Princess Mysteria (Vauleda Hill Strodder),wrote the column “Advice to the Wise and Otherwise” for the Chicago Defender from 1921–30.
Hill, who represented herself as according to records, born in Kansas in 1895), was a fascinating figure within the early-20th-century boom in advice writing.
Below, is one of Mysteria’s letters and response. How different would the response be today?
March 15, 1924
Dear Princess: I am sure you have never had a letter like this before. I am a girl 22 years of age. I am not married and don’t have the least idea of getting married. I go to shows and dances with fellows, not because I love them but to keep them from thinking I am selfish. I have a girl friend whom I love very much and she is crazy about the boys. Please tell me what I can do to become interested in boys. They seem to treat me nice when I am in their company and I can’t understand why I feel toward them as I do. Most everyone says I will never marry, and it seems I won’t. —Worried.
All normal girls are interested in boys, and the fact that you are not classes you with those who are not normal. For your own peace and security, I advise you to try and cultivate the association of nice boys, as you may some day regret it if you do not. There is no supplement to nature, and as you say you are not naturally inclined to care for boys, I suggest that you force yourself to go about with them and maybe you can teach nature some new tricks. As to your girl friend, keep away from her until you have broken the feeling that you could love her better than you could love a boy.