We have examined, from time to time, the pleasure our postcard artists took in the infinite mixings and matchings of romance, but we have been primarily concerned with girth. The artists found other ways to express romance in inches. (Mind. Gutter. Please.)
The tall, thin man and the short, round woman were very popular in this regard. The number of common, everyday phrases which could be used as captions made this very tempting. (I may have mentioned, by the way, that I’m not sure why the woman so often stands on a piece of paper. Could it be a marriage license? A deed to her rich uncle’s farm? Secret blueprints for a new and innovative stepladder?)
Here she’s just rising above her open-heeled shoes. And that’s the long and short of THAT.
“The long and short of it” was a frequent fallback in any picture of contrasts between the heights in a picture, but this puts it all more romantically. This image was popular, and appears on a number of cards with only slight differences in the coloring of the complexions and wardrobes (though the lady always has those stripey socks.)
Sometimes there are variations in girth as well. The tall person doesn’t HAVE to be the skinniest one in the couple.
There are suggestions that the man is the taller creature in these romances to express his dominance. It doesn’t always work that way.
Besides, sometimes the woman is the tall person in these big/little couplings. We’ve gone back to considering differences of width again too, you’ll observe.
Some cartoonists, though, were perfectly happy with the traditional tall and thin vs. chubby and stubby (Here we toss in an ethnic angle just to flavor the joke.)
The point of the joke, though, was contrast. The bigger the difference, cartoonists always believe, the bigger the laugh.
One can’t help wondering, though, at some of these pairings. Could two people who are on completely different levels actually live happily ever after?
With all the other roadblocks life throws in the way of true love, doesn’t such a contrast just add a final, fatal obstacle?
The cartoonists said no. Love would find a way. The most mismatched couple can stride confidently off into the sunset. (By the way, why is the end of his stick…I did say “please”, remember.)