Isn't that a little. . .personal?

I kind of like most of my bad habits. One of the only ones I feel the slightest shame about is criticizing other people's personal ads.

I like to think that if I ever place a personal ad, it will be full of phrases like "bibliovore, carnivore, alliumovore" [fair warning on garlic], "odd but harmless", and "bad liar"- you know, things that tell you something about the person. I am convinced that "long walks in the rain" is a secret code for some sort of fetish that I can't even imagine. I'd probably meet a menagerie of freaks that would make your hair fall out, including the eyebrows and lashes, but that's how we learn caution.

Anyhow. I occasionally pick up a free personals newsletter and get mean. Most people aren't bad, and there are some I might actually like to meet, but there are certain categories that I just have to persecute:

60 free word personal ad: "Christian SF seeks non-smoking Christian M." Followed by a 54 word quote from the Bible about Jesus. Jesus isn't the one looking for a date.

"Gender-indeterminate person seeks same." I saw two of these in the same newsletter. I wanted to set them up with each other. No indication whatsoever of what their gender was, or what they were looking for. "Likes hockey"- is that code for "male"? Probably not.

"I know you didn't vote for me for class president, how 'bout a date?" These are the people who make their name into an acronym, something like Terrific Outgoing Neato Yutz . We weren't impressed in high school, why would we be impressed now? Gimme an L, gimme an O, gimme an S. . .

"What about MY needs?" Someone who's looking for a single, rugged, handsome, brunette, left-handed man between 25 and 30 who likes pets, has a good job, is over six feet tall, and has blue eyes. Her complete self-description? "Blonde." I've always wanted to meet someone like her.

The Stupid Shtick: Someone had a Godzilla-based personal. Didn't like disaster movies, or Godzilla, wasn't particularly tall or short or green or anything. Someone else had a Seinfeld- themed ad which included the phrase "no sense of humor" to describe themselves. I only hope it was a Freudian slip.

The Second Coming of James Taylor: For all I know, these guys think that rhyming "eyes" and "sunrise" is original to them. Giveaways: "twinkling" [or "twinklin' "], "45 years young", " 'neath", "child-man"- you get the idea. Lester Bangs was right. One James Taylor is too many.

Then there are the personals which don't fit into any specific category, because their difficulties are unique. I didn't want to quote these directly, because these people have enough problems, but I had to. No editorial omissions were made; all ellipses were in the original ad. Here's a few examples:

AD: 1+1=WE. Pretty single female. dark hair, sparkling eyes, loves any beach, full moons, animals, dancing, sunrises/sunsets, and working out. On the more active side, I'm athletic, enjoy sports and the outdoors. I'm seeking an easy-going, down to earth, single guy who is honest, romantic, and emotionally available.
PARAPHRASE: "math-challenged werewolf seeks easy meat."

AD: TIRED OF THE WAITING GAME? It's simple--or so it seemed years ago-- to meet my one & only and never let him go! NOT SO SIMPLE NOW, and I'm sure you will agree, for I am here, and you are there, thus we are not a we! THE FUTURE IS NOW, take a chance,you can't be hurt by pen in hand; You need to have a positive outlook. NO WIMPS! NO SMOKERS! NO CHEAPSKATES! Please be honest, intelligent, 5'9" +, 38-46, have a good position in life, and in your job, enjoy companionship, and give 110%. I'm ready for marriage and family life, 5'5", a pretty brunette, intelligent [sic], a bit old-fashioned, love good conversation, cats, tennis, bowling, golf, theatre, movies, and most of all, good times with family and friends. Let's build our future NOW!
PARAPHRASE: "incoherent salesman/motivational speaker seeks similar. "

AD: [name deleted], You wanted to find out if I'm your alternative to Prozac... and if our serotonin levels are compatible...you gave me the best time to call you, but you must have written your phone number in DISAPPEARING INK! If you're interested, why don't we try this again? [name deleted] PARAPHRASE: "Sorry I didn't call. . .must have been the mind rays."

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