What’s in a Word: The Truth Behind Men’s Personal Ads
John ShoreBesides here on Crosswalk, John blogs on JohnShore.com.
- 2007 Aug 07
In his personal ad, this man wrote that he would like to "just get away, and see more of the world."
These days many single people rely on personal ads as a way of having something else to laugh at once they're done reading the comics. But it's more than that, isn't it? Once the initial yuks have passed, a lot of people keep right on reading the physical descriptions, likes, and dislikes of people they don't know. And they do it for one simple reason: It feels like they're reading someone else's diary.
But of course, there are other reasons to read personal ads. For one, they reaffirm the truth that every American has the inalienable, God-given right to have others read stuff about them in the paper. More importantly, it's hard to meet potential mates when you're single. Where do you have time to meet anyone besides at work? And you can't date people you work with, because if you do it's only a matter of time before you have to break into your place of employment in the middle of the night and smash all the pictures that person keeps on their desk. And sure, your friends could introduce you to people they work with--but then you'd only have to break into their place of employment in the middle of the night. And then they'd have to pretend like they can't pick you out of a police line-up. And then they always end up blaming their nervous breakdown on you. It's just not worth it.
And that's why we have personal ads.
The problem with personal ads, of course, is that they're just that: Ads. They're made to sell. And just as no used car dealer would ever run an ad saying anything like, "Runs okay. Only makes right turns," no person is ever going to run a personal ad saying anything like, "I call my mother four times a day. I also often tickle my own nose hair with my tongue." Forget it. Never happen.
But there's hope! If you're a single woman thinking of using personal ads as a way of meeting eligible bachelors, I can help you decipher the real meaning behind some of the euphemistic words men often use to describe themselves in such ads.
I shouldn't do it; I shouldn't betray my fellow men in this way.
Oh, what the heck. They'll get over it.
Below are some words men often use in personal ads to describe themselves. I'm not saying these words always mean what I'm here suggesting they might. I'm simply saying that they might.
"Outgoing" for instance, just might mean "recently evicted."
"Self-assured"? Could mean "narcissistic."
"Loves conversation?" "You couldn't shut me up with a muzzle and a stun gun."
In general, when you read the first word below, think of what comes after it.
"Sensitive." Severe allergies.
"Easy going." Passive-aggressive.
"Athletic." Lives in sweats.
"Cuddly." Will sit on you.
"Family-oriented." Lives with mother
"Loves films." Loves popcorn.
"Book lover." Insomniac.
"Independent." Incapable of commitment.
"Loves conversation." Had TV repossessed.
"Great sense of humor!" Not unless ad's funny.
"Likes to travel." Wanted by law.
"Super-confident." Super on steroids.
"Loves good wine." Wino.
"Art lover." Pretentious wino.
"Effervescent." May have to kill.
"Low maintenance." Can't get off couch.
"Enjoys outdoors." Homeless.
"Many interests." Has cable.
"Love dogs." Has fleas.
"Love cats." Has intimacy issues.
"Loves Christ." There's real hope.