Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Strange Good-Bye - Love and Romance #20 (January 1975)

Ready for another Charlton story of romance and heartache? Sure you are! This evening, I have for you the funky stylings of Enrique Nieto in "A Strange Good-Bye" from Love and Romance #20 (January 1975).

Though this story doesn't directly reference the Women's Movement, it is obvious that by the time this story was published in 1975 the idea of women pursuing education and careers had started to sink in with society and mirrored in popular culture. Enjoy!

Didi is an ambitious young woman -- unwilling to abandon her dreams for love, or as she puts it, "become a victim of Cupid and throw everything way..." So when she meets hunky Wade on a beach vacation in California, her plan is foiled! Or is it?

Didi decides that no matter her feelings for Wade, she will just have fun -- but not commit herself to anything serious. For Didi, finishing college and starting her career is most important.

Wade is also ambitious and lets Didi know that he too is unwilling to sacrifice his education for a serious romance. The vacation draws to a close and Didi and Wade part, without so much as a promise to write.

The months pass and Didi graduates from college and starts her industrial design career with the prestigious Nichols & Rodino design firm.

So impressed with her work, the firm decides to send Didi on a six week European tour to scope out the latest in design trends. Thrilled to be recognized and rewarded for her dedication, Didi starts the trip in Paris. Lonely in the city of lights and love, she begins to have doubts over her decision to abandon the prospects of a future with Wade.

While sketching and photographing skyscrapers in Rotterdam, Didi is shocked when she is approached by none other than her long lost love, Wade. They discover that they have both made strides in their careers, but have been at a romantic standstill since leaving the arms of one another after that summer in California.

They also discover that they will both be in the Netherlands for another month, and that their domestic offices aren't drastically far apart (he in Chicago, she in St. Paul). Deciding that they have been sensible enough for far too long -- they marry.

Now, the art of Nieto is definitely an acquired taste. But, if you can get past his flair for the ultra groovy, "A Strange Good-Bye" is actually a pretty good little story. Though throughout the story Didi has doubts over delaying romance, it is refreshing to see that in the end, she was happy with her decision to wait.

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