For free entertainment, you can’t beat checking out the personal ads in the newspapers. Especially fun are the local free newspapers that get shoved through the letterbox occasionally. Just give me a cup of tea, a piece of dark chocolate and a crappy local rag and I’m in heaven.
First of all they interest me because I think it’s amazing there are so many people who have not discovered Internet dating. Old people would have an excuse but the majority of people on these pages are not old (according to their ads, at least, although that is no guarantee of age).
Can there be any advantage to using a newspaper rather than an Internet dating service? To be honest I can’t think of one, although not showing your photograph may be one if you happen to be pug-ugly. And even if you are truly grotesque, won’t the person you are meeting find out sooner or later?
Another reason these ads appeal to me is because there is a special and exciting language that exists only here. It’s a code, basically, that you must understand before you even consider replying to one of these things. Let’s have a look at the basics (with a bit of Swedish thrown in):
“I am a man in his 50’s” – I am 59½ or possibly more.
“Discreet meetings in the afternoon” – a quick shag that my wife doesn’t know about
“I have general interests (allmänna intressen)” – I have no interests at all
”I like quite nights at home” – I watch too much TV
“I like to hang out with my friends” – I like to get extremely drunk
“I am thin and fresh” – I take heroin
“I am huggable (kramgo); I am big-boned; I am chubby (mullig); I am a mature lady/man; I enjoy life; I like good food; It’s the inside that counts” – I am fat
“Your appearance is not important” – I am desperate
“Your age is not important” – If you’re younger than me, great; if you are older, then forget it.
“I am spontaneous and will try anything once” – I am a pervert
“Only serious replies” – umm…actually I have no idea what this one means, although you see it a lot. Why would I bother replying if I wasn’t serious? For a joke? Just how funny would that be..?
One thing that pops up a lot in ads from women seeking friends is the phrase “ej lesbisk”, which means “not lesbian”. I am always puzzled by this one: do they mean that they don’t want a lesbian woman as a friend; or they are not lesbian; or that there are no lesbians; or that there should not be any? Mysterious…
I would be thrilled to meet anybody who has successfully met a partner through one of these ads, because, honestly, I do not see how it could be possible. I suspect the newspaper editors only keep on printing them because they also like to settle down on a winter evening, with a nice mug of java, and have a good old chuckle at the expense of others.
And there’s no harm in that!