Friday, September 30, 2016

That Woman in the Memes: Or, How a Gibson Girl Ditched Her Dinner Companion at a Dull Party

By Heidi Lux

You know the one. That jaded woman from the memes who slouches over her Champagne glass and tells you that wine is a vegetable, or quotes some other profundity about life.

Well I finally found her - on a postcard! She is actually part of a dinner party illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) called “Making Bread Pills.” This Gibson Girl is clearly not the focal point of the picture; what’s more she has a dinner companion who is regularly cropped out of the memes.

At the center of the table sits a lost looking gentleman occupying himself, indeed, with making bread pills. If the couples on either side of him noticed they would be appalled, as this is usually an activity regulated to the children’s table. In case you’ve never tried it, Wonder Bread works best. You sit there unobtrusively tearing off little pieces and rolling them into tiny balls until you have amassed a good supply. You then use the bread pills as ammunition, or simply leave them on the table for the grownups to clean up.

At Charles Dana Gibson’s dinner party, the bread pill maker is clearly the odd man out. He is making the best of his time at an unendurably long meal. I had forgotten all about this skill, but intend to resurrect it the first chance I get. After all, idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

I’m so completely fascinated by this postcard that I may not be able to part with it. But I’ve just put up a small cast of other interesting characters at LuxPostCardsEtc. They are very meme-orable…  

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