lundi 3 octobre 2005

When life hands you limes...

Making limeade on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Reading personals ads ranks right up there with reading wedding announcements for me. But often, any newspaper that has personals has just so goshdarn many of them that it's a little overwhelming. However, since graduating from the latest school, I've been receiving their fine alumni magazine, which contains long slightly-boring articles along with news about people I don't really know. But the best part is that in the classified section, they have personal ads.

And these personals are the BEST EVER in their pretentious descriptives (which shouldn't be surprising, given where they're advertising).
Avid traveler slim attractive blond Manhattanite, sophisticated yet soft, equally content at home with a good book, music, jazz, and classical.
Not only is this lady lacking some commas in this opening sentence, she doesn't balance out the "equally" part with another activity she enjoys doing.
Good looks, real fun, and savoir faire. Ivy-educated wasp with rascal streak. Considered "sophisticated sweetie, true friend and definite cutie with mischief in those blue eyes". Joyfully irreverent, sexy, fit, trim, blonde. Peace-loving leftie who prefers pearls, Super Bowl, and god coffee (go figure). Lives deeply textured life, wants to have a good time and knows how to make it happen.
Not only does this one alternate between American English and British English rules for commas, she's... I just don't know where to start making fun of her. Quoting "others" in personals here seems to be a trend:
"Beautiful, sweet and so down to earth" - embarrassing but that's what people say... Smart, vivacious blonde. Accessible and real, what you see is what you get. Considered "flirty sophisticated sparkplug who can go head to toe with most intellectuals". Successful, open, cosmopolitan with Midwestern values. Gravitates to travel that gets beneath the surface.
I always thought the saying went "head to head", but maybe she's talking about a different kind of confrontation (ie, in bed, perhaps?). And I'm uncertain as to what her sentence relating to travel means. Another quoter has:
Passion, intelligence, and a hint of magic. Engaging intellectual, accomplished author, Ph.D seeking special spark and real connection. "Great combination - subtle kinetic mind and knockout looks." Playful and generous with life-affirming humor and knack for capturing the moment.
Obviously, these people are way smarter than I am because I have no idea what a "subtle kinetic mind" is. I think the quoting is supposed to make lend these people an "aw, shucks" sort of air - but it doesn't really work now, does it, since they've included it in their ads. She, however, might be trumped by the following:
Appealingly thin beautiful inside and out, yet so much more...Radiantly alive, interested in the human condition, politically liberal. Relishes third world adventures, outdoor activities, skiing, hiking, inline skating, blueberry pie, reading the Economist, Mozart piano sonatas.
I wonder what the "human condition" to which she refers is. Life? I think that most people are interested in life and the living, as opposed to dating corpses.

Focusing on personal attributes seems to be very important, as seen in the following sampling of self-description:
  • Athletic, petite, lean
  • Trim, fit, attractive
  • Petite/slim
  • Graceful, slim, natural athlete
  • Tall, slender, attractive
  • Slim figure
  • Slender, stunning... nice legs
  • Delicate beauty, petite figure
  • Athletic, sensual, cute, trim
  • Svelte, Stylish
They sound like cuts of meat at the butcher shop.

The locations these people enjoy also are worthy of consideration:
  • Paris
  • Plum Island, British Virgin Islands
  • Santa Fe, Italy
  • Martha's Vineyard, Berkshires
  • Andulucia [sic - really, if you like going there, you should learn how to spell it]
  • Oaxaca, Brazil, Colorado, Sevilla
  • Everglades, Europe (urban, rural), northern CA
  • "summers in Newport, winters Palm Beach, heart still in Maine... relishes ballooning Loire Valley, hiking Milford track"
  • Antigua, Vaucluse, Central Park
  • Nantucket, Newport, Cape, North End, South End
  • Berkshires, Sils Maria
  • "Savors tapas in Barcelona, flamenco in Sevilla, trekking in Turkey, galleries in Paris, snuggling at home"
If they were any more "worldy" and "travelled" yet "down to earth" I'd puke. If it seems that I'm focusing on females - well, it's because out of the 26 personals, 22 were placed by females. This doesn't mean that the guys' ads are any less funny.
Ironic smile and creative thoughtful approach to the world... Said to resemble better-looking taller thinner younger Dustin Hoffman
I mean, wow, with so many modifiers to the Dustin Hoffman part, it seems sort of a stretch to even mention looking anything close to Dustin Hoffman.
Piercing blue eyes, Charlton Heston-type looks, a good brain and interesting balanced life. Likeable, energetic, devoted friend, reliably fun. Resourceful, successful, motivated. Happy planning things.. Doesn't watch TV sports. Good father. History buff.
This guy does have a good brain - look at how he sneaks in the mention that he has offspring. If it weren't for the fact that he was 51, even I'd be interested. Gosh, these people know how to market themselves well!

As to not seem overly mean-spirited, I do hope that these people find love (even though some of these ads are definite repeats) - at $5.00 per word, the average ad seeming to average around 75-100 words, this is not a cheap undertaking. But isn't it worth it? You might end up with someone who's gone to Hahvard, and everyone knows that that is like the sine qua non in a the perfect date.

(Sarcasm in spades, there.)