I had quite the scare the other day... I thought my trusty computer died on me. But somehow, I was able to bring it back to life. Phew! Crisis averted and thankfully I didn't lose this post as I had originally thought! Anyway! This evening I have for you the beautifully illustrated "The Truth About Men," from Falling in Love #104 (January 1969).
As depicted on the cover, raven-haired beauty Noelle overhears her boyfriend Jim and his secret girlfriend discussing when they are going to break the news of their relationship to her. As Noelle runs off from the soda shop, Jim tries to stop her. When he catches up to her, he explains that he didn't want it to end like that. Fess up, Jim! You just didn't want to get caught!
Noelle is crushed. When she returns home she tries to figure out what went wrong. Naturally, she thinks back to the past. She never really had any reason to be jealous -- Jim always came back to her. Even the time when Noelle's little sister told her that she had witnessed Jim out with another girl, Noelle remained calm. Good thing too, because on that occasion, the "other woman" turned out to be Jim's cousin.
But no such luck this time. Jim's infidelity was real. To aid in her grieving, Noelle decides to pick up some reading material, and a romance comic at that -- Secret Hearts! After reading the issue, Noelle decides to write to advice columnist Ann Martin about what happened with Jim.
And what do you know?! Noelle receives a letter back! Miss Martin writes...
"The reason he stopped loving you is because he never really loved you in the first place... and the sooner you learn to face that fact, the better off you'll be... My advice to you is to take yourself in hand... and get over it... start going out with other fellows as soon as you can..."
Noelle takes Miss Martin's advice to heart and opens herself to the possibility of dating other guys. That very same day, Noelle meets Cary, and it is love at first sight. Just two weeks later they start going steady.
As their whirlwind romance is just getting started, Cary announces that he has to go out of town. He asks if Noelle will wait for him, and she of course agrees.
But... when a friend's brother comes home from college, all bets are off. Noelle is instantly attracted to Bill. She feels herself heading into slippery territory, so she makes a dash for it.
Bill goes after her. Noelle explains that she is practically engaged and besides, she can't keep falling in and out of love like "an actress in a love movie." Bill tries to reason with her. If she can feel something for him, then she never loved Cary to begin with. And suddenly, Noelle is struck with a thought. A lack of true love is precisely what Ann Martin said about Jim's abandonment of her. Noelle explains this to Bill and realizes that she doesn't hate Jim for what he did to her, but rather, is thankful for it because it led to meeting Bill. Now... to just explain all this to Cary!
Besides the très mod Ric Estrada pencils, I love how this story incorporates a main element of the romance comics -- the advice column! Ann Martin sure had a corner on the whole "He's Just Not That Into You" thing didn't she?!
Candace Bushnell must have read romance comics
at some point in her formative years!