A Positive Peek at the Personals
I can never understand why my girlfriends frown every time the subject of personal ads is mentioned. The conversation is always the same; "oh, god, I answered a few of those ads last year. The SWM stated that he was attractive, professional, and outgoing. When I met him, he was bald, forty, and wore a polyester suit. I high-tailed it out of there real fast saying I was feeling sick, which really wasnít a lie at all".
Personally, though, Iíve been answering ads for quite some time and even placed one of my own. I think you just have to have the right attitude. Donít expect too much. I start by seeing each person as a potential friend, and whatís wrong with that. I must admit, each time I answer an ad, there is always that small spark of hope that this one may be it!
Actually, there are a number of advantages in placing a personal ad. My brother even commented, "Gee, youíve got it made. You meet one guy for lunch and then another for dinner, and you donít even have to pay." I tell my girlfriend, this is Baltimore, where many people are professionals. You never know, you can find your accountant, your plumber, and maybe your GYN all in one weekend, without even picking up the yellow pages. I must admit, I have been known to bring along a computer printout from work if the perspective gentleman is a programmer. If he is an electrician, well, I could always use some advice about my broken lamp.
Placing a personal ad is actually quite cost efficient. The last time I went to a singlesí dance, I paid twelve to fifteen dollars, and I met one or two guys. When I placed an ad, I received seventeen letters, and the ad cost only ten dollars. Now divide ten dollars by seventeen, and, well, you get the picture.
Any apprehensions you many have are easily remedied. If you are worried about the SMís reputation, you can always meet at a mutually designated place so you can leave when you want to and maintain total control of the situation. Or, team up with a girlfriend, tipping each other off as to whom was an enjoyable date and who was not. As to whether to meet someone who may lack the educational background you have, Iíve thought of that, too. Many is the time I gleamed with delight, because the SM and I had the same Alma Mater. That made for a lively thirty minutes of intellectual conversation about parties, local bars, and dining hall stories.
All in all, I make the best of each first meeting, and Iíve never had a disastrous first date yet. Keeping the steady flow of men through my life boosts my ego, cures loneliness, and helps ease the tension one feels after twenty-five as the clock ticks away. As a friend once told me, itís like buying a house. You can look and look, but when you find the right one, itís all worth it. Honestly, though, Iím still having a good time looking.
By Carol Neuberger