Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Calling Cards

It finally happened. Melinda kept telling me a young lady needs her own calling cards when and if she goes visiting (they are also called "visiting cards"). I didn't figure I needed anything so fine and proper, but even Mother said I might want them eventually. So, down to the Fresno Expositor office I trooped. The newspaper office does all the printing in town.  I had high hopes that I could have a calling card with horses printed on them.

No such luck.

A gentleman's visiting card
       Mr. Marshall dragged out a bunch of designs in all sorts of colors. "The more colors, the more it costs," he warned.
      I looked them over and my heart sank to my toes. "No horses?" I tried again.     
Doves. Seriously? Why not horses?
     "Sorry, Miss Carter. Not a lot of call for horses on young ladies' cards, I'm afraid. And the fellas prefer a plain card with just their name. Could I interest you in these nice butterflies? Or some lovely doves?
     The boys' cards were pretty plain, true enough. But the cards for young ladies were all a-swirl with roses and flowers and more flowers and butterflies and . . .  yes . . . even bees! One calling card had the brashness to proclaim: "You have the key to my heart." Yikes! The card read "Herman," and I wondered how he could be bold enough to pass around a card like that! (Come to think of it, Jeffrey Sullivan might be that brash.)
     In case you don't know what calling cards are for, they are an indispensable tool of Victorian etiquette (so Mother and Melinda inform me). I already knew this, but visiting Cory at his father's livery has . . . so far . . . not required a calling card. Thank goodness!
Calling cards actually depend on the home that you are visiting having servants. The servant takes your card and lets the mistress (or master) of the house know you want to visit. Aunt Rebecca is the "queen" of calling cards, let me tell you! While these little cards are not so important in a small town like Fresno, nobody but "nobody" goes visiting in San Francisco (at least in the upper class) without carrying along their visiting cards.

     Back to my tale: I looked the cards over, and I almost started laughing when I saw another young man's card. It said, "Fair lady, May I have the pleasure of seeing you home this evening? If so, keep this card, if not, please return it." Then it added, "If I can't see you home, may I sit on the fence and see you go by?"
      That is the truth. See for yourself. I would prefer somebody (even Cory or Jack) to ask me to my face if they wanted to see me home, rather than play the silly card game. I reckon this shows that most folks out West (at least in small towns and on ranches) are much more practical than the rich city folks who put on "airs" and do everything just right.
      Oh, yes, back to the calling card. I finally landed on one I didn't dislike too much. I actually do like flowers, don't get me wrong. Here's my card. What do you think?


  1. I like that card! Great choice! :)

  2. I think it looks very nice, Andi. :)

  3. Love it!!! Mrs. M did the Carters have a lawn???

    1. A small lawn . . . a very small one, and some gardens too that are irrigated.

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  5. My middle name is Rose too. Nice card Andi, I think that's the one I would have picked too, it's not too dressed up, and not to plain either :)

    1. My middle name is rose too:)

  6. Yeah I really like it!
    It fits your middle name too! Rose!

  7. I like it, it looks good!


Let Andi know what you think!