In a previous post, I mentioned that I love to read personal ads on Craigslist. My old roommate and I used to read them for hours and laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Does that make me a mean person? Yeah, probably, but it's a cheap form of entertainment.
I once wrote a list of tips on how to write a personal ad and posted it on Craigslist. It made a few guys (mostly the ones who had done all of the things I said not to do) really, really mad, and they sent me some very angry (and very grammatically incorrect) emails; other guys who read it wanted to date and/or marry me. One actually invited me to a gala (I didn't go).
I thought I'd lost the personal ad advice letter forever, but it turns out that I saved a copy in my email account, so I'm going to post it at the request of Dr. Zibbs. I've edited it a bit, but it appears below in its (almost) original form.
Dear Men of Craigslist,
Last night, my roommate and I were very entertained by reading some of your personal ads. While we'd never mock your desire to find a good (or not-so-good, in some cases) woman, your methods of doing so are sometimes less than impressive. You should be yourself in a personal ad, but perhaps a more polished version of yourself would make a better impression. As my good deed of the day, I've decided to offer the following tips to help you in your online quest for love:
- I'm sure that there are many, many wonderful things about you that make you a great catch. List those things, but please don't lie, especially when we can tell you're lying just by reading your ad. Its harrd 2, beleeve u, wen u say "im intligant and Vary, wel educatid" wen ur sintinces, Look lik thiis.
-While we're on the subject of grammar and spelling errors, allow me to make the following suggestions: 1. Spell check and grammar check should be your new best friends. Type your ad in Microsoft Word, and fix the spelling and grammatical errors before you post it. 2. Capital letters go at the beginning of sentences and at the beginning of proper nouns (your name, for example). Lower case letters go everywhere else. YOUR AD SHOULD NOT LOOK LIKE YOUR CAPS LOCK BUTTON IS STUCK. 3. "It's" means "it is." "Its" means "belonging to it." “You’re” means “you are.” “Your” means “belonging to you.” Jot this down on a post-it note and stick it to your computer screen.
-This is the forum in which to tell your readers why they should want to date you, not to inform the world of what a cheating whore your ex-wife was, or how you'd love to stab your ex-girlfriend in the liver, or how you don't want any fat girls or sluts. In fact, the words "slut" and "fat" have no place in a personal ad to begin with. Remove them from your internet dating vocabulary.
-In the movie "Jurassic Park," one of the characters says "I'm always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm." That movie was made in 1993; the "future ex-wife" joke has gotten a lot less funny in the 16 years since then.
-Nobody wants to see a picture of your penis. Trust me. Even if you have a huge one, a girl looking at it is not going to be impressed... she's going to wonder what kind of weirdo would post a pornographic picture of himself on the internet for complete strangers to see.
-If you make a list of 75 required attributes that a future date must have before you'll even think about meeting them, you might want to consider the fact that being too picky is the reason you're still single.
I hope this helps you find success in searching for Ms. Right.