Wednesdays with Wanda

Throughout her teen years and her early twenties, Wanda Gág was constantly annoyed by men falling in love with her. She referred to them in her published diaries, Growing Pains, as "cavaliers." She also has a bit of a problem: she is so poor that she really can't afford to get married. She needs to support her six younger siblings with her art. This, when she's fifteen or so. (She puts so much on herself. I want to reach out to her through the one hundred years and say, "Wanda! You're doing great! Stay strong!")

Ironically, the one young man she does take an interest in, "Armand," does not love her in return. Armand admits that she is smart, incredibly talented, funny, and easy on the eyes... but he does not love her. This does not stop him, however, from trying to mould her into the kind of person he would like her to be. When Armand first appeared in the diary, I liked him a lot, and thought perhaps they would be a couple. And then, later, I really wished he would just leave her alone forever, so she could move on with her life!

In summary: In one hundred years, nothing has changed. People still lead each other on and break each others' hearts, over and over again.

Professor Batty sent me this picture of Wanda, which might somewhat illustrate why so many men fell in love with Wanda (especially when you consider how uniquely outspoken and talented she was- and that she was funny and played the guitar). I gather from her diary that she did not much care for having her photo taken.

Armand was probably gay. 

P.S. Armand wasn't gay. I was being flip.


  1. "Armand" might have been gay, but I think it was more of a class divide which kept him from becoming Wanda's lover. I've read many of his letters to Wanda; in them he comes off as earnest and intelligent but somewhat pretentious. He later became a successful research doctor; here's a peek at his daughter's family album if you are interested:

  2. From the pictures in that album, I suspect that he married into money, who knows what secret life he may have led?