Sad Personal Ads
- Isaac Asimov Literary Doomsday Device
Sad Personal Ads
Many moons ago an editor asked me to do an advice piece for men to help them construct an effective personal ad. At that time, both general interest mags and television were hyping the first wave of internet dating, so I dutifully assembled what I thought would be an effective masculine ad. I thought I’d run it as “bait” against a couple other fake ads, to see which one did better.
The results of that test are a separate article. What I found just as interesting was the dire state of “writing” in the ads of several papers and online matchmaking services.
Ultimately, I declined to do the “how-to” column. After reading these gentlemen’s ideas of pitching woo, I think you’ll agree that the average high school dropout should have no trouble crafting ads that trounce these Clio winners.
Many of them were just sad. These guys don’t need dates, they need self-esteem workshops:
'Teach me how to love you better'
'LOOKING FOR SOMEONE DIFFERENT ... LIKE ME!'
The literature critic in me resists the urge to point out that when the second author screams “LIKE ME!”, he is almost pleading with the reader to like him. We do not, however, like him. We look for someone different.
Many are just silly:
'wanna be actor-looking'
That one is confusing. Does he want to be an actor? Or does he just wanna be “actor-looking”? I’m not a model. I just want to look like one. And I'm not an actor. I just play one on TV.
A huge percentage of guys must file their ads by yelling them from moving vehicles:
'stop right here'
'hey,i m talking to you!'
'hey, check me out'
In case that one is not monosylabic enough:
If you ignore spelling and capitalization rules—which is apparently a requirement—the last batch of ads is probably a honest reflection of what those guys are actually like. When a guy writes "hay", he means "I don't talk much. I have no attention span. I think the word 'hey' is spelled with an 'A'."
When guys write too much, it’s probably worse than when we write too little. Take the following example—its as if Barry White had taken a personal ad:
'ATTENTION ALL SWEET AND SEXY LADIES'
That guy is about to break into a funk-soul ballad that takes up the entire B side of a 33 1/3 LP.
The next example is another case of telling to much. Terrifying! Designed to get no response ever EVER--
'Mathematician seeks partner!'
Here are more cases of too much honesty:
'I LOVE TOES'
'I am the real big slimmmy'
'Elite_Pimp 4 u (a cute one indeed)!....'
Eve4ry body LIES about ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
'PIRATE IN SEARCH OF HIS ONE PARTICULAR HARBOUR'
thre are a few more things I am requred to tell you IN PERSON
I.M. all about the BUT! (but not how U think ;] )
I am open to try new things and foods.
I WILL OBEY YOU
What attracts women? NICE GUYS!!! The girls just line up for nice guys, don't they? Anyone who has spent three minutes in high school knows that women are not attracted to Nice guys. High School is a testosterone factory where guys learn to be jerks in order to get girls.
These guys have failed to learn the lessons taught by history:
'GIVE A NICE GUY A CHANCE'
'Give the 'nice guy' a chance!'
'One of those rare nice guys'
Join the 'rare' crowd, buddy. Girls don't date nice guys.
'Looking for a good guy? Here I am.'
To answer his question, no, she isn't looking for a good guy until about three months into the relationship.
A LOT of guys make the mistake of just writing plain bizarre ads:
'My last name is LALA, what else do I need to say! :-)'
'Hey, this picture drives me nuts, because it makes me look like a prep!!!!! Grrrrrrrr!!!'
'OOOH! OOOH! PICK ME!!'
Nobody comes down here!!!
WAZU! Know whattimean?
Timje for me for that time in you life.
'I don't need this FrEaKiN' text editor'
'Humpty Dumpty was pushed'
I'm going to add the last two to my list of pick up lines. Hello. My name is Mark. I don't need this FrEaKiN text editor. You come here often?
Hey baby! Humpty Dumpty was pushed! Yeah! You heard what I said! So how about it? Is that MAC lipstick?
If all this makes you ladies feel pretty glum about the dating market, take heart--At least one guy tells the absolute truth in his ad:
'i am me'
Coming Soon, my “bait” ads and the wacky results.
P.S., to my darling girfriend: This is that article I showed you a long time ago. --The one I started for the web zine.
No! I am not looking on online dating services!
But honey-- No! I never!
But it's just a week or so from Valentine's Day.