You may find this difficult to believe, but once upon a time -- long, long ago when there were no singles bars, dating services and personal advertisements -- the average single woman and single man had no trouble meeting one another.
I know, I know. It sounds crazy, this idea that a world once existed in which people went about living their lives and, without any elaborate planning, managed to meet eligible members of the opposite sex.
Exactly when this state of affairs changed remains somewhat blurred. But the fact is, it did change.
And the odds of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right -- without some kind of modern intervention -- grow ever worse.
Especially for single women in search of single men.
Or at least that's the premise of a book that recently crossed my desk, one devoted to answering the question: "Where are all the good, available, interesting, attractive, sexy, healthy and financially stable men?"
This, according to the book's preface, "is the question single women most often ask themselves."
And, the preface goes on, "If you're willing to get involved in just a few of the many activities, organizations and experiences profiled on these pages, you will significantly expand your man-meeting opportunities."
Or to use the immortal words of singer Connie Francis, "The Best Places to Meet Good Men" is a book that tells you where the boys are.
And while I am not usually the kind of single woman who goes around asking, "Where are all the good, available, interesting, attractive, sexy, healthy and financially stable men?" I am nonetheless a reporter.
So here, after an exhaustive investigation of the book's man-meeting opportunities is my report to you.
If you want to meet men, you should consider polo lessons. For, as the book says: "The men you'll find in polo definitely are special."
But wait, you're saying, isn't it a difficult sport to learn? And where will I get my polo pony?
Well, there's good news and bad news: "Anyone with sufficient skill can play polo, but only those with lots of money can actually afford to own a horse."
LTC Alas, the "Yacht Racing" suggestion shares the same downside, so we'll quickly move along to "Beer Can Collecting."
The good news about this venue for meeting men is that among beer can collectors, the ratio of males to females is 10 to 1.
The bad news is that "collectors obtain cans by 'dump hunting.' "
And by the way, ladies, the best odds you're going to get is in the category of "Stickball." A whopping 99.5 percent who play this sport are male.
But how to go about finding them? Cruising the streets of any big city could be productive.
Speaking of the street scene, if you're looking to meet a good man, why not get involved in a protest demonstration? As the book points out: "Many a romance blossomed while protesting the Vietnam War."
Looking for a liberal soul mate? Try demonstrations for "animal rights, pro-choice, AIDS support." Are conservative men what you're looking for? Try "pro-life or anti-gun control demonstrations."
Which brings us to one of my favorites: The "Living History/War Re-enactments" suggestion. "All you need are some costumes, a few authentic props, an active imagination and a few like-minded people who will help create an unforgettable experience."
True enough, but a word of warning: In attempting to re-create the Battle of Gettysburg in my backyard, I had real problems in transporting the cannons. The cannon balls, however, turned out to be easier to move than I anticipated.
The one false note I found in the book is the suggestion you might meet good men at "Cat Lovers' Groups." Take it from me: Any man you meet at such a gathering is not to be trusted. Such a man is feigning his love for cats. True cat lovers are far too busy tending their cats' needs to go to any kind of meeting or outside activity.
The book, incidentally, does not overlook the special needs of good-looking single women in search of good-looking single men. They can join the "Good-Looking People's Network," which meets on a monthly basis to "discuss the problems and prejudices that attractive men and women encounter."
Finally, I'd like to add a suggestion of my own. Based on a personal experience, I call it the "Tripping and Falling" category. Once, in New York, I tripped over a rug in the Sherry-Netherlands Hotel and fell on top of a man sitting in the lobby. It was, as Humphrey Bogart said to Claude Rains, the start of a beautiful friendship.