear, I would like to buy you a drink. You may have ANYTHING you would like to drink. ANON
Gosh, and we don't even know your name! Brunette, of course, and with an offer like that always welcome. Mine's a Blonde Bombshell.

Spring is here...

My very dear girls,
Fall is for falling in love, Spring for love's rising,
With Summer's sweet days to find all that we're prizing,
Then rest I in Winter, the cold air kept out,
Re-living the seasons with love all about.

 The winter has finally passed here in Sydney, and the air has the sweet smell of wisteria and jasmine. And Tootsie, your ever-so-sweet air has me enraptured. Do come on a picnic with me, and teach me some of these songs. I know just the place, with a creek and a grove of peppercorn and wattle trees, and the chiming of the bellbirds through the scrub. If you can bring the portable gramaphone, I shall provide the transport and the food. Do say you will.

 Your sweet friend,
Miss Fox


Music Playing Let's Dance, Marychild's Dance Orchestra


Able and Amatory Alliteration

A thoroughly flattered, but bewildered, Sweetipops here, my precious pettes! Ah, Manuela...your brunette magic is working its charm to bring me ever closer to the real Aristasian girl that I'm trying to be. A brunette encounter here at Aphrodite is always an enriching one; however, can it be as you say: my little, struggling self has thrown off the shackles of the Pit so thoroughly that I now stand as an example for Marie-Louise? I am so exhilarated by your opinion of me that I feel myself blushing from the top of my Trentish bob to the tips of my pretty pink toes, which you could see if I were wearing my peach ankle-strap sandals instead of my blue satin slingback pumps!

 Oh, my marvelous Manuela, if only it were so! But, surely, since I find myself so preoccupied by the ultimately irrepressible demands of the flesh, it cannot be the truth. On the one dainty, perfectly manicured, hand, moved by your subtle demonstration, I chasten myself for overindulgence in one of my few gifts, alliterative adjectival artistry, while, on the other, equally delicate, flawlessly trimmed, and polished, I revel in the glow of your brunette beauty and luxuriate in the warmth of your compliments as your words delicately pass your soft, luscious lips and virtually caress and inflame me until I utterly hunger for your physical touch, trembling and melting at the merest thought of it. Most certainly, my wonderful Manuela, the Pit retains a carnal grip on me, and my innocence is not yet regained, however much it may seem otherwise. Or...do I protest too much?

 To address your other remarks, darling, and clear the air of any further distractions, let me say that a dedication to duty and an apprehension of possible tragedy for the enthralled lovers drove my concern for the tribulations of Rebecca and Miss Elizabeth, which are now, I am delighted to see--are you listening, my pretty pettes?--affirmatively and affectionately resolved. As for the romantic and ravishing Ramona and myself, my dearest Manuela, well, the world, even in Elektraspace, abounds in mysteries, does it not? Crossed wires? Perhaps it is so; and then again, perhaps not. These matters sometimes ebb and flow with a life of their own.

 Speaking for myself, let me say that I find Ramona, last seen, I believe, either in the Inner Sanctum or the Coffee Lounge, appealing beyond measure, a positively entrancing Brunette of uncommon beauty and character, whose laughter, charm, and commentary I eagerly look forward to sharing again. Let me reassure you that there are neither unpleasant feelings remaining to resolve, nor any promises unfulfilled, nor, my dearest and most charming Manuela, any committed romantic attachments to be honored.

 I must say that your gracious concern for propriety is most welcome, and it is indeed representative of the resplendent pleasures of Elektraspace. In return, please reassure me that I am not transgressing by permitting me to ask, with equal concern, about any lingering hesitation that you may have concerning your abruptly abbreviated interlude with such a precocious Brunette pette, one that augured what I would have presumed was a tete a tete of some consequence as well, because, if I properly recall, and, it must be admitted, a blonde's head is full of so many things...like keeping her lipstick fresh and crossing her legs just right...that my memory might be a little faulty, but, as I was saying, I seem to recall that your enthusiastic reply to the Brunette beauty's call for company was reciprocated with commensurate measure.

 In short, for my part, I don't believe that there is any danger of a faux pas were you, exquisite enchantress (forgive me, I just can't stop myself!) that you are, to take me tenderly by the hand, dance a dance or two with me, holding, if you dare, my quivering and inflamed self close all the while, and then sit with me and tell the tale of your travels while I struggle to regain my composure and be the good girl that I know I am way down inside. Or, if you prefer, we could just sit and listen to the enlightened discourse that fills the atmosphere of Aphrodite, and, if you would indulge me, just sit close enough to enchant and thrill my blonde heart with the loveliness of your presence, and, perhaps, the delicacy of your touch. If all is well, and your disposition, like mine, is elevated and expectant, we can sit under the shadow of the palm and share a Mai-Tai, an appropriate drink for this wonderful place...they can be served in a large bowl, with two straws: one for me, and one for you...

 I hope you will not find such an invitation too presumptuous. La! My life, and the Cocktail Bar, is richer by virtue of your magical presence and I want the feeling to last for a while. And, as you have observed, an enchanted evening, rich with feminine laughter and wisdom, has only just begun...

 In suspense, I remain
Your Sweetipops,
BARBI


More wires crossed

Indeed, Miss Rebecca, to life, love and the pursuit of blondes. Although the latter usually seem to manage making it nearly impossible, don't you agree?

 In contrast to a well-known and ever so eloquent pette in the Cocktail Bar, I for once in my life was literally lost for words, and who wouldn't with such welcoming blonde splendour, but the moment I'd found my tongue and delivered my little speech I found myself in the very same Elektraspace-time continuum as my much desired and longed for addressee did a while ago. Next thing I know she dashes off to make a phonecall, without even the tiniest acknowledgement of my two cents. As usual, you are so right, Miss Barbara, fall does smell so sweet, maybe a teensy bit too sweet for the blondes from Management.
An impatient and somewhat bothered,
MANUELA


Oh dear! Have we done something wrong again? By the way, two cents won't do much good in the vicinity of the Cocktail Bar. Our telephone boxes take 3d bits (you know, those little twelve-sided thingies, four of which make a shilling).

Standing with our Grandmothers

Dear Darlings,
Oh yes, Amy is just so right about the glories of standing with your grandmothers instead of against them. See, the ugly bongo-feminist thinking would have us all either despise women who lived before the Eclipse or, if we were feeling very generous, pity them. If the Pit is right about this, then every woman's life in the Real World is wrong; but if the way they live their lives is right, then the Pit must be wrong.

 I was thinking about this very thing this morning as I put on my makeup. I don't wear makeup each day to hide imperfections in my skin, but because girls have always worn make up. As far back as the Golden Age, when Maid and the feminine principle reigned supreme, girls have painted their faces, for deeply spiritual reasons we are not given to know fully.

 I, for one, am quite happy to be on their side, those girls of old, for I think they are simply divine, as are you and you and you. Goodness, here I am, going on and on, while there is so much romance in the air. Who says springtime is the only time to fall in love, eh Manuela? Barbi Sweetipops? Miss Elizabeth? Miss Fox? It seems for some, fall can smell just as sweet.

 Love,
Your Very Own,
MISS BARBARA


Domestication of a Professional Pette: the Launching of Blanche -- Conclusion

Oh, those two double blonde bombshells greased the ways rather nicely! All I lack is a bottle of champagne to be broken over my bows by a queen. No more am I Brenda, but Blanche, a yielding voluptuous blonde newly emerged from her brunette chrysalis. (I do hope those two drinks were the very last I ever need buy for myself!) Now, let me get all adjusted and settled here on my barstool, make sure nothing more than the teensiest rim of lacy hem is exposed to the ever-alert eyes of the brunettes in the bar ... Shall I finish my story, now, Pettes? I was about to describe the sensation of wearing a Kadorian girdle -- a baby-blue one with six garters and lace trim round the bottom. Well, rather than merely parrot what Matthilde has so eloquently written elsewhere on these femmey pages, I shall continue with my letter to Cousin M., purveyor of the miraculous garment.
 
 
"Dear Cousin, I had not worn a girdle in so many years, really since I was a teenager, that I had quite forgotten the sensation, and, course, I had never seen one with six garters. I am crimson to tell you, but, after the first sharp little sensation of restriction and breath-taking-away, I yielded completely to the calming feeling of containment and delimitation. It certainly holds up my stockings with not the slightest chance of a sag and keeps them well-tuned and finely aligned -- and with more secure, yet smoother-acting garter tabs than I am used to, covered with those dolly little fletched coverlets of satin, so the six garters do not bulge or show -- not at all.

"But, Dearest M., even though I am a tiny pette, it does change my look, it flattens my tummy, raises my waist and removes that compound curve at my hips, transforming it into a long single smooth and sinuous curve from shoulder to ankle. Between the lower edge of the girdle and the dark welts of my stocking-tops, the creamy flesh of my thighs, not confined by elasticized fabric above or the sheer taut film below, appears virtually palpitant, yet the curve stays unbroken. The net effect, when clad, is that Myrna Loy look, or Lauren Bacall look if you will (for the younger set): you know, that straight-backed, high-shouldered Kadorian balance and grace that comes only from being properly girdled. I did not think I would relish the constant pressure and sense of restraint, but, in fact, it is a constant reminder, a sort of an exquisite chalice specially wrought to contain the physical distillate of a girl's feminine essence. No, that's not right, it's not really a chalice for holding a liquid, but a calyx, rather, a taut calyx encasing a rare bloom fully formed yet still closely enfolded and always utterly hidden.

 "What to wear over it? Well, the Fairies decreed that your little black knit suit had just come back from the French cleaners, so it looked brand new. So I put it on over girdle, slip and a red silk blouse cut straight across at the collar, and ... Oh, it was divine, simply divine, Dearest Coz! There I was, beside two of my daughters, twirling and strutting in front of the mirror in a self-contained feminine reverie, assessing both demure and provocative poses, mother and daughters alike, each oblivious to the others, each deeply absorbed in her own femininity, all three hard at work. Oh, yes, about Flora. Flora had been wandering in and out of the bedroom, taking part only fitfully in our intense little fashion show, but at this point she returned, wanting to try on the girdle. The silly little thing tried to put it on over her head! Imagine! Well, she finally got into it the proper way, but I shall not repeat what she said about it."

(Months pass.) In the weeks since I sent off that letter to M., I became so forgetful and dreamy at work that the perceptive and kindly Dr. Methuen suggested a prolonged leave of absence, which I was overjoyed to accept. So for the time being I am a full-time houseblonde, devoted entirely to my precious Hestia and to my girls. I have grown accustomed to doing all of my housework while wearing high heels. I have a goodly collection of frilly aprons, my little house simply shines and is deficient in nothing. I spent the late summer canning the choice of the local vegetable and fruit crops and making preserves for the winter. I have joined the Garden Club and the P.T.A. as well -- in two weeks I must organize the fall bake sale! Me! Imagine! As for the incendiary baby-blue girdle, it is now one of a small collection of similar garments, all subtly different in their effects on my mood. A girdle is now part of my everyday uniform, you see: I simply can't face the world without one! Cousin M. says a girdle is like armor, she puts hers on to do feminine warfare in the Marketplace. I don't see it that way at all -- a girl ought to wear one because it reminds her she's always a girl, always on display, so to speak, a living embodiment of a primordial Archetype, so she has a duty to look and feel her best, even when she is alone in her kitchen waxing the floor!

And here is a picture of me last week in my kitchen, showing off my lovely white arms and hands to my friends Hazel and Gloria. I am the melting blonde in the middle, in green dress and yellow apron with the outlandishly generous bow at the back.

 Now, would any pette care to buy me little old me a drink?
BLANCHE,
Kadorian Houseblonde


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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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