Tuesday, May 12, 2009

But little girls can draw conclusions/And profit from their lost illusions.

I am not sure why the poem by Phyllis McGinley – “What Every Woman Knows” – from which the above verse is taken resonates with me so when I think about Jeane and the 130 escorts who worked for her. . . 

It was a compelling sociological experience to review the 130 introduction letters sent by Jeane’s escorts to her seeking a job as an escort with Pamela Martin & Associates, Jeane’s escort agency. Most all of them spoke in the plainest of terms. For example, one letter said:
I'd like to take this time to introduce myself and let you know a little about me. I'm 24 years old, born and raised in VA, five minutes outside Washington DC. I've had a variety of different jobs from [working for a telephone company], working in a pharmacy compounding drugs, [working at a major D.C. Hotel] to cocktail waitress. A couple of reasons I think you should consider me for employment is that I'm a very giving and caring person. What ever position I'm put in I can get along with anyone on a very personal level and make them feel comfortable at all times. I do have a little experience. Although I cut that short when I realized it was not a good company. I spoke with [Jeane] on the phone, she was very nice, she described the position to me and I am still very interested. 
Yet one analysis – among many undertaken by the government – of the data seized from Jeane’s house revealed that most all of the escorts only worked a few months for Jeane before they retired; burned out by the reality of the job of providing sex for money to strange men. There were a few exceptions but only a few. Moreover, those who did subsequently return all cited the need for money as the reason to go back into the work of escorting. Which is why the full poem of Phyllis McGinley seems so apt to me:

What Every Woman Knows

When Little boys are able
To comprehend the flaws
In their December fable
And part with Santa Claus,
Although I do not think they grieve,
How burningly they disbelieve!

They cannot wait, they cannot rest
For knowledge nibbling at the breast.
They cannot rest, they cannot wait
To set conniving parents straight.

Branding that comrade as a dunce
Who trusts the saint they trusted once,
With rude guffaw and facial spasm
They publish their iconoclasm,
And find particularly shocking
The thought of hanging up a stocking.

But little girls (no blinder
When faced by mortal fact)
Are cleverer and kinder
And brimming full of tact.
The knowingness of little girls
Is hidden underneath their curls.

Obligingly, since parents fancy
The season's tinsel necromancy,
They take some pains to make pretense
Of duped and eager innocence.

Agnostics born but Bernhardts bred,
They hang the stocking by the bed,
Make plans, and pleasure their begetters
By writing Santa lengthy letters.
Only too well aware the fruit
Is shinier plunder, richer loot.

For little boys are rancorous
When robbed of any myth,
And spiteful and cantankerous
To all their kin and kith.
But little girls can draw conclusions
And profit from their lost illusions.


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