Impoverished Middle Class “Companion” Seeks Ailing Benefactress
Do you detest the crass informality of senior centers and group homes? Do you dread the institutionalized indignity of a “senior care facility?” Do you long for the bygone days when educated middle class existed only to serve the whims of the aristocracy? Why then, dear lady, I have a modest proposal for you:
You: Independently wealthy, elderly lady between the ages of 75 and 95, preferably residing in an elegantly decaying mansion, furnished with a Victorian hodge-podge of priceless artifacts, (many of which will be entailed to me in you last will and testament.) In order to expedite my inheritance, you will be wasting away due to some quaint, yet ultimately terminal disease, such as consumption. You are of good old Anglo-Saxon stock, are extremely well educated and have had a lifelong love affair with the printed word, but, alas! Because of your cataracts you are no longer able to read you beloved collection of antique tomes without assistance.
Me: Likewise highly educated, bright, well behaved and well spoken young lady, with excellent diction and a lovely speaking voice, twenty three yeas of age, who is, in spite of my many attractive attributes, underemployed, saddled with debt and, for all practical purposes, starving to death.
Let’s get together for long afternoons spent in your parlor (me on the settee, you in your priceless antique wheelchair), sipping the finest English teas, and devouring watercress sandwiches as I read aloud the great classics of Chaucer, Milton, John Donne, Bunyan, and Spenser. If I’m feeling saucy, I may sneak in some more radical works, by the likes of Dickens, Thackeray, Austen or Keats, which you will tolerate, although they may offend your strict sense of class and propriety. In return I will be provided with a modest stipend, and (of course) ample provision in your afore mentioned last will and testament.
I look forward to a response from you, my dear lady. Please send your reply to this advertisement through the post with haste, for I am but a poor girl without friends or connections in a great and cruel city. Please do not force me to resort to less genteel forms of solicitation for my survival. Thank you.