Personal Ad

How would you write a personal ad? NPR had a great and funny program on it yesterday – worth a listen or read – and it sparked a sordid memory… I scrolled through my computer files and there it was: personal ad.doc.

First, let me admit that sometimes my attempts at humor fail so miserably that I want to run away. Like the time, about 10 years ago, when I went to a Halloween party dressed as a pedophile clown – some friends lived in this house with several roommates, and they were thoroughly tasteless dudes. “Hey, I’ll be the funny guy, the hit of the party!” I told myself as I knocked on the door with my crooked wig, messy clown makeup, bottle of booze in a paper bag, tights with a huge sock stuffed down my leg and a homemade clown top that read, “Hey kids, free candy here!” with arrows pointing south. I know, I’m sorry. Really, really bad (though in my defense, it’s not my fault that clowns are creepy). Still, my deadbeat buddies would have laughed. Except my friend hadn’t told me that the party was thrown by their sole respectable housemate, a guy I’d never met with a real job and responsibilities, unlike the rest of us. I walked in and I swear the record player skipped and waned to a stop. Mothers clutched their children. Fathers scowled at me. I thought I was going to get my ass kicked. My friends hid their faces and looked away.

Other attempts at humor have been far more benign, but equally unsuccessful. Years ago, before I met Jenna, I figured I’d try an internet dating site – Estes Park can be mighty lonely in winter, a place where men are men and the sheep are scared. This site had a free trial or something, and claimed to be geared toward active outdoor folks. I saw pictures of cute chicks climbing, running, riding bikes, stuff like that. Sweet. Only, how do you write a personal ad without sounding like a total douche? A sense of humor is a wonderful thing, right? Here was my meager attempt:

Thirty-something climbing bum with no discernable qualities seeks non-annoying hottie with low standards and bad eyesight for a short-term, meaningless relationship. Not interested in just “friendship,” I have plenty of friends. But who knows, maybe love or *@#%?@!??. We can enjoy romantic weekends at my cabin (after I go climbing with my friends) swilling margaritas and reading Bukowski. Must be comfortable with yourself, have a strong sense of self-identity and be willing to change the things about you that I don’t like. Psychos need not apply. Nice car a plus.

P.S. I do yoga sometimes.

Well, I thought it was funny. Zero replies. Not one. What ever happened to a sense of humor? Which reminds me of a joke:

Q: How many women does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: That’s not funny, you asshole!

Fortunately, my days of personal ads are through (and now poor Jenna has to deal with my misguided sense of humor…). But if you were placing one, what would it say – got any good ones to share? Or maybe you’ve had some total flops in the world of internet dating? (If at least you got a date you did better than me.) There have to be some good stories out there.

19 thoughts on “Personal Ad

  1. I’ll admit, I put up a post on a dating site with the subject “Sometimes I wish I was Faust” and the body was “Care to be Mephistopheles?”

    …I got so many bondage and S&M replies from basement nerds, it started getting uber creepy.

  2. That could be the most honest personal ad ever. Verry funny. Sorry to hear about your accident kelly. I just returned from Hyalite and the South Fork myself and was bummed to hear about it. Not to minimize what happened, but I truly believe that your current fitness levels and alpine warrior mindset will overcome your injuries more quickly than the average person. This could be an awesome time to attend to things you’ve ignored over the past few years? We all know folks that have bounced back quickly after sick accidents and yours will be no different. Maybe you will come back hungrier than ever…By the way, I love reading your blog. Great stuff!

  3. kel, actually sounds EXACTLY like the sort of guy i ‘d like to find! sort thru your 30-40ish fit, hot dirtbag climber friends and see if any are willing to humor a hottie on a mtn bike, mix the margs, spontaneously head to the crag or trail on a moments notice, make me pee myself laughing and like kids. not looking long term, a week max, unless they can really make me laugh… might consider 10 days.

  4. uh…kelly…i really hope that upon reading the previous reply, you immediately thought of me. i mean, other than the good looking requirement, i fit the description perfectly…

  5. First off, Kelly, thank you for writing. I’ve been inspired (or laughed my ass off) many times by your writing. Thanks.

    I hope you have a speedy recovery, but until then, I hope you get a laugh out of this. After discussing with friends the unlikeliness of me ever getting a girlfriend (psh, who has the time?things to climb, books to read…), we collaborated to write a personal ad which I posted to Craigslist a few days ago. In the interests of clarity, it’s posted as a joke, so I don’t have to feel like a sad loser about it:

    Astonishingly, I got a couple legit replies. Well, sorta legit. One of the “legit” replies was a one-line response saying that “it would depend on what kinda truck u have…” And, not-so-astonishingly, I received many replies from beautiful women who want only sex, as long as I verify my age by providing a credit card number…

  6. Never tried the dating site, but admit the thought crossed my mind. Halloween, on the other hand…..When I was in school I showed up at a party sitting in a “borrowed” wheel chair with a cheap Superman costume. I’ll leave the who are you answer up to you. At the same party, my roommate dressed in a lab coat, headlamp, and yellow rubber gloves sporting a straightened out coathanger. The mom’s weren’t happy to say the least.

  7. This goes along with you clown story Kelly… A few years ago I dressed up as Ann Frank. It was a big hit until some Jewish girls confronted me. 4 against 1…according to them, with their mini skirts & hospital uniforms (20 degree weather in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), i was an the devil. I though I was going to be bum rushed by a team of nurses straight out of a Hustler flick. Though that would have been awesome, I just continued to be scolded while i drank my PBR.

    Keep writing…

  8. It’s always the biggest backfire when you show up to hang with your dirtbag buddies, in your own dirtbag style, only to find that the tone of the gathering is far, far (above) the expected status. Not an issue if you’re an unabashed dirtbag, but alas, I am not unabashed. I don’t have a story to share of my own but I recognize the feeling from many similar instances, but none quite as Xtreme!

  9. I put up one of the freebie profiles on as a joke. I said I was “Hot Pinkler,” a 4-foot-tall, 500-pound, unemployed Samoan with no job who liked to speed-walk around the mall with my fanny pack in front. And that my hobbies were cigarettes and porno, etc. I wish I remember the rest. Something about also liking to lie on the couch writing haiku and passing gas. I got a surprising number of responses….

  10. holy cow, some of these replies are tooooo funny! thanks, everyone, for the comments. love the fellow crash-and-burn attempts, and, likewise, the other, horrible, tasteless, Halloween costumes. “and now presenting, from the annals of inappropriateness…” love it, thanks for the laughs.

  11. I have a confession – I’m an internet creeper. While I was writing my thesis last fall I felt I could justify this as the usual procrastination while I drowned my newfound hatred for science in adderall, fattening snacks and vicarious living. However, I’m done with the thesis and now I’m working in Ecuador – and, apparently still checking your blog. I suppose I´m one-of-those guys. You tell yourself “I can quit anytime” and you believe its true….
    Anyway, The Famous Colin Haley hasn’t updated his blog in ages, so yours is the only one keeping my head out of the oven.
    You and I don´t know each other. I do know a few of your friends, but mentioning them would seem like name-dropping. Since this is a typical behavior of mine, I´ll avoid it. Things that I “typically” do are usually best avoided.

    What does this have to do with personal ads? These two blog posts more or less sum it up. The second one is actually the personal ad (that I wrote for myself, to a talented climber that you probably know), but the first one provides the context.

    • ha!!! love it. thanks for the entertainment, Seth. and good luck with those ads, i’m sure they’ll call, wanting to see the secret photos…

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