Double Dutch

     When last we spoke, we were discussing the Dutch kids in love, those smiling, happy wooden-shoed children who, at least in American postcards of the 1910s, spoke a fluent Pennsylvania Dutch, to nag about why you haven’t written, to espouse certain positive philosophies, or to reflect on the course of love.  (As noted by the card above, the Dutch kids phenomenon was not limited to the United States.  This is a French new Year card featuring a boy and a girl who are apparently good friends.  I have seen Dutch kids in cards from other countries, where the Pennsylvania Dutch accent obviously can’t be the attraction.  These tend to go for the picturesque, emphasizing those windmills and wooden shoes, and generally very pretty.  For nasty caricatures of Dutch kids, you need to find cards from Holland, where Dutch kids are no great novelty, wooden shoes or not.)

     It was very much the vogue in postcards to use children to say things you might be shy of saying as an adult, and this was very handy when it came to romantic longings.  Here the cuteness of the girl and her accent combine to take any scandal away from what might, around 1910, have been considered a fairly forward suggestion.

     Like this one as well.  Temptation to be naughty was not something a grown-up would admit to so readily.

     And a young red-blooded American male would get all tongue-tied if he tried to say something shveet like this.

     Or come out with a straightforward proposal.

     Of course, the wide world will put up blockades to romance, and sometimes a couple is separated by distance.  Under these circumstances, the Dutch kids admit readily to something when an adult would be struggling to find the words.

     Such separations can cause misunderstandings, and a falling away from one’s love, and we witness this sort of thing among the Dutch kids as well.  You cannot make me believe, Gouda dumpling, that he really called the wrong number.  She’s the one who has decided to disconnect.

     Forlorn lovers admit their troubles in the world of the Dutch kids.

     Unhappiness can take over on both sides of the question.

     But the Dutch kids are willing to come right out and explain what they need to make them happy again.  (In this post-postcard age, we’re stuck with emojis for this.)

     And, depending on how one arranges the postcards, of course, one can find one’s way to a happy ending, all through wooden shoes, a nice smile, and a thick accent.  (Emojis, phooey.)

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