You see them on the bus in the morning: girls reading the newspaper, girls with lending-library novels and girls simply staring off into space. If it is not a rainy day and the bus is not crowded with strap-hangers pushing one another up the aisle you can see each face clearly. Each of them is a self-contained little mask, decorated with cosmetics, keeping its private thoughts secluded in a public vehicle. Some of these girls are going to their offices because each day is another step to the success they dream of, and others are going to work because they cannot live without the money, and some are going because that’s where they go on weekdays and they never give it another thought. They go to their typing pool or their calculating machines as to a waiting place, a limbo for single girls who are waiting for love and marriage. Perhaps the girl sitting on the bus reading her plastic-covered lending-library novel is reading of love, or perhaps she is simply looking at the page and thinking of herself.
Rona Jaffe (1958)