Two Seated Ladies

A seated woman sits down for a chat with another seated woman:The newcomer is a much more business-like looking woman.  She has a crisp white collar, and no flowers, no puppy, no gardening hat.  Is she, perhaps, a therapist of some sort, trying to assist our old friend with whatever horror it is that has caused those eyes to be shaped like teardrops?  Or no, wait, our new arrival looks rather morose, too, and is clasping her hands to her chest in a way that might imply some inner agony of her own–perhaps she is the one with the problem, and she has come to her chubby old friend miss sunshine to unburden herself and hope for comfort?  The newcomer is, at any rate, a quite different sort of person than the puppy lady; much more business-like, more severe, a little thin-lipped, and anything but cute.  So what does such a sobersides go with?  This:So that explains the sad expression: she has a boring office job.  She is a typist, it seems, at work at her desk.  While no work is visible–no papers to transcribe, etc.–she appears to have been doing a lot of typing lately, for why else does she appear to be considering the state of her manicure so woefully?  Or perhaps there is an annoying boss nearby, and some workplace harassment going on, for she is also making sure to keep the legs visible below her fashionable miniskirt are very close together.   She represents a fairly common kind of go-with: a person at work and the tools of his or her labour.

I bought the typist and her desk at a little shop in the Camden Passage antique market in Islington, near the Angel tube stop in London.  I was surprised to see her there, for I’ve looked for novelty salt-and-pepper shakers at various places in London and elsewhere in the UK, and never actually seen any.  I’ve assumed, then, that the novelty salt-and-pepper shaker set market was mostly restricted to Canada and the U.S–a North American phenomenon.   But if that’s the case, what was the typist doing on the wrong  side of the Atlantic?

Next question: what else goes with an office desk and a typewriter?

Published by pernodel

Children’s literature critic and author of books for children

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